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Driving sustainability through our supply chain

At Beckers we take a holistic value chain approach to sustainability.

GRI 102 – 9


of our total raw material purchase with suppliers assessed by EcoVadis


of our total raw material purchase with suppliers approved for their CSR approach

Our suppliers have a significant impact on our own performance, so it is important that we monitor and evaluate them too. Our goal is that, by 2030, 100% of our supply chain partners globally are aligned with our responsible sourcing strategy. We use a three-step process to monitor the social and environmental sustainability of all our suppliers and empower them to improve their performance.

Three-step process for responsible sourcing

Step 1: Sign and adhere to the Supplier Code of Conduct
We introduced our Supplier Code of Conduct in 2017. It is essential we have an effective way to manage our over 3,000 accredited suppliers that support us at different locations around the world. To do this, we use a new collaborative tool which helps our sites manage the process locally and monitor the status of every single supplier. In 2020, 89% of our external global spend was covered by suppliers that have declared their adherence to our Supplier Code of Conduct. This code is now a fundamental part of how we communicate and collaborate with our suppliers.

Thomas Lüder, Beckers' Global Director Global Director Procurement & Supply Chain Management, gives three reasons why suppliers should join the Chain up! project.

Step 2: Conduct third-party assessments
We ask all our key suppliers to conduct EcoVadis assessments. EcoVadis is a global provider of sustainability ratings. Its ratings cover a broad range of non-financial management systems including environmental, labor and human rights, ethics, and sustainability procurement impacts. These are rated via in-depth assessments that require suppliers to provide proof for each of their claims. A supplier must score a minimum of 40 points in each of the four segments of the assessment to achieve the Beckers approval. Those who fail must work through a transparent corrective action plan towards a reassessment.This process allows us to take our suppliers with us as we move our industry in the right direction. In 2020, our EcoVadis-assessed raw material suppliers covered 82% of our total raw material purchase value (up from 78% in 2019). Our approved suppliers’ purchase value was 75% (up from 68% in 2019).This is already is a substantial improvement: we originally targeted 75% for 2024.Together with EcoVadis, Beckers published a case study to demonstrate how medium-sized companies can lead sustainable procurement. More details about the case study can be found on the EcoVadis website.

Read more about Beckers‘ EcoVadis case study

More than 80% of Beckers’ global spend is in direct materials, meaning raw materials and packaging. Coating formulas are quite complex, typically using 10–15 components and all the raw materials come from the global chemical industry, mainly fine chemicals. We have quite a large number of suppliers, and the volume procured from each of them is sometimes small – this makes the process of implementing sustainability practices in the supply chain rather complex. Nonetheless we are making great progress.”

Dr. Thomas Lüder – Global Director Procurement & Supply Chain Management

Step 3: Conduct in-house audits
We conduct our own in-house audits on selected key suppliers to verify their compliance with our Corporate Social Responsibility and quality expectations. We select which suppliers to audit based on a risk assessment that includes factors such as geographic location, industry or sector, self-assessment results,length of relationship and previous performance. We work together with the audited supplier to improve quality control and sustainability performance.We share proposals for improvement and request action plans within a specific time period. This approach has brought about remarkable improvements. Recognizing sustainability improvements in our supply chain

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we had to postpone the two audits scheduled for 2020 - and the situation is still difficult. Audits could not be carried out virtually as they involve onsite visits to inspect the supplier's process controls, including quality, sustainability, and continuous improvement.

In 2019, for the first time we have nominated a supplier that made major progress for the Beckers Supplier Award. In this article we introduce the winners for 2019 and 2020. Recognizing sustainability improvements in our supply chain

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Sustainability Award (Operations)

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