A fifth of supplier selection criteria will depend on commitments to carbon reduction and circular economy principles alongside diversity, inclusion and health & safety policies, the firm said
Vodafone announced today it will evaluate future suppliers on their commitment to tackling carbon emissions and building a circular economy, as it works towards its company-wide goal of halving its environmental impact by 2025.
From October 2020, 20 per cent of supplier selection criteria will depend on their commitment and performance on environmental issues, alongside diversity, inclusion and health and safety, Vodafone said.
The selection process for new tenders will examine whether suppliers have environmental policies to address carbon reduction, renewable energy, plastic reduction, circular economy and product lifecycle, Vodafone said. It will ask suppliers whether they publicly report their carbon emissions to CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project. It will examine supplier commitments to a Science Based Target for carbon emission reductions and whether they plan to use renewable energy or can demonstrate a Life Cycle Assessment for their products and services.
Alongside these environmental criteria, suppliers will be asked to demonstrate policies that support diversity in the workplace, including gender, ethnicity, LGBTQ+, age and disability criteria, such as equal pay and targets in relation to the percentage of female employees in senior positions. On tenders where health and safety issues are relevant, this will account for ten per cent of the selection process while environmental criteria and diversity & inclusion will account for five per cent each, it said.
"We want Vodafone's supply chain partners to be aligned with and support our desire to build a resilient, sustainable and inclusive digital society," said Vodafone Group CFO Margherita Della Valle.
Vodafone will also support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to compete for contracts by introducing positive scoring for that group of suppliers if they commit to introducing policies that align with Vodafone's sustainability and diversity goals, it added. In addition, Vodafone has introduced an ‘Innovation Fast Lane' scheme to help with cashflow for small, innovative technology start-ups, simplifying contracting and enabling lower payment terms, capped at a maximum of 21 days from the date of receipt of invoice.
"We will be providing practical support for our smaller suppliers, providing help and tools to ensure that vendors of all sizes have the opportunity to align with our purpose when we consider them for contracts," Valle added.
The commitment to use its contracting heft to drive environmental change in its supply chain is the latest green move from Vodafone, which earlier this year announced plans to move its entire European mobile network to run on 100 per cent renewable energy by July 2021. At the same time, it committed to cutting the equivalent of 350 million tonnes of CO2 across its supply chain over the next decade, a move it said would largely be delivered through its Internet of Things (IoT) services, including logistics, fleet management, smart metering and manufacturing.
Altogether the announcements form part of Vodafone's headline ambitions to halve its environmental impact by 2025, to resell or recycle 100 per cent of its network waste, and to support the shift to a more circular economy.
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