Understanding the types of supplier diversity certifications

March 30, 2023

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on the intersection of supplier diversity and sustainability goals. As more companies recognize the importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their business practices, they are also seeking to incorporate these considerations into their supplier diversity initiatives.

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Here are some recent trends in supplier diversity and sustainability goals:

1. Diversity and Inclusion:

In addition to traditional diversity categories such as race and gender, there is now a growing focus on diversity and inclusion that includes diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds.

2. Climate Change and Environmental Impact

Many companies are now seeking to partner with suppliers that are committed to reducing their carbon footprint and minimizing their environmental impact. 

3. Social Responsibility and Ethical Practices

Companies are also looking to partner with suppliers that have policies in place to ensure fair labor practices, human rights, and community involvement.

4. Supply Chain Transparency

Companies are increasingly seeking to partner with suppliers that can provide information on the origin and traceability of raw materials, as well as the environmental and social impact of their supply chain.

Supplier diversity certification is an important business strategy that involves sourcing goods and services from businesses that are owned by underrepresented groups, such as women, minorities, veterans, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Supplier diversity can help organizations create a more diverse and inclusive supply chain, promote economic growth in underrepresented communities, and build stronger relationships with small and emerging suppliers. 

One important aspect of supplier diversity is certification. Supplier diversity certification is a process of verifying the ownership, control, and management of businesses that are owned by underrepresented groups. Certification is typically provided by third-party organizations that specialize in supplier diversity, such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).

Here are some reasons why supplier diversity certification is important:

1. Credibility

Supplier diversity certification provides credibility and legitimacy to businesses that are owned by underrepresented groups. Certification demonstrates that a business has undergone a rigorous process to verify its ownership, control, and management, and has met specific eligibility criteria.

2. Visibility

Supplier diversity certification can help businesses that are owned by underrepresented groups to gain visibility and exposure to potential buyers. Certification allows businesses to be included in supplier diversity databases, directories, and matchmaking events, which can help them connect with potential buyers and win new business.

3. Access to Opportunities

Supplier diversity certification can help businesses that are owned by underrepresented groups to gain access to new business opportunities. Many corporations and government agencies have supplier diversity programs that require or prioritize the use of certified diverse suppliers.

4. Competitive Advantage

Supplier diversity certification can provide a competitive advantage for businesses that are owned by underrepresented groups. Certification demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion, which can help businesses differentiate themselves from competitors and attract new customers.

5. Support for Economic Development

Supplier diversity certification can help promote economic development in underrepresented communities. By sourcing goods and services from businesses that are owned by underrepresented groups, organizations can help create jobs and promote entrepreneurship in these communities.

At Fairmarkit, we believe that supplier certifications are an important part of the procurement process. Fairmarkit customers can enrich their supplier diversity data via our partnership with Supplier.io. In addition, suppliers on Fairmarkit also add their certification directly on Fairmarkit supplier portal, along with their company profile and product/service offering during the onboarding. Buyers on Fairmarkit have access to all this data when inviting suppliers to their event, allowing them to promote diversity and sustainability in their supply chain. 

💡 Fairmarkit Tip: Did you know that Fairmarkit makes it easy for buyers to discover diverse suppliers via searching suppliers by their diversity tags. Customers can then invite diverse suppliers to meet their company initiatives.

Corporate initiatives related to diversity and sustainability are becoming more common globally, as companies seek to align their values with their business practices. By requiring supplier certifications related to diversity and sustainability, companies can demonstrate their commitment to these initiatives, drive positive change in their supply chain, reduce the risk of supply chain disruptions and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Certifications can also help you identify suppliers that meet your sustainability and diversity goals, which can improve your reputation and brand image.

Using supplier certifications to drive competitive sourcing can help businesses identify a diverse pool of suppliers that can offer innovative solutions and competitive pricing. By promoting diversity within your supply chain, you can also reduce the risk of over-reliance on a single supplier and increase the resilience of your operations.

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