Innovation through sustainability: Identifying purchaser skills fostering green innovation

Katia Picaud-Bello*, Holger Schiele, Volker Koch, Murielle Francillette

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Fostering green innovations in the supply chain which are simultaneously more sustainable and economically successful requires respective sustainability and innovation management skills from purchasers. However, currently, these two requests for sustainability and innovation often appear to be treated as two separate procurement targets. This paper provides a framework of specific purchasing and supply management (PSM) competencies needed to stimulate green innovation. Based on job ad analysis, we contribute to the literature by opening the black boxes “innovation purchaser” and “sustainability purchaser” and identifying about a dozen specific skills needed. Findings indicate that, as of now, job descriptions in job ads for sustainability and for innovation managers are almost antagonistic. In this way achieving green innovation in the supply chain is hampered. As a solution, this paper provides initial insights into merging the two roles into a “sustainability innovation purchaser”. It thus enables procurement to operationalise the Porter hypothesis (implementing a simultaneously cost-efficient and environmentally friendly supply chain).

Original languageEnglish
Article number100136
JournalCleaner Logistics and Supply Chain
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • And competences
  • Innovation
  • Purchasing and supply management (PSM)
  • Skills
  • Sustainability


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