Last year saw the introduction of the Supplier Diversity and Sustainability (SDS) program, a new collaborative effort between the Purchasing, Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (GDEI), and Sustainability teams at TNC. With the Conservancy’s 2030 Goals in sight, the program works to enable more sustainable and responsible supplier decisions and reduce TNC’s carbon footprint by:
- Providing greater visibility and insight into suppliers’ carbon emissions and diversity practices
- Increasing capabilities for tracking and measuring supplier use and spend
- Demonstrating TNC’s commitment and financial impact for diverse, Indigenous, and local suppliers
- Boosting our efforts to protect and restore natural habitats that help protect communities
As a first step, in June 2023 the SDS team began collecting contact information about TNC’s current suppliers to prepare a questionnaire with regard to diversity and sustainability practices. This data will be placed in a global database that Chapters and Business Units can use to identify SDS-compliant suppliers.
“As a relatively new employee at TNC, this project is very important to me personally. I am so appreciative that TNC emphasizes that how we work is just as important as what we do, because I feel so much closer and feel empowered to support this effort. What keeps me motivated is hearing and sharing the success stories of the impact that engaging with diverse and sustainable suppliers can have. I hope this will inspire others, too.”
— Maria Santillan, Supplier Relationship Manager, TNC Procurement
Supplier Relationship Manager, TNC Procurement
Maria recently celebrated her one-year anniversary with TNC. The current focus of her work involves collaborating with TNC Accounts Payable, GDEI, Sustainability, Information Security, Data Privacy, and other TNC Business Units to develop a comprehensive vendor management program with emphasis on partnering with suppliers who share TNC’s mission and values.
Maria was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and currently works from her home in a northwestern suburb of Chicago. An avid swimmer and runner, Maria completed a marathon in 2013 and a sprint triathlon in 2016.
As a relatively new employee at TNC, this project is very important to me personally. I am so appreciative that TNC emphasizes that how we work is just as important as what we do, because I feel so much closer and feel empowered to support this effort. What keeps me motivated is hearing and sharing the success stories of the impact that engaging with diverse and sustainable suppliers can have. I hope this will inspire others, too.
I believe my work reinforces our mission and values and shows that we’re holding ourselves accountable. At the same time, we are partnering with suppliers that are also making strides toward DEIJ initiatives and sustainable practices and holding these suppliers accountable.
I am grateful for the teams we’ve engaged so far, and to senior leadership for supporting this effort. It makes me hopeful for a welcoming launch of the program. I can certainly appreciate the optimism with all of the other initiatives underway and work going on for our 2030 goals. We partnered with GDEI and Sustainability teams in the program design phase.
I’ll always be a data nerd at heart so I’m very excited to see the analysis post deployment because it will provide us with insight and guidance for the program’s future. We are deploying this new effort in phases, so the program will mature and be enhanced over time. Feedback will be collected for continuous improvement which is important for the success of this program. For teams that have already started their own efforts in this space, I’m confident that we can provide them with the supplier transparency and additional resources they need.
We appreciate everyone’s patience and support in this process, and I would encourage colleagues who have stories to share or suppliers that align with our values and mission to please reach out to me!