Principal and Director of Procurement for North America Dan Wakumoto reveals his thoughts on being a ‘sustainability superpower’ for the firm.
“It’s simple really, it’s not about relentlessly pursuing policy and process. We’re really focused on supporting the best behaviour out there, finding individuals and teams within the firm who are doing the right thing, and great things and giving them more options,” says Dan.
“It’s about collaboration every step of the way, aligning with other moving pieces to open up options, educate and inform people and at the end of the day make life easier for people, not tougher,” he adds.
Dan and his team are in lockstep with almost every department at Avison Young helping expedite our progress toward net zero and expand the impact the firm has on both people and the planet. One of the key areas the firm is focusing on is supplier diversity. Working with diverse suppliers helps firms foster inclusion, drive innovation, support economic growth, and mitigate risks. Safe to say it’s a big area to tackle, with huge potential.
This is such a big area of focus for Avison Young that there is a dedicated cross-functional sub-committee in place to help steer the firm in the right direction. Following an in-depth vendor selection process, they appointed a platform called supplier.io to help support supplier diversity goals. In their words – they exist to help companies ‘Spend smarter, buy more responsibly, measure more effectively.’
“Our first phase is about data enrichment, finding out where we’re already spending with companies that are ‘certified diverse’ – which means they are women-owned, veteran-owned, minority-owned, indigenous-owned among others - and working out what percentage of our spend is with those companies,” Dan says.
“While data collection has been a challenge, we’re excited to be able to share a searchable database with everyone in our company, to provide ways for them to find and engage with certified diverse companies for their needs. Essentially, we’re equipping people with information to help them do their jobs better,” he adds.
Alongside setting up systems to enable efficiencies, the procurement function is omnipresent in daily operations, overturning every rock to support Avison Young’s net zero ambition to be net zero across its workplaces globally by 2040.