Procurement Driven Sustainability

The procurement function plays a major role in companies’ work to convert to a more sustainable society, and more knowledge is needed on the role of procurement in this transformation. Research has shown that while implementing corporate sustainability relies upon the involvement and aligned effort of several departments, the procurement function is particularly apt to contribute to an organization’s overall sustainability achievements.

The overarching purpose is to contribute to knowledge on procurement and sustainability. More specific, we will add to knowledge on the role of procurement in contributing to sustainability, and to knowledge on how to relate to  and  work  together  with  internal  stakeholders  such  as  the  sustainability function. We will also contribute to knowledge on how to measure and follow up the sustainability effects, both environmental and social, generated by procurement activities. The research project is scheduled to run over one year and consist of three research questions.

The research team will consist of experienced researchers as well as in-depth practitioner experience from the procurement field. The projects will draw on several theoretical fields but with procurement theories and concepts as the main core. The methods used will be dominated by in-depth case studies, interviews, and qualitative approaches. This research project will investigate the following research questions:

  1. What is the role of procurement in contributing to sustainability and how to organize and collaborate with internal stakeholders with focus on the sustainability function?
  2. How to connect and integrate the firm’s sustainability strategy into the procurement strategy?
  3. How to measure, follow-up, and manage sustainability effects generated by procurement activities?

The project will be strongly connected to the Swedish universities (Stockholm School of Economics, University of Gävle and Södertörn University) and foreign educational contexts. Models, conceptual frameworks, research cases, etc. will be reformulated and transformed into practical use cases and frameworks, focusing on practical and managerial challenges and dilemmas associated with procurement and sustainability. The project will play a central role in a process of deepening cooperation between academia and procurement profession.


  • Per Andersson, Professor, Stockholm School of Economics
  • Katarina Arbin, Assistant Professor, University of Gävle
  • Christopher Rosenqvist, Assistant Professor, Södertörn University
  • Sven-Anders Stegare, PhD Student, Stockholm School of Economics