Taking ESG pain out of managing suppliers

Understanding your supply chain’s carbon, ESG & cyber impact is now a requirement for all organisations, with Pulse Market taking much of the stress away

Michael O'Shea, chief executive of Pulse Market: clients need to ‘be responsible for the suppliers they’re choosing as that’s the biggest impact they have in the sustainability game’. Picture: Coalesce.ie

A few years ago, organisations may not have given much thought to the businesses they have on their supply chain but with growing awareness and focus on their carbon impact and ESG issues, it is now impossible to ignore.

With the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) having come into force this year and EU regulations requiring organisations to keep track of Scope 3 emissions – carbon output not produced by the company itself but from those in its supply chain – it is crucial for organisations to understand their carbon output.

Add to that the expectations of investors, customers and other stakeholders looking for sustainable and responsible companies and it is hard for any organisation to ignore.

This is where Pulse Market comes in with its cloud supplier management platform designed to help businesses make better decisions.

Organisation’s Name: Pulse Market

Why they’re in the news: Adding new investor Anthony Carey, former of COO of State Street EMEA, to its board puts Pulse Market in a prime position to thrive in the financial services sector

It is believed that up to 90 per cent of a company’s carbon impact comes from its choice of suppliers, with the aim of Pulse Market being clear.

“Our job is to help clients go out to their supply chain and gather back that information,” explained Michael O'Shea, chief executive of Pulse Market. “If you’re not asking questions of those suppliers, how are you making those decisions in the first place?

“Now they need to look at it a little closer, see what their carbon impact or ESG impact is, and need to be responsible for the suppliers they’re choosing as that’s the biggest impact they have in the sustainability game.”

To champion responsible business, one key sector Pulse Market is focused on is the financial services sector: the top of the regulatory food chain in supplier management.

The game-changer for Pulse Market is the addition of new investor Anthony Carey, former chief operating officer of State Street EMEA, who joined the board and is putting it in a prime position to thrive in the financial services sector.

The company is teaming up with a major wealth management player and assisting them with thorough operational health checks on each of their clients.

One of its main offerings is its ESG Passport which is designed for SMEs to assess their position, provide an action guide with insights and steps to take and a certificate to highlight their commitment and show they are a purpose-led business.

Its purpose is to understand the behaviour of a company’s suppliers, said O’Shea, and whether it has the right measures in place.

The other major issue relates to cybersecurity and the growing concerns around breaches and ransomware. A major point of exposure is the supply chain and if you have a weak link, an attack can easily send shock waves to all linked organisations.

“If they don’t understand what the supplier practices are and if they’re not up to the appropriate standards, they’re taking on dramatic risks,” he explained.

O’Shea takes pride in the platform, making it easy for companies to manage these issues efficiently.

Another important part of the platform is its ability to continuously improve its insights. With the amount of data relating to supply chain sustainability on hand increasing as it grows, it can produce better insights and analytics.

This ties in with its work on creating AI copilots which will help with supplier management and improve a company’s sustainability credentials.

The development of Pulse Market would not have been possible without EIIS which has provided it with important funds. Through the use of those funds to invest more in the platform, it has become richer and better optimised for customer use.

Pulse’s EIIS offering this year is targeting an annual return of 36.7 per cent per annum on the net investment over four years (this assumes 40 per cent tax relief plus 12 per cent annual coupon). Total return targeted is 147 per cent.

“UI and UX is a big core focus for us and so EIIS investment allowed us to invest in that,” O’Shea said. “It will continue to allow us to invest in the product but also with marketing, allowing us to get it out to the market and gather new clients.

“It’s been very helpful, allowing us to do what we do which is to scale, to become a very significant player serving this need between clients and their supply chain and help sustainability and cybersecurity.”