Solar and EcoVadis enter ground-breaking collaboration to ensure a responsible value chain
Press release September 15, 2022 · By Ebbe Fischer
With more than 3,000 suppliers, Solar Group has a responsibility to ensure green initiatives and social responsibility in the value chain. As the first sourcing and services company, the group has expanded that focus with a collaboration with EcoVadis, which provides a unique tool for risk management and evaluating the sustainability performance of suppliers.
Solar Group has now chosen to enter into a collaboration with EcoVadis, the leading supplier of globally trusted evaluations of suppliers' sustainability.
Solar Group is the first major sourcing and services company to enter into such a collaboration. They are initiating a 'Supplier Engagement Programme', and they are focusing on climate targets being laid down in contracts with suppliers. This is what Katarina Jönsson, Group Sourcing Manager at Solar Group, tells us.
"We see the collaboration with EcoVadis as a step towards engaging our suppliers more. It is an area we take very seriously and which we are willing to invest our time and effort to stay in control of," she says.
Green transition and protection of human rights
Solar Group has over 3,000 suppliers, 280,000 products in stock and over half a million products available via the webshop. "With that complexity, we need a structured and performance based approach to risk management, and here EcoVadis is a good partner," explains Katarina Jönsson. Solar Group wants to have its many suppliers assessed in the following areas: Environment, labour and human rights as well as ethics and sustainable procurement. "More than 85% of our spend is covered by our 'Code of Conduct' today. With the sustainability assessments of our suppliers, we go one step deeper and evaluate their abilities and willingness to live up to the demands that we will make going forward within these four areas," explains Katarina Jönsson
As part of the collaboration, the sustainability risk assessments from EcoVadis will form the basis for action plans with the individual suppliers regarding improvements. "Worst case scenario, they will give us some guidance on who we should avoid doing business with," says Katarina Jönsson and points to another important reason for the cooperation: Local legislation.
"The EU has prepared a draft for a directive on corporate due diligence in connection with sustainability, The Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence". Over the coming years, it will be ratified in the individual member states," explains Katarina Jonsson. She adds: "It has already happened in Norway, with Åbenhetsloven. It requires that you take responsibility for the products you bring to the market in the form of risk assessments and action plans, etc. This information must be made available to customers should they want it."
Procurement drives the change
A well-known expression in the field reads - 'procurement drives the change'. In other words, the many funds that are sent to the suppliers are decisive for whether it is possible to implement both the green transition and respect for human rights far into the global value chains. "In that sense, we are the ones who buy on behalf of our customers. Therefore, we also have a responsibility to make demands on our suppliers. Through our collaboration with EcoVadis, we can follow up on the development regarding the green transition from year to year," says Katarina Jönsson.
Group Sourcing Manager