Supplier requirements

CSR requirements for suppliers

Since 1996 the Volvo Group has gradually increased its requirements on suppliers regarding environmental issues, business ethics and social responsibility aspects. 

Supplier requirements and assessment

The steering document on Corporate Social Responsibility for the supply chain includes a self-assessment tool and specific requirements. The CSR assessment is an opportunity to present the supplier with an overview of how well the supplier complies with the Volvo Group’s requirements. The assessment poses approximately 40 questions on issues such as:

  • Social performance
  • Work environment and conditions
  • Workforce rights including freedom of association and non-discrimination
  • Child and forced labor
  • Environmental care
  • Business ethics.

Requirements in many cases include stopping parameters, minimum standards of performance and a requirement for an action plan if the supplier does not achieve these critical aspects.

In addition, other specific CSR-requirements are e.g.;

  • Comply with the laws and regulations of the countries of operation
  • Suppliers are responsible for deploying the requirements on their suppliers 
  • Maintain an open dialogue with the Volvo Group companies concerning achievements, trends and possibilities for improvements in the area of CSR
  • Systematize compliance with the Volvo Group's Code of Conduct
  • Appoint a senior executive who is responsible for compliance with the United Nations' Global Compact initiative or equal international charter

Environmental requirements

The environmental requirements have been communicated in a separate document since they were formulated in 1996. The requirements entail in many cases third-party certified environmental management systems (ISO 14001) and compliance with the Volvo Group’s standpoint on hazardous substances and continuous improvement.

During 2011, we reviewed and up-dated our environmental requirements due to the European Union's new legislation on chemicals, REACH.

As a result of our CSR strategy project, the processes and requirements will be reviewed during 2012.

Internal implementation

Each purchasing organization within the Group is represented in the Purchasing CSR Supply Chain Network. The representatives are responsible for implementing the procedures and following up the application of the requirements in their organization.

In order to support implementation, purchasers have been provided with information and training material, including e-learning on general CSR issues.

Focused audits were conducted in 2011 on certain purchasing organizations to assess the implementation of the requirements into the sourcing process. The findings will be used to further improve the responsible sourcing program and process.