24-Oct-2014 Shanghai / China
Moving towards sustainable supply chains in the chemical industry
In order to create mutual understanding on sustainability challenges and requirements the chemical supply chain is facing, the Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative held its first conference in Shanghai, China on October 22, 2014.
About 350 participants attended the event – including suppliers, TfS member company-representatives, local and international associations and non- governmental organizations. The main topics included sustainable supply chains and specific sustainability requirements for the chemical industry. The conference also gave participants an overview on recently received key audit results as well as improvement processes at supplier level.
“TfS provides us with a unique scalable platform to convey our sustainability standards to the entire supply chain,” said Thomas Holenia, Corporate Vice President Purchasing Asia-Pacific at Henkel. “With this initiative, we can create a new industry standard, which will help implement a continuous improvement process with our suppliers.”
Founded in 2011, the TfS initiative’s aim is to develop and implement a global audit program to assess and improve sustainability practices within the chemical industry’s supply chains. Independent experts carry out supplier assessments and audits to help reach this goal. TfS members include AkzoNobel, BASF, Bayer, Clariant, Evonik Industries, LANXESS, Solvay and Henkel. So far, the member companies have successfully initiated around 2,000 assessments and 180 supplier audits. Moreover, about 30 main audit criteria have been defined in the joint audit program and a respective auditor pool has been established.
“In line with the global trend of sustainable development, the TfS initiative is an innovative platform that aims to enhance the competitiveness of the industry,” said Li Shousheng, Executive Vice Chairman of the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF), in a keynote speech. “China has stepped into a new stage of sustainable development. It is important for the Chinese enterprises to learn from advanced concepts and successful experiences of international companies, and to strive to create a brand new era of sustainable development in the Chinese petrochemical industry,” Shousheng said.
In a panel discussion with TfS members and supplier representatives, the panelists commented on the achievements and challenges they see on both sides regarding TfS’s initiative implementation in China. With a common goal to move towards a sustainable chemical value chain, all participants found the first TfS China conference a well-served platform to create awareness and mutual understanding on sustainability requirements and to bring the initiative forward.
Henkel aims to work with its suppliers and business partners in around 130 countries to improve sustainability standards in its supply chain. The company expects its partners to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with its sustainability requirements. Henkel aims to purposefully work with its strategic suppliers to continuously improve sustainability standards in its value chain.