Our Group's life-cycle perspective goes beyond traditional distinctions of direct and indirect environmental impacts. We have adopted a holistic, integrated approach to analyzing all of our organization's activities to ensure we understand and mitigate the effects of our procurement practices.
While sourcing is not particularly relevant to the financial industry, our Group understands that it must take into account the inflows of material and energy to our operations and commercial practices.
At UniCredit, procurement is based on sustainable models: suppliers must meet certain minimum sustainability requirements and are selected in compliance with the standards of various conventions of the International Labour Organization relating to fundamental human rights including child labour, freedom of association, working conditions, health and safety. Suppliers must also comply with the standards of our Environmental Policy. On the supplier level, the criteria are integrated into an overall supplier evaluation system.
UniCredit has been working toward harmonizing its procurement systems to ensure that goods and services acquired by our Group comply with our sustainability and environmental conservation policies.
These changes will be implemented in stages as we extend and expand our current pilot projects, define detailed environmental standards for purchasing, improve our approach to supplier selection, develop training programs for purchasers and product end-users, and expand our dialogue with suppliers.
Policy and selection criteria
In 2012, we completed the first wave of changes to our product procurement sheets, which primarily focused on specifying environmental and social standards for the goods and services we purchase from external vendors. The first product sheets were officially launched in 2012.
Under the guidelines specified in our Green and Social Procurement Policy, preference is given to suppliers who are able:
- to demonstrate significant reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions, resource consumption and waste generation
- to show compliance with the labor standards of the International Labour Organization (e.g., freedom of association, collective bargaining, prevention of child labor and forced or compulsory labor)
- to demonstrate progress in mitigating the health and safety impacts of their entire supply chain.
Their records on these issues are queried using supplier questionnaires, including one on Social Standards & Labor Law and another on Environmental Management.
In our procurement process, local suppliers are usually preferred because reduced transport requirements result in reduced emissions and resource consumption. We define a local supplier as one that issues invoices and receives payments in the same country in which the goods or services are provided.