Ethical Sourcing Officer
Exploring this Job
Search online for companies that have ethical sourcing as part of their mission and learn more about where they source their products and services from and their reasons for their sourcing decisions. An internship or part-time job at one of these companies is an excellent way to gain exposure to this field. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding opportunities.
Read as much as you can about ethical sourcing to better understand the standards and practices involved, as well as the challenges and controversies that can arise. Visit the Sourcing Industry Group's Web site (https://sig.org) for industry news, blog posts, podcasts, and press releases. Explore the "career network" section also for job postings in ethical sourcing and procurement. Another way to explore this field is by attending industry events and meeting sourcing and procurement professionals. Find event listings on professional association's Web sites, such as the Association for Supply Chain Management (https://www.ascm.org/events) and the National Association of State Procurement Officials (https://www.naspo.org/events).
Ethical sourcing officers work in both the public and private sectors, making sure that goods, materials, and services that are needed for a company's operations are ethically sourced. The public is now tuned into the business operations of companies, and those that operate and source ethically are viewed favorably. Ethical sourcing officers help companies in their efforts for ethical, sustainable procurement.
Job duties for ethical sourcing officers will vary depending on the size of the business and the type of industry. They may report to an ethical sourcing manager or department head, and they may oversee the work of junior and assistant officers. The job involves researching products and services, analyzing which are best suited for the company. Ethical sourcing officers conduct factory and warehouse visits, and meet with current and potential suppliers to assess the working conditions and the environment. They review the products and materials, making sure they are sourced, packaged, and distributed in accordance with ethical and sustainable standards. They also educate and train suppliers and manufacturers on ethical and sustainable practices and on ways to improve their operations by using best practices.
Ethical sourcing officers analyze the costs of products and services to ensure they are within the company's budget and also determine the potential for future profit. They keep track of their research by creating and maintaining databases. They track the ethical performance of the company's products and services, and write reports and make presentations on their findings and recommendations. Ethical sourcing officers also keep up with developments in the ethical and sustainable sourcing field, both within their country and in the countries where goods and services are sourced. They regularly update their company's ethical trade policy and apprise the company's suppliers of these updates.