TfS had the opportunity to interview Willem Mutsaerts, Head of Global Procurement and Sustainability at…
TfS has made significant progress. Born out of a common industry vision, TfS enables chemical industry leaders to assess and improve the sustainability performance of their global supply chains. While its sustainability footprint continues to grow, TfS increases its focus on global expansion, particularly in Asia. TfS owes its success to a large extent to the fact that it is a unique, member-driven concept. Tangible, significant progress in several key areas could not have been made without the expertise, commitment and work of the multiple representatives of the TfS member companies in the TfS Work Streams. To continue this road, TfS put a strategy in place for the period 2020-2025 that will meet its ambition to become even better at what it does, to look for new growth areas, and to intensify the collaboration among its network of member companies to further advance TfS’ core mission through joint projects and other initiatives.
Over the years, the TfS initiative has been driven by a joint concept, a joint industry vision, namely that chemical industry stakeholders – whether consumers, governments, investors, suppliers – demand transparency, engagement for a cleaner, healthier and better world, as well as tangible results. Therefore, TfS put this innovative framework in place of TfS Assessments and TfS Audits to asses and drive the sustainability performance of TfS supplying and member companies.
True to its core mission, TfS’ footprint in terms of covering the sustainability performance and improvement of chemical producers’ suppliers base includes, by the end of 2019, 14,000 supplier evaluations globally. Specifically, for the year 2019 only, 12,200 shared supplier TfS Assessments and 2,030 shared supplier TfS Audits have been completed and more than 1,700 suppliers documented their progress on improvements and shared it with TfS.
Given the ever-growing global pool of suppliers that have successfully participated in TfS Assessments or TfS Audits, TfS can confidently claim it is on course to grow into the global standard for chemical supply chains. Given its expansion course, TfS continues to pursue its strategic partnerships with regional chemical associations in key markets such as US, Brazil and China. In 2019, TfS welcomed its first Chinese member company Wanhua.
TfS is also further optimising its internal processes and introduced KPIs to monitor progress on TfS Assessments. These KPIs ensure that each TfS member company commits to specific TfS Assessment company targets and TfS manages the aggregate numbers. Also, TfS member companies commit to yearly targets on a specific number of TfS Audits to be completed. This allows TfS to measure its progress on an ongoing basis.
Vastly contributing to its sustained and growing success is this unique, member-driven concept of the TfS organisation. For the CPOs of its member companies, TfS operates as a peer-to-peer network where they meet, share ideas and exchange best practice, all in conformance with the anti-trust policies. The place where you best see the TfS member companies at work are in the four TfS Work Streams where groups of multiple member company representatives collaborate and advance the key topics related to the TfS organisation. These relate to the overall governance and partnerships of the TfS activities, TfS Assessments, TfS Audits and TfS Communications and Capability Building. In addition, TfS member company representatives are also steering and working in the TfS Regional Operating Committees in the US, Brazil and China.
The year 2019 marked a considerable increase in TfS outreach and supplier engagement activities. Videos, LinkedIn messages, media articles, an extended TfS Supplier Academy including the Supplier Sustainability Spotlight, brochures on Health & Safety at the Workplace and Fact Sheets on Emergency Response, Fire & Evacuation Safety, Chemical Safety, Worker Protection and First Aid, all brought the initiative closer to its stakeholders. In addition, TfS launched the pilot M2030 bee to help TfS suppliers to have direct access to industry-leading support, benefitting from knowledge and resources to continuously improve their performance in the context of TfS Assessments and TfS Audits.
Finally, but no less important is the new strategy TfS put in place for the period 2020-2025. The strategy is built around key pillars that will help the organisation continue its ambition to both grow its membership and extend its geographic reach in key areas, to raise the bar and become better and stronger in what it does, and to better exploit the community element of the TfS organisation.
Read the full update of TfS activities for the year 2019 in this report