Delphine Laurien
ASEAN & MENA Head of Procurement & Supply Chain - Aden Services
Delphine's Introduction

I hold a master's degree in Strategic Procurement (DESMA) and have nearly 20 years of experience in procurement and supply chain transformation within the services industry (Facility Management, Food, Textiles, Hospitality, and remote sites). My career spans across Europe, Asia, and currently the Middle East.

I am passionate about transformation and change management, with expertise in the following areas:

  • Strategic procurement to give organizations a competitive edge.
  • Process standardization to help organizations achieve their goals.  
  • Supply chain digitalization to contribute to organizations' long-term success

Countries where Delphine can help you: Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Middle East

What brought you to sustainability?

I began my career at a leading European company in professional laundry services. The company had a naturally sustainable business model. Its solutions enabled customers to access services without having to purchase the products. Since the company rented out products, its goal was to develop durable product lines. This strategy maximized the use of products, promoted recycling, and balanced economic growth with environmental impact. As a Procurement Leader at the time, my sourcing strategy for textiles focused on optimizing costs and extending product longevity.

I was not stopping there, by actively sourcing textiles from Asia and Africa, including countries such as Pakistan, India, China, Ethiopia, Egypt and Syria. Upholding decent work standards and working responsibly with third parties were key considerations during the supplier selection process. Although Bangladesh was not a targeted market for my sourcing, the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, the deadliest garment-factory disaster in history, heightened my awareness of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) challenges and the need to collaborate with suppliers to improve sustainability and ethical practices.

In 2022, I decided to enhance my sustainable practices in supply chain management by joining the Certified Sustainable Supply Chain Professional (CSSCP) program, accredited by ISCEA – International Supply Chain Education.

One of my friends recommended The Matcha Initiative, a non-profit organization, and I chose to contribute by helping businesses embark on their journey towards sustainability, particularly in developing solutions for a more sustainable end-to-end supply chain. In addition to sharing experiences, The Matcha Initiative introduced me to a vibrant community of leaders who are committed to a more sustainable future.

Which sustainable actions are you in charge of or have you implemented in your organisation?

Throughout my career as a procurement leader, I've had the chance to be involved in collaborative projects that promote sustainability. Here are a few examples:  

  • I took an eco-design approach to develop textile products made from organic cotton grown using environmentally friendly methods and certified with a Fairtrade label. The Fairtrade textile standard plays a key role in changing textile supply chains by engaging manufacturers and workers, improving wages and working conditions, and encouraging companies to commit to fair trade terms with small cotton producers.
  • I implemented a tracking solution using RFID technology to extend the lifecycle of textiles and ensure optimal use of inventories, resulting in waste reduction and increased resource efficiency.
  • To promote responsible practices across the value chain, I helped establish a Corporate Social Responsibility policy for the procurement process. This included creating a supplier code of conduct outlining the company's requirements for suppliers and defining the framework to conduct supplier CSR assessments to address risks associated with suppliers' production locations and commitments to ethical, environmental, health, and safety standards.
  • By supporting local communities through responsible sourcing in very remote areas such as Pakistan and the APAC region, I was able to humbly contribute to strengthening employment and income opportunities as a means to alleviate poverty.
Which challenges did you meet and how did you overcome them?

Many organizations may not prioritize sustainability due to a focus on short-term goals, cost concerns, lack of awareness or understanding, or limited commitment from leadership. It can be challenging to align personal convictions and expectations with everyday realities. To bridge this gap, I took the initiative to continue self-learning and expanding my network. A strong network can offer access to resources and expertise that might not be available internally, such as connections with suppliers, partners, and industry experts who can provide insights and support for sustainable initiatives. The goal is to start with small, gradual steps, understanding that change management takes time.

What else would you like to talk about?

Skills important to have for a sustainable supply chain:

  • Strategic thinking: The ability to see the big picture and align procurement and supply chain practices with overall sustainability goals.
  • Change management: Leading teams and organizations through transitions in practices and processes to meet sustainability goals.
  • Innovation: Embracing new ideas and technologies that can promote sustainability in procurement and supply chain operations.
  • Collaboration: Working effectively with cross-functional teams and external partners to achieve sustainability targets.
What are you most proud of?

Procurement is often seen as a function focused solely on reducing costs. However, when approached strategically, it can provide added value to business partners. I firmly believe that the future of procurement will be based on sustainability. As a procurement leader, it is our responsibility to present a solid business case based on the "3 P's" framework—People, Planet, and Profit—offering solutions that are beneficial for the business, cost-effective, and positive for the planet and its people.

I'm proud to be working with my team on a sustainable project that aims to replace single-use product with a fully circular solution. In addition to significantly reducing waste and CO2 emissions, this project provides an opportunity to educate and raise awareness among many end users in remote areas of the Asia Pacific region where sustainability is not yet a part of everyday life.

What would be your top 3 pieces of advice to the Matcha Initiative users?
  • Stay informed: A strong network keeps individuals and organizations up to date on the latest industry developments, regulatory changes, and emerging trends in sustainability.
  • Track and measure your actions: Keep in mind that what gets measured can be effectively managed.
  • Achieve more with less: Don't assume sustainable solutions will lead to extra costs. The primary goal is to reduce the total cost of ownership and gain a competitive edge.
In which field could you help The Matcha Initiative users as a buddy?
  • Best Practices sharing
  • Experience Sharing
  • Expertise Sharing
Please describe how you could help The Matcha Initiative users as a buddy?

I’d be glad to share my experience on defining and implementing a sustainable procurement strategy, as well as how to effectively communicate with stakeholders to gain their support.

Delphine's main sustainability skills

Procurement strategy / Strategic sourcing / Suppliers engagement

Delphine kindly accepts to answer your questions.

If you need additional insights, you can send her a message.