Our products and services travel a long way before reaching our customers. A journey that may include raw materials and infrastructure, such as media boxes and transmission masts. The energy we use is also part of the chain. The end point is the moment our customers make phone calls, watch TV and surf the Internet through us. We want this entire journey to be responsible and sustainable.
What this entails? That everyone works safely and earns a fair living. That we protect the environment as much as possible. And that we handle our customers' personal data very carefully. We therefore closely scrutinise all our suppliers. What's more, we also guide them to continuously improve their social performance. This way, we keep our global footprint small, no matter how big we are.
We realise that due to the size of our organisation, we can have a significant positive impact by means of our purchasing power. That is why we make sure that as many as possible of the products we buy are sustainable and why we are working hard to make our procurement process more sustainable. All that we procure must meet our sustainable and ethical standards. We make agreements about this with our suppliers. Those agreements are not only about environmental impact, but also relate to working conditions, fair wages and safety. For example, we only purchase certified energy generated by European wind turbines. We have provided a summary of all of the agreements made in our Sustainable and ethical procurement code. In addition to working conditions and fair wages, our procurement code also includes other topics that relate to the OECD guidelines, such as corruption, the environment, safety and health.
Carefully selecting our suppliers
At VodafoneZiggo, we set high requirements for our suppliers, also in terms of sustainability. Together with them, we want to achieve our sustainable ambitions. Suppliers who contribute to this have an advantage in the selection process. Various CSR criteria are tested in the tender process and form part of the selection process.
Before entering into a collaboration, we carry out a due-diligence procedure in order to ensure that we know the risks that a possible collaboration with a party entails. Each supplier or party we may potentially wish to do business with is screened with the help of the World Check tool, to determine whether they trade in countries where sanctions apply, whether they have ever been fined for bribery or whether their reputation has been harmed as a result of negative reporting in the media. Even once an agreement has been signed, we continue to monitor whether there have been any changes to the situation.
Partnership with Ecovadis
We have entered into a partnership with Ecovadis, which is an independent consultancy that offers a tool to help us audit our suppliers’ sustainability performance. In collaboration with Ecovadis, we ask our suppliers to provide an insight into 21 CSR-related topics (subdivided into four themes: environment, labour practices & human rights, fair trading practices and sustainable procurement). The criteria are based on international CSR standards, such as the Global Compact Principles, the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the ISO 26000 standard and the CERES principles. Our partnership with Ecovadis not only ensures greater transparency and makes it possible to apply more requirements in that regard in due course, but by taking this step, we are also creating an increasing awareness among our partner companies and suppliers. This enables us to increase our indirect impact on the chain and to accelerate the shift towards a sustainable future.
Via our parent companies, Vodafone Group and Liberty Global, international contracts have been concluded with telephone manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple and with manufacturers of modems, boosters and media boxes. Those manufacturers are almost exclusively located in Asia. Sustainable procurement is also high on our parent companies’ agenda, as it is within our organisation.
Improve the chain
VodafoneZiggo is a member of JAC, an international association of telecommunications companies aiming to carry out joint audits and exert influence on the CSR performance of influential suppliers within the sector. In these ways, we are joining forces and increasing our influence on a global level.