Boskalis maintains relationships with around 1,200 suppliers for the central procurement of machinery and hydraulics, electro & survey equipment, wearing and construction parts, and facility goods and consumables. Approximately 200 suppliers are regarded as strategic accounting for 90% of the Central Procurement department’s purchasing volume. Over half (around 55%) of our 1,200 suppliers are Dutch companies, 15% are other European companies and 30% are based outside Europe. The Procurement & Logistics general manager is responsible for procurement policy and supplier selection, and reports to group management.
Supplier Code of Conduct
Boskalis wants to do business with parties who act responsibly and with integrity. We aim to form long-term relationships. All buyers conform to the latest NEVI Code of Conduct. In addition to quality, delivery reliability and price, we also take sustainability criteria into account when selecting our suppliers. We are the first in our sector to work with a Supplier Code of Conduct, adapted from Boskalis’ own Statement of General Business Principles. The Supplier Code of Conduct contains selection criteria for sustainable procurement, for example relating to prevention of bribery and corruption, human rights, child labor, working conditions, care for the environment, and safety.
In 2014 we were able to declare our Supplier Code of Conduct to.be applicable to 75% of our strategic suppliers, based on the monetary value they report (2013: 73%). These suppliers have signed our framework contract, of which the code forms an integral part. By signing the contract our suppliers declare the Code of Conduct to be also applicable to their own suppliers, who are registered accordingly in the Boskalis systems.
The Supplier Code of Conduct and our General Purchasing Terms and Conditions can be downloaded from our website at
2014 Implementation scan
We conduct implementation scans of approximately 10% of our strategic suppliers annually, i.e. approximately twenty companies. An independent external consultant assesses how this cross-section of our strategic suppliers works with the selection criteria from the code of conduct on the basis of the Social Responsible Procurement monitoring method of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. The procedure is as follows:
- Together with the consultant, we draw up a questionnaire for the discussions. The questions are broken down into the following themes: society (including human rights), the environment, employees, quality, clients and suppliers.
- Implementation scans on location. This is a dual process: we.are.open to feedback from our suppliers and, in that way,.we also learn from them. The aim is to work together on establishing and extending a sustainable value chain. Our suppliers are appreciative of this approach.
- Using a risk matrix, it is possible to determine the risk level that applies to the various suppliers in terms of CSR and its possible impact on Boskalis business operations or Boskalis’ reputation. We take leave of suppliers in the segments where there is a significant risk and significant impact. Suppliers in the segment where the risk and impact is high are given the opportunity to improve with our assistance and advice. If we do not see adequate progress, we take leave of these suppliers. The dialogue with the other suppliers is structured on the lines of the matrix in this chapter.
Implementation scan completed for 60 out of 200 strategic suppliers
The implementation scans were conducted for the first time in 2012. Over the course of three years, we have completed the scan for 60 unique suppliers. This year, we visited a group of 20.companies in ten European countries and in North Africa. Also.in 2014 we visited 20 suppliers. In 2015, we will extend the scope to visit suppliers outside Europe. In.addition, in 2014, we provided assistance and advice for five companies whose scores were inadequate in 2013 and repeated the implementation scan for those companies. In the meantime, those companies have improved their performance and they have now attained the ‘average risk’ level. The improvements relate to chain responsibility, policies relating to quality, working conditions and the environment, and internal communications about CSR. The 2014 implementation scan included a visit to a supplier whose scores were inadequate and who was considered to represent a significant risk with an average impact. In addition a visit was made to a supplier who was considered to represent a.high risk with an average impact. With these two suppliers we initiated the intended dialogue in which we engage in ongoing adjustments and work together on improving their CSR performance. In view of the importance we attach to respect for human rights, we tightened up our questionnaire in this area in late 2014 and discussed it with the two remaining suppliers in the implementation scan process. With effect from 2015, this new questionnaire will be used in all discussions.
Compliance with the Code of Conduct by other suppliers who were not subjected to an implementation scan is assessed in operational observations by our buyers, who have received the relevant training.
Implementation scan for second-line suppliers
In 2014, we also started to conduct implementation scans of second-line suppliers in our chain. These are suppliers who act as subcontractors for our strategic suppliers. We visited a workshop in Tunisia that makes Boskalis working clothes for a Dutch supplier. We applied the same method as in the implementation scans used for our first-line suppliers. The resulting assessment for this second-line supplier was positive. Our objective is to extend the implementation scans to include more of our second-line suppliers.
- Standard communication; such as sending and signing the Suppplier Code of Conduct to the supplier without further instructions.
- Informative communication; is about explaining the reasons of why Boskalis stands for CSR. Suppliers can further work on CSR by themselves.
- Persuasive communication; communication focused on convincing the supplier, to make sure they improve on CSR-themes.
- Direct dialogue; is the continuous dialogue with the supplier, focused on helping the supplier to perform better.
Meet the Buyer meetings
We exchange ideas with suppliers and pool innovations that can result in more sustainable applications or choices. Following on from three Meet the Buyer meetings in 2011 with fifteen of our strategic suppliers, we worked with them on a number of chain initiatives.
- The test with GTL on one of our tug boats in the port of Rotterdam was a success. Using this cleaner fuel has reduced NOx emissions by an average of 9.5% and it could therefore make a substantial contribution to the achievement of the NOx reduction targets for the port of Rotterdam. However, the introduction of this more expensive fuel is only feasible if our clients are actually prepared to invest in it.
- The trial with biodiesel in Boskalis Nederland trucks was completed successfully. We have purchased 250,000 liters of.this innovative fuel, widening the market for the supplier, SkyNRG. Using 250,000 liters of this cleaner fuel resulted in a.saving of 148MT CO2, a cut of 10% in NOx emissions, and a.reduction of 30% in SOx and particular matter emissions.
- In 2015, we launched a partnership with SeaNRG, a SkyNRG sister institute. SeaNRG is working on the development of a ‘drop-in’ biofuel for shipping that is expected to comply with stringent sustainability requirements. We have the intention to conduct a pilot project together.
- We have established a process with Beelen Groep for recycling worn floating dredging lines. We have also established cradle-to-cradle chains with the foundries Van Voorden, Allard and Magotteaux for worn impellers, dredging pumps and with Vosta for pickpoints (please refer to the theme text on pages 62-63 of this report). Since this initiative began, more than 2.7 million kilos of material have been delivered and recycled.
In 2014, we organized another three Meet the Buyer meetings. Eighteen suppliers were invited to talk to us about the themes of energy reduction, alternative fuels, and human rights in the supply chain. It is our aim to engage, on the basis of these Meet the Buyer meetings, in five initiatives with our chain partners over three years that will result in more sustainability in the chain. We will report on developments in this area in subsequent CSR reports.
Winner of Dutch Sourcing Award
Our initiatives in the area of sustainable sourcing have been recognized and won an award: Boskalis won the 2014 Dutch Sourcing Award (DSA). This annual award is an initiative of the NEVI (the Dutch Association of Procurement Management). Ten.jury members led by Jacques Reijniers, the professor of Procurement Management at Nyenrode Business University, awarded Boskalis first prize in the Sustainability category ‘for the.way in which procurement acted as the driver for the current sustainability climate at Boskalis. Procurement was able to transform this change into a large number of projects with impressive results.’ Boskalis also won the overall award for how it filed the way for other companies.
‘Boskalis stands out in the creation of a sustainable value chain’
Lara Muller is a member of the ‘Land, Real Estate & Construction’ steering group of the United Nations Global Compact, the Esconetwerk Strategy Council and of the International Sustainability Alliance. She advises numerous companies, including companies in the maritime sector, about sustainability. ‘The way Boskalis works with suppliers in particular represents genuine best practice in the maritime world. The implementation of a code of conduct is not a paper exercise at Boskalis: the company really does seek to establish a dialogue with suppliers. Boskalis engages actively in discussions with suppliers and also appoints an independent objective organization to assess suppliers’ sustainability standards. And then Boskalis even goes as far as to provide practical assistance and advice for individual suppliers to raise their sustainability levels.’ Lara Muller believes that the way Boskalis engages with suppliers opens up new opportunities, both commercial and environmental.
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