Fiat doubles supplier audits

26 July 2011

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26 July 2011 | Adam Leach

Car manufacturer Fiat has more than doubled the number of supplier audits it has carried out, compared with the year before.

It assessed 65 suppliers in 2010, compared with 26 the year before, according to its 2010 sustainability report.

The Italian manufacturer, which makes the brands Fiat, Alfa Romeo and New Holland tractors, commissioned an external company to evaluate suppliers’ ethical and sustainability policies for the first time last year. The independent assessor conducted 15 of the 65 audits, with Fiat carrying out the remainder.

According to the report, no “particularly critical situations” were uncovered through the audit process, but a number of action plans were established with suppliers to improve performance.

In a joint statement to accompany the report, chairman John Elkann and CEO Sergio Marchionne said the company was looking to extend “the principles of sustainability beyond the factory gates to all our partners and collaborators”.

In addition, the carmaker has established an internal team to oversee sustainability across the supply chain. It composes of the compliance officer, general counsel and the head of supplier quality engineering. This ‘supplier sustainability committee’ has developed a strategy to address such issues as corporate governance and human rights with vendors.

Last year, a further 100 purchasing staff were given online training, which taught them how to assess suppliers against the company's most recent conduct code and, more broadly, against the current climate of developing sustainability. This brings the total trained to do this to 600 since 2009.

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