Sustainability has become a central corporate concern as well as a key factor of success in terms of both image and productivity. In turn, the purchasing function is crucial to the definition and implementation of a sustainability policy. It drives a company’s sourcing activities and connects its other functions (i.e. internal customers) to external suppliers and providers. In short, sustainable purchasing plays a key role in global strategy and therefore requires high performance tools. Information systems, which have come under heavy criticism due to their negative environmental effects, can provide support services while also stimulating and disseminating sustainable purchase policies. This is because despite their poor reputation, purchasing information systems - which are usually designed to manage transactions and generate quick and significant gains through costcutting – have evolved to become virtual communities of practice where purchasers collaborate with one another and with internal or external partners to create sustainable value. The present study combines a literature review with a qualitative study to illustrate this emergence and show how information systems can and will contribute to the development of corporate sustainable purchasing policies. Using an exploratory approach and constructivist positioning, a “business forecasting” method is implemented to suggest a possible future for sustainable purchasing management, along with a new role for information systems. Towards this end, a scenario is co-constructed by 12 purchasing function experts responding to questions about their customs and practices and talking about their experiences, the effects of the rising wave of environmentalism, the problems they face in implementing and optimizing information systems and their professional. They also offer a few predictions and suggest new methods and modes of coordination. The study traces the development of new and innovative modes of sustainable purchasing management. These are aligned with a company’s global strategy thanks to the use of innovative information systems facilitating the dissemination of policies that purchasing departments implement both internally and externally through the integration of suppliers. Purchasing functions and information system departments work together to reduce the environmental footprint of technology and to exert greater influence on collaboration and teamwork by building an economic environment that is more viable and livable and also fairer. The originality of this article resides both in its sophisticated methodology, which associates several complementary approaches, and in its conclusions, which anticipate a probable future.
Allal-Chérif, Oihab and Maira, Salvator, "INFORMATION SYSTEMS CONTRIBUTION TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SUSTAINABLE PURCHASING POLICY" (2010). MCIS 2010 Proceedings. 6.