Over the last seven years, Nordea’s procurement team has worked diligently on embedding sustainability in its core processes, with the purpose of minimising Nordea’s impact on people and the environment.
Creating the right tenders to attract the right suppliers is a big responsibility. A lot of effort is put into making the demand specifications clear, reasonable and achievable. The procurement team has a set of targets supporting the transformation, such as ensuring that the Supplier Code of Conduct is part of all agreements and that suppliers align with the Principles of the Paris Agreement.
As a practical example of sustainable procurement, Nordea buys TCO certified products, which promote social and environmental sustainability throughout the IT product life cycle.
This also covers manufacturing workers’ health and safety, product energy efficiency as well as options for proper handling of the device when it is no longer in use.
Sustainability reviews – not audits
When Nordea signs an agreement with a partner, the supplier agrees to adhere to Nordea’s Supplier Code of Conduct focusing on human rights, labour rights, the environment and anti-corruption. To ensure that suppliers understand what the expectations are, selected suppliers are visited by Maria Færgemann Eg, Sustainable Procurement Expert.
“The visits make a difference because we get the opportunity to turn words in policies into practice and agree on improvement points based on real examples. It creates a mutual understanding of what is material, which makes it easier for our suppliers to implement the changes,” Maria Færgemann Eg explains.
Some suppliers initially assume the visit is an audit. But when Maria Færgemann Eg gets to spend time with them, their guard comes down and the conversation opens up.
“It really is a dialogue. The supplier gets a detailed understanding of what sustainability means to Nordea and which expectations we have to their processes, policies, management and risk systems. It is a great learning, not just for the supplier but also for us. We get important insight into the supplier’s perspective, which can eventually lead to changes internally in Nordea,” Maria Færgemann Eg says.
“Support change by considering our own actions”
When Nordea employees need to place an order for a product or a service, Maria Færgemann Eg has one appeal to them – apply a circular mindset and think beyond the product use phase.
“By considering our own actions, we can demand products which are designed to be repaired, have a longer durability and where as much as possible can be reused at the end of their life. Buying sustainable products and services not only provides environmental and societal benefits, it also builds long-term resilience and generate business and economic opportunities,” says Maria Færgemann Eg and concludes:
“I am proud to work for a company that recognises that we have a responsibility beyond our own activities. When we work in cooperation with our suppliers we ensure that we cover both risks and opportunities. It creates value in the long-term perspective for both Nordea, our suppliers and society at large.”
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