Short supply routes and value-based supplier relationships.
„We rely on strategic partnerships with our suppliers. Using their environmentally friendly raw materials, we are expanding our low-carbon product portfolio. This puts us in an excellent position to meet the anticipated high demand for sustainable products."
Radek Jedlicka, Executive Vice President Global Procurement,
Supplier network: Local for Local
To supply our customers as reliably as possible in times of uncertain supply chains, BENTELER continues to rely on long-term supplier relationships. In line with the strategic principle “Local for Local,” we source raw materials, goods and services predominantly from regions where the production takes place. To ensure this, we use a range of targeted measures to select new business partners and manage the risks of our supplier network.
In 2022, the approach of building local supplier relationships close to customers was further pursued. BENTELER locations close to customers to shorten transport routes have also proved advantageous in the past. Around 39 locations of the Automotive Division are located directly at or in close proximity to customers. Within a continent, the localization share, i.e. the proportion of spending on local suppliers, was 82% in 2022 (previous year: 85.6%).
Fundamentally reworked: The BENTELER Supplier Code of Conduct
The BENTELER Supplier Code of Conduct specifies our standards of social, ethical and ecological responsibility. Our business partners must acknowledge these requirements and also commit to address them within their own business relationships. After the complete revision of the Supplier Code of Conduct in 2022, the core requirements on the topics of work (including the ban on child labour, respect for human rights and the ban on discrimination), health and safety, the environment, market behavior and ethics and responsibility within the supply chain will be formulated in six chapters.
Engagement of business partners
The BENTELER Supplier Code of Conduct is mandatory for all business partners. Since 2023, this also applies to the procurement of indirect materials/ services, machines and spare parts. The Supplier Code of Conduct is reviewed annually to determine whether it needs to be updated.
Common goals in the supply chain
In September 2022, the BENTELER Group informed 5,000 suppliers about the CO2reduction targets that BENTELER has set for itself in the supply chain. In parallel, the largest suppliers (80% of the purchasing volume) across all divisions were surveyed on their own CO2 targets and asked for their opinion on the BENTELER targets. The survey was combined with a request to make a voluntary commitment to join the target. Following the evaluation of the results, further measures will be defined in 2023. As of May 2023, 60% of included suppliers had made a statement to that effect.
A risk management tool was implemented at the end of 2022 for the targeted monitoring of corporate due diligence (for sustainability) in the supply chain. This will be rolled out globally in the BENTELER Group in 2023. Monitoring has been carried out since the beginning of 2023 using two different approaches to identify negative impacts and derive ad hoc or other measures in the long term. On the one hand, there is incident tracking that provides 24/7 real-time warnings for all focused branches of business partners. On the other hand, a risk assessment is carried out using international sustainability criteria via an annual score (country-based). To date, no incidents or recognizable violations have been recorded in this regard (as of May 2023).
B-AWARE: Whistleblower system
In 2022, the BENTELER Group introduced the B-AWARE electronic whistleblowing system worldwide. BENTELER employees, employees of business partners and external third parties can use the platform to report suspected violations of laws, regulations or guidelines. Anonymous reporting is not permitted in every country and therefore depends on the applicable local legal situation. All information is treated confidentially and reviewed by the relevant specialist department. The Supply Chain Due Diligence Committee is responsible for suspected cases of human rights-related violations. We use the results of any investigations for risk management and preventive measures. Data on reported cases automatically flows into the annual risk analysis. The effectiveness of the grievance procedure will be reviewed annually and, where necessary, on an ad hoc basis.