For Up group, being an economic player that is both different and committed also means that its approach to procurement has to be different. All Up subsidiaries are now engaged in a process to build lasting relationships with their suppliers.
After having adopted an International Charter for Responsible Procurement in 2015, the Group deployed this Charter in the Procurement Departments of all its subsidiaries throughout 2016. This framework was developed through collaborative efforts with buyers in the company’s countries of operation, enabling the Group to implement its sustainable performance strategy into its everyday procurement processes. Irrigated by Up values - commitment, solidarity, equity, innovation, entrepreneurship - this policy is based on 17 principles organized into 3 commitments:
- Placing the co-creation of economic, social, societal and environmental value at the core of buyer-supplier relationships.
- Respecting all stakeholders involved in the value chain,
- Working toward preserving the common good for future generations.
Up group’s policy encompasses the entire value chain of its products and services. This translates into a resolve to establish and develop fair practices vis-à-vis its suppliers and customers, the priority stakeholders of the group. The group obtained its first ISO 9001 certification in France in 1998, and since then has continued to improve and fine-tune its policy.
To improve procurement practices, Up group is developing its action following two guidelines:
- focusing on short circuits for raw materials supply;
- encouraging purchases from the sheltered sector.
As concerns paper supplies, Up group highlights products from local manufacturing. In France, the group’s initiatives were rewarded on 22 April 2013 with the Origine France Garantie label awarded by the Association Pro France and the auditing body Bureau Veritas Certification.
As concerns voucher products, the group has the highest level of security in the market. In fact, the group also gained its first ISO 27001 certification in Romania in 2011. The group also addresses awareness-building messages to its recipients via inserts about its products, to encourage more responsible behavior.
This approach is developed in a spirit of permanent dialog between Up group and various stakeholders, with a view to building a genuine value chain together.
In pursuance of many years of efforts to foster diversity, Up group reinforced its commitment in 2016 to facilitate the professional integration of people with disabilities.
In December 2016, Up group signed a company agreement to facilitate employment of people with disabilities in France. This three-year agreement takes over from the Agefiph (Association managing funds for professional integration of people with disabilities) agreement which is coming to an end after 3 years of implementation. The new agreement is an indication of the determination of both Senior Management and the company’s social partners, all of whom have signed, to pursue and to strengthen actions benefitting employees with a disability or who have a disabled relative.
With this agreement, the Group aims to increase the number of direct and indirect hires of disabled workers, the goal being to reach 4% in 2019, and to optimize their career path. At the same time, the Group plans to develop the protected and adapted sector (ESAT) within its procurement policy.
The Group’s approach to responsible procurement has been developed in a spirit of dialogue between Up group and its stakeholders with the aim of jointly building a genuine value chain.
The Responsible Procurement Charter also embodies the Group’s determination to comply with the principles of the United Nations Global Compact, as well as local legislation and standards in force in each of its countries of operation.
Julie de Sutter,
Head of environment
"Despite the relatively moderate impact of our activities on the environment, Up group has chosen to engage in a voluntary environmental approach to contribute to the fight against global warming. Following up on our 2006 membership in the United Nations Global Compact, three of whose ten principles relate to environmental issues, the Group and its employees are factoring these issues into their daily work.
This includes reducing energy and paper consumption, waste management, pollution prevention, for which we set demanding targets in line with our vision of a sustainable economy. This is our way of contributing daily to preserving the planet for future generations."