Geodis’ global CSR strategy is organised around the Group’s four stakeholders:
employees, customers, partners, and the community.
Geodis’ suppliers and subcontractors are an integral part of its operational and economic business model. Geodis actively encourages these partners to adhere to its corporate social responsibility commitments. A purchasing policy based on demanding performance criteria enables Geodis to better control the social and environmental risks of its activities.
Geodis’ purchases total more than 5 billion euros (transport services included) a year. Its suppliers and subcontractors are thus a strategic source of leverage for improving its global CSR strategy performance.
Since 2011, social and environmental criteria have been systematically included in calls for tender, analysis grids, and standard contracts. While they are not currently grounds for rejecting a bid, they are considered as factors in selecting new suppliers.
To enhance and facilitate the partner selection process, in 2011 Geodis joined EcoVadis, an independent organization that evaluates the CSR commitment of thousands of suppliers in 150 business sectors in over 90 countries. The assessment is carried out using a reference system consistent with international standards such as ISO 26000 and the Global Reporting Initiative, including environmental, social and ethical criteria.
In 2012, the Purchasing department asked a first group of 150 suppliers to conduct an EcoVadis assessment. Of the 84 that agreed to do so, 64% were judged by EcoVadis to be “confirmed” or “advanced” (that is, with a CSR score of at least 45 on a scale of 100). On average, 37% of suppliers evaluated by the platform fall within this category.
These assessments are especially important in that the Group relies heavily on outside suppliers for road, air and sea transport services. While subcontractors account for more than half of Geodis’ 5.3 billion euros of purchases, they are also responsible for 87% of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by its activities (based on the calculation of Geodis’ carbon footprint in 2011). Acquiring detailed knowledge of their social, societal and environmental performance is crucial to improving the Group’s performance.
Looking beyond outsourcing in terms of environmental impact, areas such as purchases of property, fuel, packaging, consumables, vehicles, travel and the remuneration of temporary workers are all being targeted. For example, Geodis has begun replacing its computer equipment every four years instead of three, and its trucks every four or five years, depending on the model.