Sustainability Case Studies

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2011 — Economic

Responsible Procurement Pilot Project: Over 80 Suppliers Assessed

In May 2009, we launched a pilot project to evaluate the sustainability performance of our suppliers, in collaboration with the Procurement and Environment teams. Since, 82 Quebec-based suppliers have been assessed in four aspects of sustainability good practice: governance, environmental impact, social impact and proximity.
These suppliers represent 33% of our purchases from Quebec suppliers, and 18% of all procurement. Using the Cognibox software program, they completed a questionnaire and justified their responses based on specific criteria. The task was demanding, especially for SMEs. Overall, the results are superior in the social areas compared to the environmental. Performances vary significantly based on industry and the size of the business.
We also provided each supplier with a personalized assessment report that included results and recommendations for each criterion. The suppliers in return gave us their comments on how to improve our questionnaire and evaluation method. They were mainly pleased to have taken part in the pilot, which many of them considered groundbreaking for our industry. Our region was, in fact, one of the first within Alcoa to launch an assessment of sustainable procurement practices.
The team is currently seeking the best way to integrate the issue of sustainability into the procurement process and how to encourage our suppliers to progress in their efforts in this facet of their business.