As part of Holmen´s sustainability work, the Group has introduced a code of conduct for its suppliers. The code was implemented in 2014, and the purchasing organisation was trained.
In conjunction with a revision of Holmen's purchasing policy in 2014, a code of conduct was also drawn up for suppliers. The new purchasing policy gives greater weight to corporate social responsibility, which is ensured by insisting that suppliers comply with Holmen's code of conduct for suppliers. The code of conduct sets out what is expected from suppliers, encompassing the areas of anti-corruption, human rights, health and safety and the environment.
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; the classification is founded on information from Maplecroft. 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. This may be achieved through internal audits.
Suppliers in low-risk countries that employ foreign workers must also conduct their own follow-ups, since such suppliers must show extra awareness of the vulnerable situation that the foreign workers could be exposed to.
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.