Home & Garden Solutions (H&GS) has recently signed up to the United Nations Global Compact and we commit ourselves to the 10 UNGC principles.
In short, we promise based on these 10 principles to actively help improving the world in terms of the environment, social (working-) conditions and safety, as concisely expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. This promise goes further than just within the four company walls of the H&GS subsidiaries Gardendreams, Sunmaster, Verasol and Montage Master.
The supply and production chains are becoming increasingly international. Before our aluminium, glass and textile based products, such as verandas, garden rooms, glass sliding walls, awnings, shutters and related products, are installed our end consumer, many steps in different countries have preceded them. According to a recent publication by Statistics Netherlands, the share of foreign supplies of goods and services is over 62% and this share is growing steadily.
As a procurement manager, I am well aware of the various risks, the sensitivity and the responsibilities that these international supply chains contain. We try to keep our supply routes as short as possible which means close to our production facilities. More specifically, environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues can also pose significant reputational and operational risks. H&GS wants to prevent this by actively drawing up and monitoring supplier policies within our supply chain. This is summarized in the Chain of Custody.
Traditionally important considerations in supply chains have often involved technical quality, cost effectiveness, speed of delivery, reliability, etc. At H&GS, sustainability factors are also gaining in importance. Things we pay attention to are for example:
- Availability of raw materials and natural resources (minimize virgin materials and maximize circular chains)
- Staff health and safety incidents
- Corruption and bribery
- Geopolitical Considerations
Codes of conduct in supplier contracts and incentive structures improve awareness and ultimately performance. Managing ESG issues throughout the supply chain offers benefits. In addition to manage the reputation of our companies, the risk of supply chain disruption due to ESG issues is strategically reduced. For example, better working conditions can reduce turnover and improve quality.
We started actively this spring and explained our new supplier policy to our largest national and international suppliers. It will be a joint journey of the long haul. To start with, our suppliers where presented with our extensive H&GS ESG commitment, including a Code of Conduct. We are delighted that more than 94% have now signed the Code of Conduct, we aim to reach a 100% before the end of 2021. The first hurdle of a long journey has been taken!!
By Ruud van den Broek – Procurement Manager Home & Garden Solutions