EcoVadis’ First ever CSR Day: Bringing Buyers and Suppliers together

16 October 2017 by Abubakar Abba Gana

EcoVadis held its first CSR Day in Düsseldorf, Germany on September 20th, bringing together 165 buyers and suppliers based all over Europe to learn and share CSR best practices, experiences and to network with peers and customers.

“This was an excellent opportunity to be able to bring together regional buyers and suppliers, share our expertise in CSR and discuss how we can improve and above all work together to promote sustainability in the supply chain”, explained Richard Bourne, Director of Supplier Engagement department at EcoVadis.

Our Clients PSA, Bekaert, Henkel, Covestro, Air Liquide participated in the event and also invited their suppliers to engage with them more on CSR and discuss how they could work together towards a more sustainable future.

Here are a few highlights of the event: 

Integrate sustainability across the supply chain: a common challenge

For Bekaert’s Chief Procurement Officer Ton Geurts, the continuity and benefits from sustainable development can only be guaranteed when it becomes more integrated into business. Sustainability is business, and business is sustainability”, he said during his keynote in the CSR Day. He highlighted the importance of engaging internal stakeholders, such as employees and stakeholders, to share the same mindset with the entire supply chain.

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Tom Schalenbourg, Sustainable Development Director at Toyota Material Handling Europe (TMHE), is using the EcoVadis evaluations to boost internal engagement: TMHE is promoting internal competitions among the subsidiaries, who now vie for the best score in the annual assessments. He explained it also has been proving to be an efficient way to improve their CSR management system across the group. According to both, this internal engagement can be the first step towards industry collaboration. 

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Joining forces to go an extra mile

Together for Sustainability is a great example of how companies can go further together. Founded in 2011 by major companies of the chemical sector, it has the aim to improve sustainability sourcing practices within their global supply chains.According to Gabriele Unger, General Manager of TFS, the companies who are part of this sector initiative use EcoVadis’ CSR assessments not as a pass or fail exercise, but rather a collaborative start on a CSR journey which will also “make a company more attractive in the eyes of their client”.

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Janine Voss, Global Head of Sustainable Purchasing at Henkel, which is a member of TFS, shared best practices of their sustainability program. She highlighted that the sustainability job is not a one-time for Henkel and their suppliers. It is a journey which requires constant evolution, she said.

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CSR fits all sizes

Paul Keser, COO at Van Bavel, and Ranja Sengupta, CSR Strategy Advisor at ADM Group, featured in a panel session to share the best practices and challenges for SMEs. Both companies started to develop their CSR management systems with EcoVadis.

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Methodology Master Class

Pia Dewitz, an analyst from the EcoVadis team presented a deep dive on the EcoVadis CSR assessment methodology. This included an overview of the 21 criteria, the seven management indicators that are scored, tuning of the questionnaire as well as weighted scoring process by category, size and country. The session also covered the latest updates including the adaptation for ‘extra-small’ (XS) suppliers and additional help content accessible through the supplier platform. Valuable advice was given on how to better read, understand and interpret scorecard results in order to prepare for a re-assessment. For more information, see the methodology overview and scoring principles documents, as well as the EcoVadis Document Guide which has been published recently.

We look forward to future events where we can engage our customers in this productive dialog! If you would like to receive news about the upcoming events, please contact us.