A good buy: using data to identify socially and environmentally conscious suppliers

December 2, 2021
United Kingdom
Supply chains

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Governments have long recognised the value of strong private sector ‘environmental, social and governance’ (ESG) standards, which can improve companies’ impacts in a range of fields – from pollution to diversity, transparency to community engagement. And commissioning from firms with good ESG track records doesn’t only ensure that public spending helps realise a range of policy goals; it also makes good sense from the buyer’s perspective.

Companies with strong standards of transparency, sustainability and ethics, for example, find it easier to attract and retain staff, increase sales and avoid negative media attention – helping to insulate their clients against the risks of weak delivery, supplier collapse or reputational damage. And with a growing number of national leaders and strategies insisting that departments track environmental and social impacts throughout their supply chains, procurement staff are under pressure to gather and verify relevant data across their supplier networks.

This task has grown easier in recent years, with the emergence of stronger metrics and better data covering ESG performance; and with the spread of technologies such as the Internet of Things and satellite imagery, the range and quality of data sources is fast improving. But how can civil service bodies access reliable, verified ESG data that allows them to compare suppliers? How should that data be deployed within procurement processes? And how can public bodies continue to monitor ESG performance throughout the life of a contract? At this Dun & Bradstreet webinar, experts from the business data and analytics firm explored the state of contemporary ESG practice, explain the options facing civil service commercial teams, and answer questions from the live audience.


Harry Chopra, Chief Product Officer Finance and Risk Solutions, Dun and Bradstreet

Harry Chopra brings a diverse experience of working in multiple industries and geographies to his role as Chief Product Officer for Finance & Risk Solutions at Dun & Bradstreet. Early in his career, Harry worked in Telecommunications, Automotive and Technology industries. Besides his more than 20 years of work experience in the United States, Harry spent 8 years in Asia Pacific and had the opportunity to work in both developed and emerging economies. Most recently Harry’s work experience encompassed developing and delivering solutions in Investment Management, Credit Risk, Financial Market Intelligence and Regulatory Reporting. In addition, Harry was a part of two successful start-up leadership teams: the first was in electronic billing and payment automation, and the second was in developing a new credit risk measure by working with the globe’s leading banking organizations. Harry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the University of Delhi and a Master’s in Business Administration in Marketing and Information Systems from The University of Michigan.

Rochelle March, Head of ESG Product, Dun and Bradstreet

Rochelle leads product strategy, development and delivery as Head of ESG Product at Dun & Bradstreet. She specializes in impact analysis related to carbon, water and the Sustainable Development Goals and in applying machine learning to ESG products. She also teaches data and analytics in Bard College’s MBA program, sits on the advisory board for USL Technology, Inc., a minority and women-owned sustainable building and engineering company, and is a mentor for fellows in the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps program and for STEM talent participating in the New York Academy of Science’s Junior Academy. Previously, Rochelle directed ESG innovation and analytics at S&P Global and worked as a sustainability consultant for SustainAbility (now part of ERM Group), Dunkin’ Donuts and the NRDC. Rochelle has had work cited by The Economist, The Guardian, IR Magazine and GreenBiz, and is a regular speaker on sustainability and data science topics. Before entering the sustainability field, Rochelle worked on cancer research at Weill Cornell Medical College and founded a graphic design company. 

Webinar chair: Siobhan Benita, former UK senior civil servant

Siobhan Benita was a senior civil servant with over 15 years’ Whitehall experience. She worked in many of the major delivery departments, including Transport, Environment, Health and Local Government. She also had senior roles at the heart of Government in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, including supporting the then Cabinet Secretary, Lord O’Donnell to lead work on Civil Service reform and strategy. Siobhan left the Civil Service to run as an independent candidate in the Mayor of London election. She subsequently joined her alma mater, Warwick University as Chief Strategy Officer of Warwick in London and Co-Director of the Warwick Policy Lab.