Our Next Generation Supplier program is our enhanced approach to supplier sustainability. We use new tools and technologies and an innovative collaboration model to help suppliers deliver better results for people in their workplaces and for the planet we all share.
Our success in growing our business while delivering positive social and environmental impacts depends on high performing suppliers and supply chains. We expect our first-tier suppliers to respect human rights, environmental standards and ethics in their workplaces. In 2011, we initiated our Responsible Sourcing Program, engaging our first-tier suppliers around the world in improving their sustainability performance through an industry-standard approach that leveraged third-party, on-site social compliance audits to identify workplace issues and drive change where risk is highest. However, research shows that it is difficult to address the root causes of the most complex sustainability challenges through audits alone – and, that it is critically important to engage workers in identifying issues and shaping solutions.
We’re pleased with what our Responsible Sourcing program achieved. But we know there is more that must be done to meet our Sustainable in a Generation Plan goals.
In 2019, we launched our Next Generation Supplier program – an enhanced approach with a focus on better engaging and supporting our first-tier suppliers as they deliver greater positive impact in their workplaces.
Our Next Generation Supplier program builds on years of experience and longstanding commitments while introducing new tools and technologies that we believe will deliver better results for Mars, our suppliers and the people who work in our supply chains.
- We continue to align all of our suppliers with our social, environmental and ethical expectations through our Supplier Code of Conduct.
- We assess the sustainability performance and social compliance audit results of prioritized suppliers using the EcoVadis online platform, leveraging this widely recognized supplier evaluation tool while also unlocking increased visibility and insights.
- We support the suppliers of our top 10 raw materials, and other strategic suppliers, as they advance their performance through a new, longer-term collaboration model focused on driving systemic change and engagement of workers. This model leverages the expertise of external advisors including our global strategic human rights partner, Verité.
Driving change in supply chains is a journey, and we maintain a spirit of openness and transparency about our progress and challenges as we implement the Next Generation Supplier program. We assess the impact of this work with the goal of understanding the real difference it makes for workers and the planet. This program is an example of how we are doing business today to deliver the world we want tomorrow. It helps us achieve our goal of working with suppliers that share our values and commitments and ceasing work with those who are unable or unwilling to meet our expectations.
The Next Generation Supplier program is an exciting step forward in our ongoing efforts to grow as a truly sustainable business.
Align: Continued Code Commitment
Through our long-standing Supplier Code of Conduct commitment, our suppliers align with our sustainability performance expectations.
Our most significant social and environmental impacts occur in our supply chains. That’s why our direct and indirect suppliers around the world are important partners on our sustainability journey. A critical first step in this journey is addressing sustainability in first-tier supplier workplaces, the thousands of facilities delivering goods or services to Mars directly or via traders or agents. In addition, we encourage our first-tier suppliers to take action on sustainability in their own supply chains.
Since 2011, we have made our social, environmental and ethical performance expectations of our suppliers known through our Supplier Code of Conduct.
Our Code is a key part of our engagement with our first-tier suppliers. Under the Next Generation Supplier Program, it is to be included in all of our agreements with them.
The Supplier Code of Conduct can be downloaded in multiple languages, and we have refreshed and expanded guidance on how to meet the expectations in our Code in our ‘Supplier Code of Conduct Guidebook.’
Assess: Broader Performance Insights
The EcoVadis platform provides increased visibility and broader insights on supplier workplaces sustainability performance, enabling us and our suppliers to track improvements over time.
We assess the sustainability performance and existing social compliance audit results of prioritized suppliers using EcoVadis, an online platform providing validated performance assessments. It enables businesses to track and report on their social, environmental and ethical performance – identifying gaps and challenges as well as areas of excellence.
Our prioritized suppliers – selected based on risk and relevance - will complete the EcoVadis process, receiving a performance score and the opportunity to receive customized external advice, guidance and support as they take steps to improve or maintain their scores.
With these insights, our suppliers can strengthen their management systems to address social, environmental and ethical improvement areas.
Advance: New Collaboration Model
Our new, longer-term collaboration model supports the suppliers of our top 10 raw materials, and other strategic suppliers, as they activate plans in their workplaces to address the root causes of targeted issues, using expert guidance and worker voices to drive real change.
There are no easy answers to many of the sustainability challenges our suppliers face in their workplaces. Addressing complex issues takes time, investment and concerted effort. Our in-depth collaboration model helps suppliers access third party expert support, on-site engagement, and the use of new technologies to engage with and hear the voices of workers. This approach is designed to help suppliers drive systemic change that is measurable and meaningful over time.
The goal is to encourage suppliers to engage in a long-term change process, advancing and transforming their performance in targeted areas.