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Sustainable procurement

Air Liquide strives to build long-lasting and balanced relationships with its suppliers, in an environment of mutual trust. The Group attaches great importance to the ability of its suppliers to offer long-term partnerships and to ensure a high level of safety, reliability, competitiveness and innovation, while guaranteeing that ethics and sustainable development are also taken into account.

Sustainable procurement policy

  • the Procurement Code of Conduct, translated into several languages, which applies to all Group employees engaged in Procurement activities; 
  • the Sustainable Procurement policy, updated in 2018, which lays out the guidelines to be applied by the procurement departments to integrate ethical, social and environmental aspects in their procurement processes, and defines the prevention approach for the related supplier risks; 
  • a CSR commitment clause (covering compliance with the Supplier’s Code of Conduct, safety, and the environment) is included in the contract templates used by the Procurement teams and signed by suppliers;

Our requirements to suppliers

The Supplier’s Code of Conduct aims to promote and enforce practices relating to human rights, ethics, the protection of the environment and safety. 

Air Liquide expects each of its suppliers to respect the Group's ethical principles and to ensure that this Code of Conduct is respected by all their employees and subcontractors. 

Download supplier’s code of conduct

As part of its supplier monitoring approach, the Group classes its critical suppliers according to seven main criteria including, in particular, the supplier’s business, the amount of average expenditure with the supplier, and the supplier’s dependency ratio to Air Liquide.

Among the critical suppliers, 944 presented in 2019 a Critical CSR risk for the Group. The objective is to evaluate their CSR performance by 2020. Corrective action plans are regularly implemented for those with an unsatisfactory score. 

In 2019, more than 325 suppliers were assessed and 2,800 corrective action plans with identified high priority (including one inadequate sub-rating on ethics) were communicated to suppliers for completion within the 12 months following the rating of their CSR performance.

In 2019, Air Liquide was recognized for its Responsible Procurement measures on several occasions:

- In March, Air Liquide was awarded “Best Value Chain Engagement” by EcoVadis
- In May, Air Liquide was recognized by the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) for “Best Overall Sustainable Purchasing Program”
- In September, Air Liquide received the award for “Best Responsible Buyer” by Handeco for its projects in France

Air Liquide rewarded as a supplier

In 2019, Air Liquide was scored 68/100 by EcoVadis. This score puts the Group in the “Gold” category as an “advanced” supplier in terms of sustainable development (only 5% of suppliers fall within this category, which is the highest ranking). EcoVadis is the main global rating platform for the social and environmental performance of supply chains. The assessment covered the environment, social, business ethics and sustainable procurement. Air Liquide also works with this platform to assess the sustainable development performance of its own suppliers.

The Group actions

In May, Air Liquide China and E&C China provided Sustainable Procurement training to around one hundred Chinese suppliers during a "Suppliers Day" in partnership with EcoVadis. Two suppliers received the "Air Liquide China" award.

The Group Procurement Department organized in May 2019 its second Business Meeting for the adapted and protected work sector with HandivAirsity, which was launched by the Group in 2017. Among the one hundred or so guests, 15 ESATs (organizations for the social and professional integration of disabled persons) and EAs (Adapted Companies) presented shared achievements to the Group’s key players, covering a wide range of businesses and services across the whole of France. 46% of ESATs and EAs invited in 2018 established or renewed a sales relationship with the Group.