Involving suppliers in our sustainability agenda
Sustainability is a responsibility we share with our suppliers. This cooperation involves helping them understand what we require of them, driving improvements, and recognizing good work.
Every Electrolux supplier promises to meet the Group’s high expectations on sustainability. We ensure that prospective and current suppliers meet these standards by evaluating, auditing and training suppliers and supplier candidates in all sourcing regions.
We have a number of codes and policies that lay the groundwork for how Electrolux is to conduct its business sustainably and responsibly. The Electrolux Supplier Workplace Standard in particular defines the minimum acceptable standards for health and safety, environment, labor and human rights –wherever our suppliers operate.
New tool provides training at the push of a button
One training tool that Electrolux has started using to increase suppliers’ understanding of our requirements is QuizRR, an external digital learning platform developed specifically to improve understanding of what good workplace practices look like.
With QuizRR, we reach a large number of people working at our suppliers – from management to supervisors to workers – and educate them about workplace policies, health and safety, and more.
QuizRR makes it easier to learn about good workplace practices.
The training is designed to be a playful, engaging learning experience, consisting of sketches of various everyday workplace situations followed by questions to test whether the information provided has been understood. The training modules are in local languages and settings to make it easy for workers to understand and relate to the training topics.
Sandra Li works within the Responsible Sourcing team with supplier development and has been involved hands-on in rolling out this training in China. She says, “Feedback from suppliers about this training has been positive. The module about workplace dialogue has been particularly appreciated. Managers have found it helpful in shaping management principles that are more effective and better fitted to employees' needs.”
Three suppliers in China have started using QuizRR, and to date over 6,200 people have undergone training. Participants have said that they find the training easy to use and understand. The plan is to implement further modules in China and expand the training to countries in Southeast Asia, with its specific migrant labor challenges.
Supplier spotlight: Jiaxipera
One of the suppliers involved in the training pilot is our long-time partner, Jiaxipera, where 100% of their employees have gone through the first four modules.
Located in Jiaxing, China, Jiaxipera is one of our largest suppliers of compressors. In October 2018, they were recognized at our global Supplier Awards as the Supplier Excellence award winner for the Asia-Pacific region.
But the journey to supplier excellence isn’t always an easy one. Historically, Jiaxipera found themselves struggling with meeting different customer requirements for order flexibility on one side and work environment improvements on the other, while also striving to secure employee retention in a difficult job market. All this resulted in several compliance issues back in 2015.
Jiaxipera took the challenge head on. They thoroughly analyzed production bottlenecks and work-hour data, and this resulted in the identification of several improvement areas. That, together with a focus on employee training using QuizRR, helped Jiaxipera turn a difficult situation into a win-win-win solution for themselves, their customers and employees.
They managed to turn their compliance issues into business improvements where:
- Average daily production capacity increased by 18%.
- Average per capita output increased by 15%.
- Employee satisfaction increased and employee turnover rate decreased.
The sixth Electrolux Supplier Awards ceremony, held on October 16, 2018, highlighted why closer and earlier cooperation with suppliers is key to delivering best-in-class consumer experiences and achieving our sustainability goals.
The 13 awards recognize the best of the best. Out of over 3,000 suppliers, just 1% made it through to the finals.
"Strong relationships create value – in innovation, performance, flexibility, reliability and sustainability – which results in better products and better consumer experiences," says Peter Truyens, SVP Group Purchasing.
In a poll among the Supplier Award suppliers, 83% state that sustainability is part of strategy formulations and investment decisions, and 78% state that sustainability is contributing to the relationship with Electrolux.
Supplier Sustainability Days
Electrolux Supplier Sustainability Days take place on a regular basis and are an important way to connect with suppliers and let them know what we require from them.
In November 2018, we held a Supplier Sustainability Day in Cairo. Around 55 supplier representatives took part and learned what we expect of our suppliers and their crucial part in the Group’s sustainable supply chain.
The day touched upon different aspects of ensuring that our suppliers create working conditions that treat their employees with respect and ensure their safety.
Sustainability was also a key topic in supplier seminars in Charlotte and Venice, and plans are underway for additional seminars in 2019.
This case study is related to our promise Improve sustainability in the supply chain
Electrolux shapes living for the better by reinventing taste, care and wellbeing experiences that make life more enjoyable and sustainable for millions of people. Through our brands, including Electrolux, AEG and Frigidaire, we sell more than 60 million household and professional products in more than 150 markets every year.
S:t Göransgatan 143
SE-105 45 Stockholm, Sweden