Conducting business at highest ethical levels is something which naturally goes for our supply chain as well, to a reasonable extent. As a first step we require our Business Partners (suppliers, consultants, contractors and other parties doing business with us) to sign our Business Partner CoC. The signing process was initiated by CEO and CFO and has been driven by Procurement. Since some parties, eventually, will refuse to sign our Code, we did design an accompanying 'Signing and Escalation Process' in 2012. The process, including the roll out plans, was approved by the Leadership team in August 2012 and presented to each country's Leadership team during fall 2012 to mid 2013. It includes for example clear targets, thresholds and instructions for how to manage very mature parties with own advanced codes. To the best of our knowledge we estimate that a vast majority of our Business partners in all our countries have now signed our code or got assessed and approved in the escalation process.
Initial start-up by Procurement
Procurement initiated a project, for signing off the business partner Code, as early as Dec 2010 where the department selected 80% of spend of contracts managed by Procurement in each country and on Group level. After slightly less than a year a surprisingly good signing result of 84% had been reached. Combining these results with the roll out of the signing and escalation process, requiring also Business Partners contracted without the involvement by Procurement to sign, we estimate to have a total signing coverage between 67% and 100%. In practice this means that we do have binding CR requirements in our Terms and Conditions with a majority of our Business Partners in our ten countries of operations.
Follow-up and audits
Having contractual agreements, covering CR matters, in place is one thing - ensuring compliance is another. For managing supply chain sustainability Tele2 believes in developing one clear set of industry demands, facilitating for suppliers to know what is expected of them. While this is a quite challenging position, to adopt an industry approach, we do believe it is the right way to go for driving change and push for sustainable improvements. As an important step during last year (2013) we joined excellent ICT organisation the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), which we are now joining forces with in taking our sustainability supply chain work to the next level. GeSI's tools includes the "E-TASC" platform, which will now be powered by EcoVadis, where Tele2 will be one of the users.
For more information about the program see the full press release from GeSI and EcoVadis here
The system, or platform, allows its users to share results from screenings and follow ups using one set of checklists and tools. In that way the ICT industry can speak with one voice in risks and opportunities for its supply chain. As a bonus it will simultaneously facilitate for the suppliers having to fill in one checklist for all engaged companies instead of the regular "spread" which is both time consuming and annoying.
For regular on site audits we are doing spot checks ourselves. We are not using external parties because we would like to have that first hand knowledge and understanding of our suppliers' risks and status ourselves, not loosing information to any middle man. Our supply chain audit checklist was updated during 2013 and almost at once tested in field during Q4 2013.
Read more about our Business Partner requirements here.