Telefónica embeds sustainability in merchandising tender

20 September 2011

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20 September 2011 | Adam Leach

Telecommunications company Telefónica asked potential suppliers to provide a map of their supply chain when tendering for a merchandising contract.

In its Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2010, published yesterday, the company revealed that it had inserted sustainability criteria into a tender to assess bidders’ approach to both supplies and its own supply chain. The tender stipulated that the winning bidder must provide the company with a list of every country it operates in and map of its supply chain for each product, as well as a description of its procurement process, particularly in relation to how it values sustainability.

In addition, bidders were required to detail supply management policies such as supplier codes of conduct, how they monitored vendors and what management systems they used. They also had to detail environmental problems and what action was being taken to address them, as well as explain how they were using resources. Telefónica is now working with winning bidder Interwerbung on ways to further integrate sustainability into its supply chain.

The CSR report also revealed a number of results from the company’s ‘Aliados’ (Allies) programme. In 2010 the programme, which was initiated in 2009, saw the company audit 1,160 of its suppliers in Latin America, enabling it to monitor performance and identify areas that require improvement. The company has also moved to embed sustainable performance-based criteria in its contracts that reward or penalise companies – although the report does not explain to what extent.

Telefónica was named as the telecommunications super sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) in 2009 and 2010. However, South Korean company, KT Corp, replaced it in the 2011 index announced last week.

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