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Market Area Africa
Organization

Chemical initiative "Together for Sustainability" (TfS)

In order to enhance sustainability within the supply chain, the chemical companies BASF, Bayer, Evonik Industries, Henkel, Lanxess and Solvay joined forces in 2011 for the Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative. Meanwhile Akzo Nobel, Arkema, Brenntag, Clariant, covestro, DSM, DuPont, Eastman, IFF, Merck, syngenta and Wacker joined the initiative.

Background

The initiative is based on good practices and builds on established principles – such as the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and the Responsible Care Global Charter as well as standards developed by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Social Accountability International (SAI) and others.

Goal

The goal of TfS is the global standardization of supplier evaluations and auditing. This means developing and implementing a global supplier engagement program that assesses and improves sustainability sourcing practices.

Approach

In implementing the TfS program, risk matrices help us identify suppliers with a high sustainability risk potential based on country and product risks. Using this risk analysis and other evaluations, we audit raw material supplier sites on sustainability standards and initiate sustainability assessments through an external service provider.
Participating suppliers will now only have to complete one globally standardized form instead of multiple questionnaires. It covers relevant sustainability information provided to all partners who would otherwise need separate sustainability assessment or audits from these suppliers.
In 2015 the initiative’s members conducted a total of around 5,000 sustainability assessments and audits. Together with the TfS initiative, we conducted a Supplier Day in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2015. TfS also held a joint conference in Shanghai, China, with the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF) with the goal of enhancing mutual understanding of the challenges associated with sustainability.

Implication

In 2015, BASF audited a total of 135 supplier sites and initiated 1.044 sustainability assessments. If we discover a need for improvement, we support our suppliers in the development of measures that fulfill our standards. We then check again according to a defined timeframe based on the sustainability risk measured. Should there be no improvement, we terminate the business relationship. In 2015, four suppliers didn’t meet our expectations.