Assessing how best practice in Sustainable Procurement is reflected in the South African mining industry
This research is motivated by the unsustainable nature of activities in the mining industry, which exploits the non-renewable natural resources and generate negative impacts besides improving the national and local economy. Sustainable procurement can improve environmental, social and economic performance in the mining industry especially in developing countries. The research reports on an assessment of how sustainable procurement best practice is reflected in the South African mining industry. The aim of the research is to assess how sustainable procurement best practice is reflected in the procurement practices at the two South African mines understudy. The objectives of the research include identifying sustainable procurement best practice factors contributing towards procurement practices in the South African mining industry, and to determine the extent of integration of sustainable procurement best practice factors into the procurement practices of the two South African mines understudy. The research study used a mixed method approach to collect data that included a literature review, which aided in construction of questionnaire distributed to procurement managers, and an assessment carried out to determine the extent of sustainable procurement best practice factors integrated into the procurement practices of two South African mines understudy. The findings of the research determined that the two South African mines understudy have fully embraced sustainable procurement best practice factors in their procurement practices even though environmental issues were still lagging compared to the social issues, which the mines are putting more efforts to implement through sourcing from local and small businesses and empowering local communities. The mines still need to improve other departmental relationships with the environmental management so that environmental inputs can be incorporated into the sourcing of goods and services. This can assist the mines at improving their environmental issues such as production of waste and cradle to grave principles of waste management. It is very important for the mines to re-think from a lifecycle perspective in the sourcing of goods and services that can reduce costs for the mines as well as protect the mines’ from liabilities of compliance obligations. Therefore improving departmental relations and top management interventions in the procuring of goods and services is very critical for the mines in order for all parties/departments to participate. This will promote best practice in sustainable procurement resulting into sustainable development, which is the goal of the mines’ to deliver a sustainable business.