Global Lead, Sustainability & Strategic Inclusion, Nutrien
Executive Vice President & Chief Corporate Development & Strategy Officer, Nutrien
Vice President, Strategic Procurement, Nutrien
Diversity and inclusion are important considerations for today’s businesses. Most companies tend to stop at diverse hiring practices, though, without considering other aspects of their business that could benefit from increased diversity. That’s starting to change.
Diversity and inclusion benefit us all
Hiring a diverse workforce has been proven to provide enhanced business value, including increased performance and innovation. Nutrien is one of the companies leading the charge. Meaningful community relationships have been integral to Nutrien’s success, proving that community engagement and diversity practice are win-win endeavours. Through its efforts in offering more opportunities for the Aboriginal population, Nutrien is benefitting the communities in which it operates while also strengthening its own business.
Our purpose […] also means playing a meaningful role in growing and supporting the communities in which we operate.Mark Thompson, Executive Vice President at Nutrien
Building stronger roots
Nutrien is the world’s largest provider of agricultural inputs and services. It operates globally across the agricultural value chain — all the way from ground to grower — with its leading crop nutrient business and its global agricultural retail business, which serves as an advisor to over 500,000 growers around the world.
Its purpose — “growing our world from the ground up” — is multifaceted. “In a very literal way, we serve our purpose as a company every day by improving crop production and helping meet the increasing need for food that’s being driven by global population growth. But our purpose is about more than that — it also means playing a meaningful role in growing and supporting the communities in which we operate,” says Mark Thompson, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Development and Strategy Officer at Nutrien.
Nutrien believes that its supply chain should be as diverse as the communities it serves. Through various strategies in areas including governance, policy, and operational practices, the company is a leader in supplier diversity and an example of how diversity practices can successfully be incorporated throughout a successful business. Nutrien works collaboratively with Aboriginal communities and people, leading to deeper, more meaningful, positive impacts resulting from its operations.
“When I visit Nutrien’s sites and offices here in Canada and around the world, I’m proud to see the many positive ways in which these communities benefit from Nutrien’s presence, as well as our approach to embracing diversity and inclusion as a core part of our business. In my view, creating a corporate culture that fosters diversity and inclusion shouldn’t be thought of as an initiative or a project — it’s just what good business looks like,” says Thompson.
“When social purpose and business objectives align, very positive things can happen and our Aboriginal Strategy is a good example of that,” says Shane Curley, Vice President of Strategic Procurement at Nutrien. Nutrien’s Aboriginal Strategy includes direct employment, workplace education and training, community relations and investment, and procurement diversification.
Nutrien’s procurement policies and procedures — including its Procurement Diversity and Inclusion Procedure — are designed to ensure that fair consideration is given to all potential suppliers during the procurement process.
“Our commitment to investing in the potential of Aboriginal people and businesses today will lead to a better workforce, more vibrant communities, and stronger suppliers tomorrow,” says Curley.
When social purpose and business objectives align, very positive things can happen and our Aboriginal Strategy is a good example of that.Shane Curley, Vice President of Strategic Procurement at Nutrien
The Aboriginal Content Playbook
“Based on the success that we’ve seen by focusing on fostering diversity and inclusion within our own operations, we recognized an opportunity a few years ago to take an even larger corporate leadership role in expanding the way we drive the benefits of diversity and inclusion by publishing Nutrien’s Aboriginal Content Playbook,” says Lisa Mooney, Global Lead of Sustainability and Strategic Inclusion at Nutrien.
The Playbook is a continually-evolving guide that gives Nutrien’s Canadian suppliers step-by-step guidance on how to incorporate more Aboriginal participation and content in their business practices and supply chains. “It’s an effective roadmap that creates consistency in creating results-based Aboriginal inclusion strategies for our supplier network,” says Mooney.
The Playbook has effectively strengthened Nutrien’s business and reinforced its community commitment by removing barriers to meaningful engagement.
“Actions speak louder than words,” says Curley. “We know that our business practices can create deep and lasting impacts — and when you have trust, mutual respect, and shared values and benefits, you can find common objectives that create value for both partners.”
Business, truth, and reconciliation
Within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), Call to Action No. 92 details commitments that businesses can make in terms of reconciliation, including meaningful consultation, respectful relationships, ensuring equitable access to jobs, training, and educational opportunities, ensuring that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects, and providing internal education on the history of Aboriginal people.
Nutrien is fulfilling this commitment in various ways, including through scholarships, practicums, its Aboriginal Internship Program (AIP), and its Aboriginal Applicant Database (AAD). “We support programs, services, education, training, and research and advocacy measures that close the gaps Aboriginal people currently face, particularly in the areas of education, employment, and health outcomes,” says Mooney. “In particular, our priorities include food security, education and training, STEM, literacy, business development, and entrepreneurialism.” Nutrien also collaborates with stakeholders in the development and implementation of educational programming, teaching the next generation about key topics such as sustainable agriculture, environmental stewardship, and leadership development.
Diversity and inclusion benefit us all. They build strong relationships, successful businesses, and thriving communities. Diversity practices must be seen as an integral part of business, and must be implemented holistically across all business units. Fortunately for Canada, there are organizations spearheading this initiative and including diversity as a focus for future growth.