Thomas Cook toughens responsible procurement demands

28 February 2011
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28 February 2011 | Lindsay Clark

Holiday company ThomasCook plans to assess all suppliers to its UK business against a standard set of sustainability criteria by October this year.

The company already uses a number of measures with some suppliers and in 2010 expanded these to include resource use, environmental management, child labour and working hours, the Thomas Cook Group Sustainability Report2010 said. But following a review of procurement documentation from last year, the company now plans to judge all suppliers against a common set of sustainability indicators.

The report included examples of where these have already resulted in an improvement. “The airline's catering supplier has been tasked with reducing the number of disposable items in the catering packs and ensuring that any remaining disposable items are biodegradable or compostable,” it said.

By integrating sustainability criteria into its procurement processes it hopes to encourage improved performance throughout its supply chain.

In addition to this, Thomas Cook aims to ensure that over half (51 per cent) of its mainstream UK hotel customers stay in accommodation which has been audited against its hotel sustainability system by the end of September 2011. Currently 41 per cent do so.

The Travelife system was developed by the Federation of Tour Operators, which has now merged into travel industry association ABTA. Hotels fill in a form about their performance and Travelife identifies areas that need improvement. The online tools cover organisation, reporting and management; minimising environmental impacts; treating people fairly; and social and community issues.

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