Impact of purchasing
Ethics and sustainability are of paramount importance at VodafoneZiggo. We are always working to make our value chain more sustainable with our purchasing code, intensive monitoring and guidance. These efforts were rewarded with a gold medal from EcoVadis in 2022. This means that we are now among the 5% best-performing companies worldwide in terms of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
We continuously innovate in how we produce, while respecting human rights and our planet.
Each year, we purchase goods and services worth more than €2 billion from over one thousand suppliers, ranging from companies that construct and maintain our fixed and mobile networks to international suppliers of equipment such as telephones, modems and media boxes. On top of this, we work with many distribution partners who deliver our products to our customers.
VodafoneZiggo works closely with those suppliers, so that they also meet the high standards that we set ourselves. We continuously innovate production methods, while respecting human rights, health and the planet. We also expect our suppliers to do the same. Only then will we be able to improve working conditions and reduce our collective CO2 footprint.
OUR PURCHASING CODE
Our suppliers are required to meet standards regarding privacy, health, working conditions and sustainability. To ensure those achievements are measurable, we laid down our requirements in a code of sustainable and ethical purchasing. That code forms the basis of our agreements with suppliers. For example, we enter into agreements with our call centres in Suriname and Turkey regarding working conditions and fair salaries. We also make agreements with our energy suppliers that the electricity delivered is always green and certified.
We not only make arrangements, but we also check whether our suppliers are actually complying with our sustainability requirements. In the case of Dutch suppliers with a high risk profile, we conduct workplace inspections ourselves, for example on-site at Ericsson, our mobile network supplier. Internationally, we receive help from the Joint Audit Corporation (JAC), in which our parent company, Vodafone Group, collaborates with other telecom companies. The JAC conducts international audits as a means of improving the social and environmental performance of influential suppliers. This is one of the ways we can make an impact sector-wide and worldwide.
INSIGHT INTO SUPPLIERS
The independent rating agency EcoVadis helps us to gain insight into our suppliers’ sustainability performance. EcoVadis evaluates and monitors our suppliers to see how they score in terms of 21 social issues structured around four themes: environmental risks, social risks, ethical risks and supplier risks. This provides us with insight on how ethical and sustainable our partners are operating. Making our supply chain completely transparent and getting a grip on this is not simple, but the evaluations from EcoVadis are certainly helping us in achieving this goal.
Meanwhile, EcoVadis has evaluated over 275 of our top-500 suppliers and has connected them to its platform. Together, they account for over €1 billion of our expenditures. Now that we have a clear picture of our largest suppliers, we have also started to connect more and more of our smaller suppliers to the platform together with EcoVadis.
GOLD FROM ECOVADIS
Any organisation that is evaluated by EcoVadis and is performing well is awarded a medal, ranging from bronze to platinum. At VodafoneZiggo, we help our suppliers achieve at least a bronze medal. If they do not achieve this level, we hold discussions with them and work together to draw up an improvement plan.
That approach also has a positive impact on our own score at EcoVadis, which also evaluates our sustainability performance. It is partly due to our increasingly sustainable supply chain that EcoVadis awarded us a gold medal in 2022. This means that we belong to the world’s top 5% of companies in terms of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
100% CONSCIOUS PURCHASING
Our ambition is to ensure that we consider sustainability in every purchase request and investment decision throughout our organisation. As part of this, we strive to ensure we include social responsibility criteria in tendering processes by adding it as a requirement to our CSR strategy. In late 2022, half of our tenders included such criteria, and we intend to increase that proportion in 2023 – until it reaches 80%.
The independent rating agency EcoVadis helps us to gain insight into our suppliers’ sustainability performance.