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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 Procedure, updated in 2023, 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 sustainability 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 the Supplier’s Code of Conduct:

As part of its supplier monitoring process, the Group qualifies its critical suppliers according to seven main criteria, including sustainability. 

A mapping of risks linked to the amount of annual spend, the nature of a supplier’s activity and the risk relating to the supplier’s country of operation enables the identification of the suppliers most exposed to sustainability risks. Each year, these suppliers are included in an evaluation and corrective action plans campaign.

Procure to Neutrality, the Procurement climate roadmap

In its new strategic plan ADVANCE for the 2022-2025 period, announced in March 2022, Air Liquide reaffirmed its ambition to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Procurement has a key role to play in supporting this objective throughout the supply chain of the Group’s businesses, in particular:

  • by supporting its suppliers in the decarbonization of the goods and services that the Group purchases;
  • by helping to reduce the Group’s emissions; and
  • by contributing to the development of low-carbon solutions offered to its customers.

In 2021, the Group Procurement Department initiated a climate roadmap, “Procure to Neutrality” based on four pillars: 

  • Measure: improve the greenhouse gas emission calculation methodology (Scope 3), where relevant and feasible; 
  • Engage buyers, with the training of the procurement community; engage our suppliers identified on the basis of a mapping, as the most significant in terms of emissions; 
  • Leverage to value contributions of Procurement to reducing Air Liquide's Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions; 
  • Reduce: define an objective, with the aim of aligning with the Group’s carbon neutrality ambition.

The Group actions for inclusive procurement

Measures have also been taken to contribute to the so-called “indirect” employment of people with disabilities, through the purchase of goods and services from disability-inclusive companies. 

This sector includes organizations for the social and professional integration of people with disabilities (ESAT), self-employed workers with disabilities (TIH) as well as adapted enterprises (EA).

In France, Air Liquide declared 1.5 million euros spent with disability-inclusive companies for the year 2021. The social footprint of these purchases represented 71 jobs created or maintained in 20211.

Since 2018, in France, Air Liquide has organized five annual editions of the “Business Meeting Inclusive Procurement” bringing together Air Liquide key players and disability-inclusive companies to promote procurement to them. In 2022, this event, co-hosted with the Handeco association, was conducted in a digital and face-to-face format through a round table, presentations and speed meetings. Nearly 100 Air Liquide employees and 10 suppliers from the disability-inclusive sector took part in this event.

Recognition of our actions and commitments

For the sixth consecutive year, Air Liquide has won the Gold Ecovadis Sustainability medal, ranking in the top 3%. In particular, the score for the Sustainable Procurement theme was 80/100.

Following its Gold Medal in 2022 for the creation of a module integrating the assessment of supplier’s CO2 in the call for tender process, Air Liquide and Handiprint won the Silver Medal for the Co-construction Challenge at the Trophées des Achats organized by Groupe Républik.

By setting up a marketplace and partnering with Handiprint, an adapted enterprise, Air Liquide Europe Procurement has digitized the purchasing process for printing services, while maximizing inclusivity and the use of eco-responsible printing media. This has enabled Handiprint to create and maintain inclusive jobs and to offer new products.


1The social footprint is calculated by dividing Air Liquide's purchases from disability-inclusive companies for the reference year by the full-time equivalent of a worker with disabilities (2,000 times the French hourly minimum wage).