A company’s supply chain is a highly important resource – collaboration between companies at every step in the chain can open up powerful opportunities to minimize the overall environmental impact and maximize the overall positive social impact. At Henkel, our global supply chain includes business partners from 115 countries. Together, we want to drive progress toward 100 percent responsible sourcing.
Together for a sustainable supply chain
In 2011, Henkel and five other companies in the chemical industry co-founded the initiative “Together for Sustainability – Chemical Supply Chains for a Better World” (TfS). It is based on the principles of the United Nations Global Compact and the Responsible Care Initiative of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA). TfS aims to harmonize increasingly complex supply chain management processes with regard to sustainability and to optimize dialog among worldwide business partners. Above all, synergies are to be created so that resources can be used more efficiently and with a minimum of administrative effort, not only among the member companies but also with all of our shared suppliers. At the heart of the audits and online assessments of the TfS initiative is the core idea: “An audit for one is an audit for all!”. Suppliers then only have to undergo one assessment or one audit. The audits are carried out by a number of selected, independent audit companies. For the online assessments, TfS works with EcoVadis, a sustainability performance assessment specialist. Performance is assessed in the areas of management, environment, health and safety, labor and human rights, and issues of ethical corporate governance. In 2022, TfS had a pool of around 14,270 active TfS assessments and audits. In the same year, around 2,800 Henkel suppliers underwent a TfS assessment or audit. The TfS initiative has grown strongly in recent years and now consists of 40 members that represent a total spend of more than 400 billion euro (status: February 2023).
In 2021, the initiative also developed the TfS Academy. The Academy provides a learning environment for TfS member company’s employees and their suppliers. The TfS Academy offers more than 300 learning items in seven different languages.
In September 2020, TfS launched its new strategic framework “TfS Grow&Deliver.” This new strategy builds on the initiative’s past achievements and will pivot TfS from an initiative focused on measurement to a community that delivers tangible impact. TfS members will continue their commitment to promoting higher standards, as well as improving the insights and data gathered from assessments and audits. This will enable TfS to train suppliers in topics and areas that offer the largest potential sustainability impact. TfS has also decided to expand its work in emerging markets such as China and India. Taking collaborative action is another building block for the new strategy. In this way, TfS aims to further extend its contribution to sustainability. On top of this, fostering the TfS community is another key factor that will enable TfS to achieve its aims.
Since May 2019, Bertrand Conquéret, Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) at Henkel, has been President of the TfS initiative. He played a key role in developing the new “Grow&Deliver” strategy.