Vodafone evaluates suppliers on diversity, inclusion and environment

Vodafone Group said it will evaluate suppliers on their commitments to diversity, inclusion and the environment when they tender for new work.
Vodafone Group CFO Margherita Della Valle
This is to ensure 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.

Vodafone said a supplier’s ‘purpose’ will account for 20 percent of the evaluation criteria for a Request For Quotation (RFQ) to provide Vodafone with products or services from October 2020. Vodafone will assess suppliers based on their commitment and performance to diversity & inclusion, the environment and health & safety in categories where it is a risk.

Vodafone Group CFO Margherita Della Valle said: “From October 2020, we are evolving our vendor assessment criteria to give significant weighting to our suppliers’ commitments on diversity, inclusion and the environment.”

“We will be providing practical support for our smaller suppliers, providing help and tools to ensure that vendors of all sizes have the opportunity to align with our purpose when we consider them for contracts,” Margherita Della Valle said.

Vodafone will ask suppliers to demonstrate policies and procedures that support diversity in the workplace, including gender, ethnicity, LGBT+, age and disability criteria for new tenders. This will include policies on equal pay, and whether suppliers have publicly reported targets in relation to the percentage of female employees company-wide and at senior management levels.

The RFQ process will examine whether suppliers have environmental policies to address carbon reduction, renewable energy, plastic reduction, circular economy and product lifecycle.

Vodafone will ask suppliers whether they publicly report their carbon emissions to CDP, a global organisation that supports companies to identify and disclose their environmental impact.

Vodafone will also examine supplier commitments to a Science Based Target for carbon emission reductions, whether they plan to use renewable energy, or can demonstrate a Life Cycle Assessment for their products and services.

On tenders where health and safety issues are in scope, such as high-risk work, this will account for 10 percent, and diversity & inclusion and environmental criteria will account for 5 percent each.

In July 2020, Vodafone concluded two pilots for major tenders with global, local and SME suppliers, confirming that the revised vendor selection criteria successfully favour those with the highest commitment and action on diversity and the environment.

Vodafone has introduced an Innovation Fast Lane scheme to help with cashflow for small, innovative technology start-ups.  This has simplified contracting and enables lower payment terms, capped at a maximum of 21 days from the date of receipt of invoice.