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Working together for a more sustainable supply chain – „Together for Sustainability“

In 2011, Henkel and five other companies in the chemical industry established an initiative entitled “Together for Sustainability – The Chemical Initiative for Sustainable Supply Chains” (TfS). The Initiative’s aim is to harmonize the increasingly complex supply chain management processes and to optimize the dialog among worldwide business partners.

In 2015, the geographical scope of the TfS initiative was widened once again, particularly in emerging markets. The shared challenges of supply chains in Brazil were discussed at a supplier meeting with more than 300 participants in São Paulo. From the left: Lucilene De Morais of Oxiteno with Fernanda Escarim, Bertrand Conquéret and Ricardo Filho of Henkel Purchasing.

In 2014, the Initiative turned its focus on emerging markets, particularly those in Asia. A first suppliers meeting took place in Shanghai in October with an attendance of more than 400.

At the event, Chinese suppliers were informed about the Initiative with the aim of establishing a common understanding regarding the challenges that exist in chemical industry supply chains. The intention is to actively involve suppliers in sustainability assessment processes and audits.

At the heart of the Initiative is the idea “An audit for one is an audit for all.” In the future, suppliers will only have to undergo one assessment or one audit. An internet platform is then used to make the results available to all members of the Initiative for information and approval.

On December 1, 2014, the TfS also changed its legal status. Through partnering with the Brussels-based European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), the initiative now has the status of an independent, non-profit organization. This collaboration will generate even more synergies across the chemical industry.

The TfS grew once again in 2015 and the number of members has tripled from the original six to 18. Last year, the first companies from the USA joined the initiative. Global expansion of the assessment
and audit program, driven in part by supplier conferences in Shanghai and São Paulo, was again a main focus of activities in 2015. In addition, the initiative was singled out for mention by the Ethical Corporation: TfS was “highly commended” in the category “Best Supplier Engagement.”