Holmen has for several years worked with a Supplier Code of Conduct. The purpose of this Code is to work for a sustainable development which includes respect for internationally recognised principles relating to anti-corruption, human rights, health and safety, and the environment.
The Group's purchasing policy gives great weight to corporate social responsibility and the purchasing organization insists that an obligation to comply with the principles set forth in the Holmen Supplier Code of Conduct is included in new supply contracts.
As signatories to the UN Global Compact, Holmen has undertaken to uphold and respect human rights in its sphere of influence. Since suppliers fall within that sphere of influence, it is important to set clear requirements for them on the issue of human rights. The code of conduct covers all the areas touched upon by the Global Compact.
The most important tool for following up suppliers' compliance with the code is self-assessments that the suppliers complete as requested by Holmen. The suppliers are risk-classified based on where their production is located. Suppliers with production in low-risk countries have to accept that they comply with the principles in the code, while the suppliers that have production in high-risk countries are required to show that they also have their own procedures for following up the principles in the code. A process has begun where an external party will lead the work with risk classification and self-assessments of suppliers. This will be put in place during 2017.
In the event the principles of the code are not complied with the problem must be rectified and a plan drawn up on how to ensure that the problems are not repeated. The purpose of the code of conduct is to improve conditions for those who work in Holmen's value chain, and it is therefore important that the suppliers are given an opportunity to correct shortcomings in the business. However, if the principles are repeatedly breached, the contract with the supplier may be terminated.
In evaluating suppliers, account is taken of the supplier's resources and exposure to risk. Major suppliers with operations in countries that constitute a high risk in terms of human rights and environmental legislation therefore have to do more to show compliance with the code than smaller, local suppliers and contractors. The latter must still prove an awareness of the issues addressed in the code of conduct, and explain how they ensure compliance.