Sustainable supply chains affect all three areas pertaining to the United Nations’ global sustainability goals: business and economy, environmental protection, and social issues. In the business segment, this includes compliance with the applicable compliance rules along the entire supply chain, but also the establishment of a resilient procurement organization.

This aspect has gained in importance not least due to the upheavals of the pandemic and is more relevant than ever due to the war in Ukraine. The environmental protection segment primarily focuses on contributing to compliance with global climate targets and switching to renewable raw materials. In the area of social issues, the focus is particularly on supplier working conditions.

For the companies of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding, the design of a transparent, partnership-based, and responsible global supply chain is one of the central ten issues of sustainability management. The responsibility for firmly anchoring the defined fields of action in the procurement process lies primarily with the Corporate Purchasing department of the BLANC & FISCHER Corporate Services-Group.

Together with suppliers and partners, and in close coordination with internal interfaces, the aim is to ensure fair working conditions, environmental friendliness, and quality along the entire supply chain. The procedure is not new. “But what is new is that we are setting up corresponding reporting systems and making the data more transparent,” says Stefan Mengler, Managing Director / Head of Corporate Purchasing at BLANC & FISCHER Corporate Services. The sustainability requirements apply to all suppliers of the companies affiliated with the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding.

Ausdehnungssysteme für E.G.O. Thermostate

Expansion systems (temperature sensors) for E.G.O. thermostats

RESPONSIBLE SOURCING

The targeted selection of suppliers as well as materials and raw materials is an essential lever of a responsible procurement policy. “Critical” raw materials and other materials must be identified and, where possible, saved or replaced. “Critical” refers both to the natural scarcity of resources and to the circumstances surrounding their extraction. Together with the suppliers and partners, for example, availabilities and substitute materials must be assessed, or the possibility of reusing them must be tested.

At BLANC & FISCHER Corporate Services, the suppliers themselves are selected through a qualification process in which aspects of sustainability are also reviewed, known as supplier onboarding*. A project group is currently working on extending the scope of the audit to include special social and environmental aspects. The requirements are then implemented in partnership with the suppliers and business partners.
*In addition to sustainability, aspects such as certifications, quality, logistics, and costs are also considered in supplier onboarding. The focus is currently also on sanctions list checks.
Logistikzentrum der BLANCO Logistik GmbH in Bruchsal

BLANCO Logistik GmbH logistics center in Bruchsal, set packaging area (packaging of sinks) for creating complete packages

EXERCISING CORPORATE DUE DILIGENCE

In the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding companies, the ecological and social conditions at their suppliers are already being reviewed today. This puts the Group in a good position when the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG) comes into force in 2023, which requires German companies to exercise due diligence with regard to the observance of human rights by their foreign suppliers.

The BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding corporate groups have defined environmental, compliance, and social standards in their Code of Conduct for Suppliers. All suppliers must commit to compliance with these standards. For the suppliers, in turn, this also means demanding these from their own subcontractors and ensuring their adherence. The Code of Conduct generally applies to all suppliers of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding Group companies and is included in all General Terms and Conditions.

FROM CHAIN TO LOOP

With the measures in the area of the supply chain, the companies of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding support the fulfillment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 08 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 09 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).

However, in order to achieve the objectives, the current measures need to be developed further. After all, in the dimensions of the circular economy, the supply chain does not end with the customer. We are currently working on this in reference projects within the Group companies so that the chain can become a loop.

PLANET 3P AREA
FOCUS ON THE SUPPLY CHAIN

SDGS:

08—DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

09—INDUSTRY, INNOVATION, AND INFRASTRUCTURE

12—RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

STEFAN MENGLER, MANAGING DIRECTOR / HEAD OF CORPORATE PURCHASING, IS RESPONSIBLE FOR A GLOBAL NETWORK OF A TOTAL OF 60 EMPLOYEES IN 12 COUNTRIES.
Managing Director Stefan Mengler

HOW CAN YOU ENSURE THAT THE SUSTAINABLE PRINCIPLES ARE APPLIED TO THE ENTIRE SUPPLY CHAIN?

“Firstly, this is only possible in partnership and together with our suppliers. They have the necessary internal knowledge that is essential today. And they must also enforce compliance with sustainability standards with their own suppliers.
Secondly, we already consider sustainability when selecting suppliers. That’s why we have introduced our supplier onboarding process. This is followed by regular checks. We remain in constant contact with our suppliers.”

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE INDIVIDUAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE DIFFERENT GROUP COMPANIES?

“Every Group company naturally has its own particularities and specific business model. The real net output ratio at E.G.O. is very different from BLANCO, for example. We need to look at a few aspects differently. But, in principle, the content is the same. In terms of strategy, for example, we need to analyze the markets, qualify suppliers, or find cost reduction potential, i.e., ultimately define and implement a product group strategy. However, operational issues are also on the agenda for all Group companies, such as resolving supply bottlenecks, concluding contracts, and, of course, negotiating prices.”

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK?

“On the one hand, there are the many internal interfaces that we have in our sphere of responsibility. From development and supply chain management to sales, quality, and finance. On the other hand, we are in contact with many people from different industries, organizations, and numerous countries. That’s very enjoyable!”

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