Trinseo | Suppliers Support Sustainable Operations
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Thought Leadership

January 29, 2021

Suppliers Support Sustainable Operations

In addition to embedding environmental and social responsibility into a company’s culture and operations, it is important to share values and vision with the entire value chain. Ethical considerations need to be integrated into how a company conducts its business, working to select suppliers that mirror the Company’s commitment to ethical conduct, global corporate social responsibility, and sustainability. Trinseo works with over 5,000 suppliers across the globe, and preferentially selects those that exemplify behaviors set out in its formal Supplier Code of Conduct.

In a recent materiality assessment, Trinseo stakeholders indicated responsible procurement to be a significant topic. We believe that this is an important element of our business that not only impacts our ability to operate, but also has impacts on our entire value chain and the communities we serve.

Procurement activities are to be conducted with integrity and care for the health and safety of our customers, suppliers, employees, and communities and for the protection of the environment. Furthermore, procurement must strive to maintain a sound business relationship with its suppliers, aiming for mutual growth, encouraging innovation, and adopting a culture of continuous improvement.

Trinseo’s Supplier Code of Conduct provides expectations relating to topics including, but not limited to:

  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
  • Human Rights
  • Ethical Conduct
  • Environmental Protection
  • Energy & Resource Conservation Prioritization of Products
  • Product Stewardship
  • Material Sourcing
  • Trade Compliance

We also expect the integration of sustainability and corporate social responsibility into each of our suppliers’ business strategies, products, supply chain processes, material sourcing, research and development activities, manufacturing, and operations.

Basic expectations set out include: complying with applicable laws and regulations; adhering to the highest standards of product stewardship, product quality, environmental responsibility, occupational health and safety, sustainability, ethical behavior, corporate social responsibility, and fair labor practices; and operating, and encouraging their own suppliers to the same. It’s a cascading effect and everyone along the value chain needs to adhere to the same principles.

Trinseo’s Supplier Code of Conduct sets out guidelines for our suppliers in the value chain, establishing the expectation that they will:

  • Respect human rights and not be complicit in human rights violations within its sphere of influence, and have appropriate safeguards to identify, track, and resolve any such violations
  • Respect workers’ rights, including the right to fair wages and hours, to organize and be free of harassment or discrimination, and to prevent child labor
  • Provide a safe and healthy workplace for employees, with operational controls and emergency prevention, preparedness, and response; and communicate any EH&S incidents to Trinseo if affected
  • Conduct business in compliance with antitrust and fair competition laws; prevent situations with conflict of interest
  • At no point source tin, tantalum, tungsten, or gold (conflict minerals) from the Democratic Republic of Congo or the adjoining countries in a manner that directly or indirectly finances or benefits armed groups

To enforce the policy, adherence to our Supplier Code of Conduct, or substantially similar principles, is included as a requirement in our contracts. As applicable, we ask that suppliers be members of Responsible Care® or similarly certified. Trinseo also works with our supply chain partners to ensure the sustainability and safety of materials. Given the regulatory and customer attention on raw materials throughout the supply chain, we request that suppliers promptly notify us of compliance issues via our hotline, changes in product composition, regulatory status, and product performance in connection with raw materials supplied. We also use a Raw Materials Regulatory Checklist to collect regulatory and other data, including country of origin, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification, Responsible Care® status, and energy management system information of suppliers.

Procurement Function

The primary focus of Trinseo’s Global Procurement function is to support our businesses and functions to achieve the Company’s profitability goals and implement appropriate controls as we engage and pay third parties in pursuit of Trinseo’s goals. Procurement is expected to employ category and subject matter expertise, utilize Company buying leverage, and establish professional supplier relationships that benefit the Company.

Procurement collaborates with Trinseo’s businesses and functions as a trusted partner aligning sourcing strategies, operational plans, and continuous improvement initiatives to build cost, reliability, technical, and other key advantages by:

  • Continually challenging the supply market to bring greater value and performance, and by proactively managing and developing a capable and commercially secure supply base. Assisting the Company to achieve its EH&S and sustainability goals through the support of the supply base
  • Serving as the owner and custodian of the Source to-Pay process, and operating the procurement process using specifications and evaluation criteria as defined in this policy
  • Processing all authorized purchase and service requisitions on behalf of our internal customers and managing the data files required to support these activities, including supplier information, price files, and catalogue data. All commitments for goods and services are made through our authorized systems and using our processes
  • Expecting all current and potential suppliers to Trinseo to engage ethically through Trinseo’s Procurement function

Path to Sustainable Procurement

Building on the Supplier Code of Conduct, and bolstered by the results of our Materiality Assessment, Trinseo has been implementing a policy that not only restates the requirement that suppliers adhere to Trinseo’s Code of Conduct but also sets forth Trinseo’s policy to preferentially select suppliers that adhere to the principles in our Supplier Code of Conduct and demonstrate the integration of sustainability and corporate responsibility into their business strategies. The Procurement Policy is designed to leverage Trinseo’s purchasing power across the Company to establish the principles and directives for the procurement of materials, supplies, equipment, and services on behalf of Trinseo, and it reflects the transparency that we expect in all procurement-related activities.

This policy includes a selection criterion for new suppliers and an evaluation criterion to retain existing suppliers. Supplier evaluation criteria is based on environmental, risk, quality, innovation, cost, and price parameters; new suppliers are checked for financial stability, sustainability, performance, and all ethics and compliance factors.