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BSR's challenge to businesses: Hire 100,000 new impact workers by 2020

Creating jobs for economically and socially vulnerable people is crucial for supporting the SDGs, according to Business for Social Responsibility.

The Global Impact Sourcing Coalition (GISC) — a collaboration between leading companies to build more inclusive supply chains — is challenging the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry to hire 100,000 new impact workers by 2020. This challenge is made in tandem with BSR's launch of the world’s first Impact Sourcing Standard, designed to increase client companies’ adoption of Impact Sourcing as a high-impact procurement practice by setting out uniform criteria for suppliers.

Together, the standard and the challenge have the potential to drive job creation for economically and socially vulnerable people across global supply chains.

Through GISC, client companies can partner with a network of suppliers around the world that are committed to upholding the Impact Sourcing Standard, which defines required policies, practices and management systems expected of suppliers that set about hiring, training and creating career opportunities for employees who were previously long-term unemployed or living below the poverty line. We call these employees impact workers because their employment can help them realize their potential to achieve economic self-sufficiency and support their families and communities.

Kemar, an employee at Sutherland, Jamaica, described his experience: "In high school, I was concerned that, based on where I lived, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be employed. A community leader came to me and said there are people who want to get in contact with youth like myself who grew up in volatile communities [to train us and help us find jobs]. I thought, let’s see what happens, and I am very thankful for the opportunity that was given to me."

The benefits of Impact Sourcing include the following:

Global Impact Sourcing Coalition: Impact Sourcing Benefits

This practice is not just good for impact workers. It also benefits suppliers and their buyers directly. For buyers, the benefits include a more stable supplier workforce, as well as increased social impact and a demonstration of corporate citizenship.

This practice is not just good for impact workers. It also benefits suppliers and their buyers directly.
Suppliers, meanwhile, gain access to a large and untapped talent pool, save costs compared with traditional workers and stand to benefit from increased workforce performance. Cathy Kalamaras, managing executive of people at Webhelp SA, said of the benefits of inclusive employment, "In 2017, we placed 230 Impact Sourcing candidates into our business. Over and above the ROI, which showed a 46 percent cost saving and performance delivery improvements, we have enjoyed the enthusiasm, positive attitudes and willingness to develop of our new group of colleagues."

With the launch of this standard, GISC is also unveiling our bold challenge to buyers and suppliers: to hire 100,000 impact workers by 2020. By taking part in the challenge, companies will contribute to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 8 and 10.

Global Impact Sourcing Coalition: Impact Sourcing Standard and Challenge

Many of GISC’s members already have stepped up to the challenge, collectively pledging to hire 12,000 impact workers by 2020, with more pledges to come. Murali Vullaganti, founder and CEO of Impact Sourcing social enterprises PeopleShores and RuralShores, said, "As part of our continued commitment to improving lives through Impact Sourcing, we are pleased to respond to the Impact Sourcing Challenge and pledge to hire 3,000 new impact workers across different states of India in our RuralShores business and 1,000 new impact workers across different states of the United States for our PeopleShores business by the end of 2020."

We invite all buyers and their suppliers to get involved. For more information, please reach out to us.

GISC invites you to a conversation with procurement leaders on the business benefits and social impacts of Impact Sourcing. This event Sept. 19 will include an introduction to Impact Sourcing and the GISC, a panel discussion with GISC member companies such as Microsoft and Bloomberg, and time for Q&A and networking.

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