Acea received the «Compraverde-Buygreen 2018» social procurement award for best practice: assignment of a framework agreement for the supply of work clothes with a lower environmental impact.

To establish a productive and long-lasting collaboration, all our suppliers must sign the Acea Code of Ethics, which also encourages, inter alia, the protection and safety of suppliers.
Occupational safety is a key aspect of our relationship with suppliers and for this reason we adopt initiatives to ensure workers are protected throughout the supply chain, in keeping with the regulatory provisions of the Procurement Code, the 2018 version of our Code of Ethics and our Sustainability Plan objectives.

The main initiatives we promote concern the correct management of risks pertaining to the operational activities carried out by our suppliers and the regular performance of audits and inspections to ensure compliance with safety standards. The Acea Safety Team conducted over 11,200 safety inspections at worksites (+27% compared to 2017).

The Acea Code of Ethics: sustainability in the supply chain

In 2018, the Board of Directors approved the new Code of Ethics, which establishes, inter alia, the principles on which the relationship between the Group and its suppliers is based:

Acea undertakes to search for suppliers and external associates that have suitable professional expertise and are committed to sharing the principles and contents of the Code that defines the set of values on which both the contracting authority and all external businesses and associates must necessarily base their conduct, according to the principle of mutual advantage and cooperation underlying such relationships (…).

Acea undertakes to promote, as part of its procurement activities, observance of workers’ protection and safety conditions, attention to the quality of goods, services and supplies, respect for the environment and the pursuit of energy savings.
In supply contracts with countries at risk, defined as such by recognised organisations, contractual clauses have been introduced that provide for acceptance by the supplier of specific social obligations (for example, measures whereby employees are guaranteed respect for their fundamental rights, principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination, protection against child labour) and the possibility of carrying out monitoring activities at production units or operating sites of the supplier company, in order to verify the fulfilment of these requirements.

Acea Code of Ethics, Article 15, Introduction and Paragraph 2

Supplier selection and assessment

To ensure the quality of the work and promote sustainable worksite management, we only operate with qualified suppliers. In this connection, we have established qualification systems for the suppliers of work, goods and services, which can be accessed via our Vendor Management portal, alredy integrated with supplier details.

At the time of qualification, our suppliers are required to complete a self-assessment questionnaire - differentiated according to whether they provide goods and services or works - which focuses on Quality, Environment, Safety, Energy and other aspects of sustainability.

After qualifying, the supplier may be subjected to second-party assessment of both the Quality, Environment, Safety, Energy and Social Responsibility (QASER) management systems, to verify their correct application, and the procedures for managing the areas of significance in terms of sustainability.
The on-site verification activities concern above all the water and electricity network maintenance contracts and, with regard to safety aspects, are performed by the Safety Team operating at Acea Elabori.

Safety in the world of Acea

Acea Elabori is the company within which the  Safety Team has been set up, responsible for activities pertaining to the safety of contracted works and services and the verification of compliance with the regulations in force and with the highest standards of occupational safety at work sites. The Team operates in close contact with contractors throughout all work phases, arranging meetings to discuss worksite safety, providing support and assistance to the works Manager, coordinating safety during the design and execution stages at specific work sites and carrying out inspections. In 2018, the Safety Team assisted 226 companies during technical-professional inspections and coordinated safety for 315 job orders, performing a total of 11,270 on-site safety inspections and detecting overall 893 non-conformities, of which only 96 were “serious”.