Alcoa takes a corporate-wide approach to sustainable procurement, which aims at assessing a certain number of suppliers who could pose a risk, at the international level, based on purchase volumes and geographic location. Alcoa also requires its suppliers to abide by its code of conduct, which is integrated in its terms and conditions.
Seeking to go further, Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products has developed a sustainable procurement program focusing on our Québec suppliers that enables us to evaluate them and provide support as they build their own sustainability programs. In 2010, we completed a pilot project during which we evaluated over 80 Québec suppliers in four areas of sustainability: governance, the environment, social aspects, and proximity. The suppliers were scored based on this evaluation and provided with recommendations for improvement.
Informed by the results of this initiative and feedback received during the pilot, as well as in light of discussions held with our Sustainability Advisory Committee, we developed a new approach aimed at stimulating an improvement in the sustainability performance of Québec-based suppliers, inspired by elements of the BNQ 21000 project. We are also working on training and workshops for our suppliers.
The BNQ 21000 guide was developed by the Bureau de normalisation du Québec, supported by the Government of Québec, to help organizations integrate sustainability principles into their operations. In 2011 and 2012, twelve Alcoa suppliers participated in one of the four BNQ 21000 pilot projects, partly funded by Alcoa. Participants were offered support, coaching and tools under the pilot project to assist them in implementing their sustainability approach. In view of the results and comments received, the BNQ launched a new pilot project for SMEs. Five Alcoa suppliers from Québec took part in this initiative in 2013. These suppliers started to implement actions adapted to their scale and business activities to improve their social, environmental, and economic performance. The BNQ 21000 toolbox (in French only) was also simplified and adapted for SMEs and made available for free.
We also are one of the founding members of Espace de concertation Québecois sur les pratiques d’approvisionnement responsable (ECPAR - French only). Launched in 2008, this initiative brings together 15 public and private organizations in Québec with the goal of optimizing their sustainability efforts and sharing best practices to promote sustainability in supply chains.