HEINEKEN, the international brewer and Europe’s largest, has chosen the platform developed by EcoVadis of France in order to assess and improve sustainability in its supply chain. The EcoVadis platform, tailored to the needs of the brewing industry, will help HEINEKEN drive up its CSR performance, and that of its suppliers.

David Spacey, Global Procurement Director at international brewer HEINEKEN, states, “The development and rigorous implementation of sustainable procurement policies is a key element of HEINEKEN’s Brewing a Better Future agenda. HEINEKEN has a strong preference to do business only with organisations that share [its] values of respect for the planet and [its] ethical business principles. Our buyer’s discussions with suppliers have included environmental and social issues since 2005, but, after recently benchmarking against other companies’ standards, we chose to raise the bar, increasing our expectations and updating our Supplier Code.”

“Acknowledging that driving our CSR [or Corporate Social Responsibility] standards into, and through, our supply chain is both about assuring current performance as well as driving improvement, we invested time in finding a CSR performance-measurement platform that could meet all our requirements. After extensive reviews of the alternatives, we have chosen to utilise the EcoVadis platform,” continues David Spacey.

The EcoVadis platform allows HEINEKEN to monitor risks within the supplier base, which spans more than 100 countries, while identifying suppliers’ innovative sustainability practices. The EcoVadis platform will allow HEINEKEN buyers access to easy-to-use and reliable sustainability ratings, on a global scale. These ratings cover 21 environmental and social criteria, and measure compliance with the key elements of HEINEKEN’s Supplier Code.

At the end of 2005, HEINEKEN adopted its first Supplier Code dedicated to supply-chain responsibility. The code is aimed at sourcing products and services in a responsible manner: it obliges suppliers to operate in accordance with the principles that the code sets out.

In 2011, HEINEKEN decided to reinforce this policy through a collaborative platform that allowed for the evaluation and improvement of its key suppliers’ environmental and social performance. The company selected the EcoVadis platform for this purpose.

HEINEKEN and EcoVadis also collaborated in order to develop specific questionnaires and scoring models covering certain malt, hops and grains categories that come into the beer-making process. After a successful pilot programme covering 150 strategic suppliers in 2011, the EcoVadis solution is now being rolled out on a global basis by HEINEKEN.

“The EcoVadis solution offers an excellent combination of self-assessment, 360-degree supporting-evidence evaluation, and inter-industry competitor benchmarking. The ease of access and usability for both our large supplier base and our global procurement community was also a key factor,” explains David Spacey of HEINEKEN.

“We did not want to deploy a generic assessment, but to address the specific lifecycle challenges of each of our core spend categories. The EcoVadis platform is a great solution to support this initiative with our suppliers and with our global procurement community,” continues David Spacey.

In a study, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) stated, “Businesses should use databases like EcoVadis […] as they collect and distribute data about suppliers and they provide buyers with an integrated supplier assessment tool focused on sustainable-development indicators.”

Pierre-François Thaler, Managing Director and Co-Founder of EcoVadis, says, “We are very happy to collaborate with HEINEKEN, which is the first brewer to have engaged in such an advanced, sustainable supply-chain programme, going beyond the traditional social-compliance approaches. Through this collaborative platform, HEINEKEN and EcoVadis also wish to give the possibility to other big FMCG companies [in the sector of fast-moving consumer goods] to participate, in order to improve the environmental and social conditions of supply chains.”



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