The Group’s responsible purchasing approach is based on: its purchasing officers’ commitment, its suppliers’ commitment and supplier assessments, the implementation of specific policies, a focus on communication and training.

Purchasing officers’ commitment

The Purchasing Charter provides all purchasing officers with guidelines for applying the Principles of Conduct and Action on a daily basis. Since 2012, an online responsible purchasing training module has been available on the Group intranet, translated into six languages. A total of 1,433 people have taken the course. A new online training campaign will be introduced in late 2014 and renewed every other year.

Suppliers’ commitment and supplier assessments

The Supplier Charter explains Saint-Gobain’s basic requirements and suppliers’ obligations in the area of corporate social responsibility. These requirements and obligations are described more extensively in responsible purchasing clauses, which appear systematically in all new framework agreements signed by the Group.

By assessing suppliers’ CSR performance and conducting labor audits, the Group can ensure that suppliers meet their commitments and help them take corrective action in the event of non-compliance.

To facilitate the deployment of this approach, Saint-Gobain has developed a dedicated responsible purchasing extranet for suppliers.  This site enables continuous dialogue with suppliers, of which about 20,000 are active over a year, each representing an outflow of more than €100,000. Suppliers are asked to go on line to endorse the Saint-Gobain suppliers’ charter, submit all necessary certifications and search for information such as CSR evaluations and audit results so they can improve their performance.

Specific policies

The Group continuously adds new policies to enhance its internal systems.  These policies are designed to apply to all Saint-Gobain sites and activities in all host countries and may have an impact on purchasing and supplier relations. In the area of the environment, for example, Saint-Gobain issued a formal Wood Policy that was sent to all concerned suppliers.

Communication and training

The dedicated responsible purchasing website was created to centralize all information needed by our suppliers, as well as by our purchasing agents. For this reason, it includes an intranet. This R-Net web platform provides the Group with an effective channel for dialoguing with suppliers and for documenting each party’s actions.