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What are the challenges and requirements related to implementing sustainability to the chemical supply chain? To offer deeper insights into this question, TfS organised a featured supplier training to Chinese petrochemical companies at the 2020 China Petroleum and Chemical International Conference (CPCIC) in Nanjing on September 2, 2020. About 500 participants including suppliers, TfS member representatives, and industry organization representatives were present. The training focused on how to build a sustainable chemical supply chain and the specific requirements for chemical companies.

Xu Cheng, President of TfS Asia and Head of Global Procurement and Logistics at LANXESS APAC, first introduced the vision and organizational structure of TfS. Then Candy Gao, Head of Indirect Operational Procurement Greater China at Evonik, elaborated on the TfS’ online supplier evaluation system, on-site review and evaluation, and how to join TfS as a member. During the training, a consultant from EcoVadis – a third-party CSR assessment agency and key partner of TfS, attended the meeting via remote conferencing to answer the questions raised. Wanhua Chemical, TfS’ first Chinese member company, was represented by its Head of Internal Control and Supplier Management Sophie Wang to share cases of TfS on-site audits and ways to implement good practice in the factory workflow using TfS concepts. The informative and highly interactive training was well received among the participating suppliers.

The sustainability of the supply chain has become a common goal of global petrochemical companies. The subsequent forum was chaired by Robert Yang, Procurement Director of Goods & Service at Arkema Asia Pacific. Supplier Lindström’s Sales Director Jerry Shen underlined the alignment between the company’s philosophy and the TfS initiative, as well as the benefits brought by TfS on-site audits to Lindström. Frank Xing, Director of Strategic Planning and Procurement of Wanhua Chemical, explained how Wanhua Chemical managed to join TfS and fused TfS values with Chinese local culture. Zhang Chen, Head of Purchasing Greater China at Henkel acknowledged the important role of TfS, noting that many world leading petrochemical companies have incorporated TfS assessments into their supplier access system. So, for Chinese companies with global ambitions, joining TfS brings significant benefits. Xu Cheng believes that although Chinese suppliers score significantly lower in supply chain assessments than international petrochemical companies, according to TfS data, their scores in a second audit are generally much higher than those in the first one, indicating a considerable space for growth. At a time of immense uncertainty for the industry, TfS is always prepared to team up with Chinese companies for a win-win cooperation driven by the sustainability of the supply chain.

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