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The TfS Annual Workshop celebrates the dedication and commitment of the TfS member companies to making chemical supply chains more sustainable and contribute to a better world.

On 30 September 2020, nearly 130 working members gathered at the 2020 TfS Annual Workshop. The virtual gathering came at a pivotal time in TfS’ history with the launch of the TfS Grow&Deliver strategy, delivering the strategic roadmap 2020 up to 2025 for how to make global chemical supply chains more sustainable.

The TfS Annual Workshop is the yearly celebration of the commitment of a community of people dedicated to making supply chains more sustainable. Together they will foster sustainable and resilient supply chains with fair working conditions, climate change mitigation and environmental protection.

The TfS initiative is built and facilitated by the representatives of TfS member companies. The virtual format meant that more people were able to join the presentations and multiple break-out sessions. TfS members from all regions including the teams from China, US, Brazil as well as representative from the newest TfS members Azelis, Corteva, Kraton and Sika were present. This truly created this TfS cross-company platform where member company representatives can meet, discuss, engage and exchange their thoughts, concerns, ideas and views for the future.

This year’s gathering is marked by a sense of urgency. Mankind has entered the decisive decade in terms of delivering on the necessary steps and actions to reach the sustainable development goals by 2030. All TfS member companies signed up to the UN global compact and are all fully aware of the challenges we are confronted with.

While the implications of this past year on businesses are substantial, it has also brought out some of the best qualities in people and underlined the significance, creativity and resilience of our industry. The way our businesses have addressed some of the most pressing issues related to Covid-19 was simply inspiring; a lot happened in a very short time span thanks to intense, multi-stakeholder collaboration. But the challenges at hand are complex. The world is changing with regulatory pressure around the world increasing. In Europe, there is the upcoming EU due diligence legislative initiative covering human rights and environmental matters in corporate value chains. When implemented, this would mean a deep transformation of corporate supply chains towards sustainability. From the financial side, institutional investors increasingly look at corporations’ ESG performance offering positive long-term business and financial prospects. Ideally, all chemical supply chains and chemical procurement should be sustainable by 2030. It is here that TfS can make difference, that TfS has a role to play.

This workshop was dedicated to the new TfS strategic direction “TfS Grow&Deliver”, the framework under which TfS will innovate and extend its activities. Its building blocks – raising standards; strategic, regional expansion; collaborative actions and stronger community deliver a range of projects and initiatives that will enable to make the TfS proposition and organization stronger, more powerful and impactful for the TfS member companies and for society at large.

Key to the TfS Grow&Deliver strategy is that TfS members are determined to increase the TfS initiative’s impact. As an organization, members continue their commitment to raise the bar. The mining of assessment and audit data will provide a wealth of insights and data, and this will enable TfS for example to design supplier training programs that address those areas of improvement that will deliver the largest sustainability impact. Chemical supply chains are complex and global; hence TfS’ decision to extend its work into vital and growing markets around the world and build membership in economies where TfS can play the greatest role, for example China, but also Japan and India. TfS will continue to build the TfS brand in Brazil and US. Stronger collaboration will ensure that TfS extends its sustainability proposition. A new TfS Work Stream will develop a framework to cross-company measure greenhouse gas emissions. Also, very important is to strengthen and foster the TfS community. An informed and connected TfS community will substantially contribute to delivering on the TfS program.

All building blocks of the new strategy are equally important but Annual Workshop highlights the community aspect of the TfS initiative. The representatives of 26 member companies came together– virtually – and worked as a team dedicated to making supply chains more sustainable. They share the belief that each one of them has a responsibility and can make a difference in this global societal quest for a better world.

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