How Vodafone plans to measure suppliers' 'purpose'

28 September 2020

Suppliers’ commitments to diversity, inclusion and the environment will count for 20% of their evaluation criteria when they tender for new work, Vodafone has announced.

From October 2020, a supplier’s “purpose” will account for a fifth of the evaluation criteria in a request for quotation.

Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone group CFO, said: “We want Vodafone’s supply chain partners to be aligned with and support our desire to build a resilient, sustainable and inclusive digital society. 

“From October 2020, we are evolving our vendor assessment criteria to give significant weighting to our suppliers’ commitments on diversity, inclusion and the environment.”

Della Valle said the company aimed to provide practical support including tools for smaller suppliers to ensure they could fulfil the criteria.

As part of the changes suppliers have to prove they support diversity in the workplace along lines such as gender, ethnicity, LGBT+, age and disability criteria. 

“This will include policies on equal pay, and whether suppliers have publicly-reported targets in relation to the percentage of female employees company-wide and at senior management levels,” said Vodafone.

Suppliers will be measured on whether they have environmental policies to address carbon reduction, renewable energy, plastic reduction, circular economy and product lifecycle. 

For high-risk work or tenders where health and safety is affected, diversity and inclusion and environmental criteria will account for 5% each of the evaluation criteria.

SME suppliers and local companies will receive additional positive scoring if they commit to introducing policies that favour diversity and the environment, to help them compete against larger vendors.

Vodafone carried out two pilots for the schemes based on major tenders with global, local and SME suppliers.

The company said the pilots confirmed the revised vendor selection criteria helped favour suppliers with the highest commitment and action on diversity and the environment.

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