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Goods and services

The purchasing volume of the RWE Group for standard products, services and power-plant components was around €9.0 billion in 2012. By comparison with the procurement of fuels, we assess that the risk of breaching environmental and social standards in the area of standard products, services and power-plant components is low. We procure virtually all our standard products and services from Europe.

Nevertheless, we also need to comply with our duty of care in these product groups and intensify the scrutiny of sustainability aspects at our suppliers. Specific requirements for suppliers are defined in the Guidelines for Group Purchasing and in the General Terms and Conditions of Business.

We also communicate our expectations proactively to our suppliers. Occupational Healthcare Management, the Group CR strategy and the RWE Companius Corporate Volunteering Programme were therefore among the topics discussed during the course of this year’s supplier conference held at RWE.

In 2012, representatives of RWE Service GmbH took part in various joint working groups run by the Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business – econsense – and the Federal Association of Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics with the aim of developing a uniform reporting framework for supplier surveys and supplier developments on the subject of sustainability in the supply chain.

In 2012, RWE Technology defined an international standard in the area of new-build measures covering the process of supplier preselection for the procurement of power plants and components. This standard applies to all first and second tier suppliers. The focus is on self-assessment and individual random samples on the ground, aside from quality also looking at the issues of occupational safety and healthcare management, international labour standards and anticorruption. The findings and results of the on-site inspections form a constituent element of subsequent contracts.

In 2012, Essent developed tools to support sustainable procurement, supplementing the check of potential suppliers against the World Bank Listing of ineligible suppliers. These tools comprise a Product Impact Matrix to assist procurement teams in analysing potential ecological and social impacts, as well as listing lower impact options on people and the environment. A questionnaire was also developed for the identification of risks for sustainability, and health and safety at potential suppliers.