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1) Why did Sofidel create the Sofidel Suppliers Sustainability Award in 2016?
We place strategic importance on sustainability for growth and development, and are willing to contribute to some of the United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goals that are closest to our operations, among which Climate Action (13), Affordable and Clean Energy (7), Good Health and well-being (3), Clean Water and Sanitation (6), Responsible consumption and production (12) and Partnerhips for the goals (17).
In 2016, in order to promote the ethical and responsible management of the supply chain, we launched the first edition of the Suppliers Sustainability Award, or 3SAward, which saw the attendance of more than 300 companies from several countries.
The 3SAward is an annual award that aims to incentivize, disseminate and enhance best practices and improvements amongst Sofidel Group suppliers in social and environmental sustainability.
As we believe that sustainability is built step-by-step, through constant improvement of the supply chain, the company strongly believes in valuable collaboration with our partner companies. Moreover, the Award aims at reducing risks, as suppliers actions impact on Sofidel’s and its products’ reputation, and at increasing the competitive advantage for us and our suppliers.
2) Which companies received awards this year, and what did they do to earn them?
The Sofidel’s Suppliers Sustainability Award sees different categories and subcategories to incentivize the environmental and social sustainability efforts of our partners.
For the “Best Suppliers” category, the companies that have achieved the highest score in the platform, we have awarded four different companies in the different supply channels. Suzano Pulp and Paper Europe were granted Pulp Producers prize, Valmet for Procurement & Purchasing sub-category, Kuehne + Nagel for Logistics Services, while Vizeum Deutschland GmbH has won the prize for Marketing & Sales.
Among the Best Improvers – the companies that have undertaken new environmental and social sustainability procedures – we awarded Zellstoff- und Papierfabrik Rosenthal GmbH for Pulp Producers, Windsor Engineering (Hull) Limited for Procurement & Purchasing, and LKW WALTER Internationale Transportorganisation AG for Logistics Services.
Finally, Sofidel also awarded The Best Sustainable Project, addressed to companies that have implemented effective and important environmental and social responsibility initiative. Awards were given to social and environmental initiatives, further split between large companies and SMEs. Prizes were given to:
Large Enterprises Category – Social: Fibria International Trade GmbH
Large Enterprises Category – Environmental: Skymark Packaging International
Medium/Small Enterprises Category – Environmental: Dasara trasporti
Medium/Small Enterprises Category – Social: Groupe SGP
3) Can you tell us about the “TenP – Sustainable Principle Supply Chain Self-Assessment Platform” and how Sofidel uses this tool to evaluate suppliers?
The Ten Principles (“TenP”) is a Sustainable Supply Chain Self-Assessment Platform conceived and promoted by the Global Compact Network Italy (GCNI) Foundation, of which we as Sofidel are a “Promoting Founding” member.
The tool aims to support self-evaluation of performance, which, following the most relevant and up-to-date standards and conventions on sustainability, takes into account the areas of human rights, labour conditions, environmental protection and the fight against corruption, to identify common challenges and solutions to improve the sustainability within the supply chain.
By completing a self-assessment, suppliers are given a score between 0 and 100 and are divided into three categories: red, yellow, green, in compliance with the monitoring and evaluation system of their sustainability.
The red category includes Suppliers with an overall average result below 50%, the yellow category for suppliers receiving an overallscore between 50% and 79%, and the green category including companies above this threshold.
The analysis of the supply chain highlighted 13 different reputational risk categories, and our aim is to help companies enter the green category by 2020. For this, we are implementing an Action Plan for the companies in the two lowest categories, planning activities such as online training, help desk and remote diagnosis.
4) How has Sofidel collaborated with other organizations to make the Sofidel Suppliers Sustainability Award a success?
Some partners of ours have supported the 3SAward, sharing with us the same values about social and environmental sustainability - and we are really grateful to Elettric 80, Fabio Perini, Södra, Henkel, A.Celli, Kemira, Industria Cartaria Pieretti, Pulsar, Fondazione Ecosistemi, Touchwa.re and Tissue World Magazine for making this initiative possible.
5) How does Sofidel employ sustainability as strategic level for development and growth?
Sofidel’s sustainable growth strategy is completely in line with “building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and planet”, the aim of the United Nations (UN) through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, set to be achieved in 2030, the plan of action for people, the planet and prosperity agreed in September 2015 by the governments of the 193 member countries.
Sofidel implements policies to limit environmental impact and maximise social benefits throughout the value creation chain: from sourcing to production processes, from products to logistics.
6) In your view, why is it important for companies like Sofidel to champion and promote sustainability?
It is very important for us to avoid reputational risks in our supply chain, making it consistent to our sustainability values and truly sharing them with our partners. That’s why we have decided to undertake the 3SAward project, to promote and stimulate sustainability throughout the supply chain. The analysis of the current supplier portfolio has clearly indicated a new challenge for the Group: transferring our sustainability values to our SMEs suppliers.
Although truly committed to CSR, small and medium-sized companies have significant difficulties in implementing its principles along the supply chain.
These difficulties are due to different reasons, including the absence of CSR culture, a limited structure to control the policies, limited spending capacity, not adequately qualified personnel, inability to get qualified advice of external specialists, and a focus often shifting to other priorities, such as the company's development and growth process.