Commendation for commitment to a sustainable supply chain

We collaborate with more than 30,000 suppliers in over 80 countries. Our sustainable procurement strategy ensures that we comply with the principles of socially and environmentally responsible procurement throughout the Group. For example, we take systematic account of sustainability criteria in our selection of suppliers. To do so, we weight sustainability with 10 percent in our tenders.

Our dedicated efforts toward sustainability in the supply chain were commended once again in 2016, when we took first prize for Best Supplier Engagement, awarded by the Ethical Business Corporation. The jury was highly impressed by our supplier development program, in which we collaborate with strategically important suppliers to develop solutions for aspects including environmental protection, working hours regulations and occupational health and safety.

Examples of key successes that we have achieved with our Chinese suppliers: 17

  • A drastic reduction in working hours was achieved for one of our suppliers – from 68 to 48 hours a week.
  • For another supplier, staff fluctuation was reduced. Employees can now submit suggestions for improving their work processes. As a result, productivity increased by 34 percent.
  • In one company, absences resulting from accidents at work were cut by 35 percent, while employee satisfaction improved by 4.3 percent.
  • One supplier generates 16,902 metric tons less CO2 per year, equivalent to the CO2 emissions of 10 fully booked flights from Berlin to New York.

In 2016 we added four new suppliers to our supplier development program; it now comprises a total of eleven suppliers.