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Engaging with our suppliers

How we evaluate suppliers

We will evaluate suppliers on their commitments to diversity, inclusion and the environment when they tender for new work, ensuring that Vodafone’s supply chain contributes towards Vodafone’s purpose to improve the lives of 1 billion people, while halving its environmental impact by 2025. 

We will also work with our suppliers and partners to make improvements through events and programs to drive a more responsible supply chain aligned with our purpose and supply chain related UN Sustainable Development Goals.  

Procurement with purpose

Since October 2020, Vodafone Group evaluates its suppliers on their commitments to diversity, inclusion and the environment when they tender for new work. A supplier’s ‘Purpose’ accounts for 20% of the evaluation criteria, and suppliers are asked to demonstrate policies and procedures that keep those working on high risk activity safe (10%), support diversity in the workplace (including gender, ethnicity, LGBT+, age and disability criteria) (5%), and to address carbon reduction, renewable energy, plastic reduction, circular economy and product lifecycle (5%).

Read our Procurement with Purpose Guidance document here.

Suppliers are asked to make commitments on the following areas:

  • Provide a safety plan

  • Ensure competent resources are put in place to manage safety

  • Safe management of sub-contractors

  • Assurance of activities through oversight audits to be performed of supplier’s employees or sub-contractors working on high-risk activities

  • Have policies relating to supporting and not discriminating against diverse groups

  • Target gender equality at leadership and company level >40%

  • Ensure pay equality

  • Support for LGBT+, disability, age, race and ethnic minorities

  • Having a supplier diversity program

  • Set a science based target (SBTi) on Green House Gas (GHG) emissions reduction

  • Set a net zero GHG emissions target by 2040

  • Report publicly on GHG reduction progress and to CDP supply chain

  • Cascade requirements to their supply chain suppliers

  • Undertake a Life Cycle assessment of products

  • Set a target to use 100% renewable energy in their operations

  • Reduce plastics and packing and increase recycling

  • Ensure circularity and repairability of products

Supplier diversity

Vodafone aims to increase diversity and inclusion within its supply chain through partnering with other organisations and increasing the opportunities available to diverse suppliers. We are members of WEConnect International’s global network to connect with more women-owned businesses worldwide.

Vodafone is committed to finding brilliant female owned businesses – particularly in technology where we know there is more to do. In February 2021, we co-hosted an event with WEConnect International called ‘Meet and Mentor’, where ten certified women business enterprises met with our procurement teams to present their businesses and identify potential opportunities within Vodafone. 

We are also exploring the use of blockchain as part of a new process to promote and verify diverse suppliers through Trust Your Supplier.

Planet

Vodafone is one of the founding members of the CDP Supply Chain. In 2020, Vodafone was recognised as a Supplier Engagement Leader by the CDP, among the top 7% assessed for supplier engagement on climate change, based on our 2020 CDP disclosure. We ask selected suppliers to provide details of their GHG emissions and management programmes through CDP. Last year, 88% of those suppliers responded, with 77% reporting that they had set a target for GHG emissions.

COVID19 supply chain initiatives

To assist businesses most at risk within our supply chain, Vodafone ensured that all new orders issued to our micro and small suppliers providing goods and services to Vodafone’s European operations during the most critical impact of COVID-19 between April and October were paid in 15 days, instead of the customary 30 to 60 days. Over 1,200 micro and small suppliers have benefited from the Vodafone Covid-19 payment term relief policy. 

We continue to offer Supply Chain Financing, which is entirely optional for our suppliers to use, which allows them to leverage Vodafone’s credit position to access cheaper funding and liquidity that they would not be able to obtain themselves. There is no impact on commercially negotiated payments terms. 

Vodacom Financial Services also expanded its services to include a supplier portal called VodaTrade, where small suppliers can go digital and connect with bigger business partners.

Learn more about our supplier chain