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Corporate Responsibility

Supply chain management

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We are partners to our suppliers when it comes to a more sustainable approach to doing business.

We have a trusting relationship with more than 30,000 suppliers and service providers in over 80 countries. In order to work with us, these suppliers and service providers need to do business responsibly and transparently. We insist on high social and environmental standards in these relationships worldwide. Our partners can turn to us for assistance in implementing these measures or for advice as needed.

We use a number of tools, methods and measures that improve sustainability efforts along our supply chain. It all starts during the bid phase where we weight sustainability at 10%. This creates strong incentives for suppliers to offer more sustainable products and services.

Controlled supplier selection

We take a multi-phase approach in our current business relationships in order to guarantee the sustainability of our supply chain:

  • Via our supply chain management system we initially ask potential suppliers with an annual order volume of more than 100,000 euros about sustainability-related aspects. These questions address topics such as human rights and corruption as well as environmental protection and occupational health and safety.
  • We ask particularly strategically relevant and high-risk suppliers to enter extensive information about their practices in the E-TASC (Electronics Tool for Accountable Supply Chains powered by EcoVadis) information system. Based on this data, our experts can identify potential risks at an early stage.
  •  We even take things a step further in our relationships with some of our strategic or particularly high-risk suppliers and service providers by conducting regular social audits to review the work practices employed at their production facilities.
  • The effectiveness of our audits is also boosted by collaborating with at current nine other companies in the Joint Audit Cooperation (JAC). Thanks to the increasing number of JAC members, we are able to conduct a higher number of audits on joint suppliers.
  • If a supplier fails to cooperate and comply, termination of the business relationship may result.

Cooperative partnership

We work together with our suppliers as a partner and assist them in meeting our high sustainability requirements. To aid us in these efforts we have created a development program for strategically significant suppliers.

In the program we work together to come up with solutions for topics such as environmental protection, working hour regulations and occupational health and safety. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved because better working conditions have a positive impact on employee motivation and loyalty. And that improves productivity as well as the quality of our products.

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