We work to ensure that suppliers meet our sustainability requirements
Image above: Odd Magnus Barstad, Head of Claims, and Nina Torgrimsby, Legal Norway
According to self-assessments, a majority of If’s suppliers and partners comply with our sustainability demands.
If has around 5,000 partners and suppliers in the Nordic region, of which more than 4,000 are motor and property repair suppliers.
If has worked with purchasing for more than 20 years, and our sustainability requirements for our suppliers are regulated in our Supplier Code of Conduct, which internally is often referred to as “the Code”. Our Supplier Code of Conduct is based on the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact and its underlying conventions and declarations, and it covers the following areas of sustainability:
- Human rights
- Labour rights
During winter 2022, If invited 900 partners and suppliers to participate in a self- assessment questionnaire (SAQ) survey, with an emphasis on their work according to the Supplier Code of Conduct. Our partners answered questions about how they work to minimise waste, how they store chemicals and dangerous substances, whether they have their own sustainability managers, whether they have written guidelines for sustainability and the proportion of the workforce that has temporary employment, to mention just a few.
– We use due diligence procedures to follow up the Code to ensure that it is truly understood and implemented in our partners’ and suppliers’ strategy and day-to-day operations, says Odd Magnus Barstad, who is Head of Claims and part of the Business Management Group at If.
– We want to obtain an overview and ensure a common understanding and way of working between our claims organization and our partners. The SAQ was a natural starting point in order to gain insights and an overview of the situation.
Hope to influence a sustainable change
Half of the 900 SAQ respondents completed the entire survey. Including answers from uncompleted surveys, 63% of the respondents ended up in the "green" survey category, which means that they meet all the requirements we set in the Code.
– This is the first time we have sent out such a survey to evaluate how our partners work with the Code. The answers give us a good indication of the ongoing work when it comes to sustainability and ethical conditions in our value chain, explains Barstad.
– Some suppliers have given answers that place them in the “red” category. These answers might be based on misunderstandings or shortcomings that should be addressed. We continue to work closely on those answers where the supplier has not met our requirements. If we discover something serious, we may reconsider whether or not we should work with this supplier in the future, he says.
A few steps ahead of the new transparency law
In July 2022, a new law entered into force in Norway, named The Norwegian Transparency Act (“Åpenhetsloven”). The law is based on international principles concerning responsible business from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UN.
The Transparency Act places requirements on large companies like If to ensure that our suppliers have a good foundation for sustainability, respect human rights, and have reasonable working conditions in connection with the production of goods and the provision of services.
The public receives information about how companies handle and act on breaches in these matters.
– More than 97% of our Nordic suppliers have signed the Code, and by having the Code incorporated into our agreements, we were a few steps ahead of this legislation. This applies particularly to partners within Claims and Group Services, where we have a very good and close follow-up and structured reporting, says Nina H. Torgrimsby, who is a lawyer at If.
– We will now transfer this to the entire If organisation. We will also continue to work on the due diligence process and training for those employees who have a special responsibility for sustainability, she says.
– With more than 4,000 motor and property repair suppliers, we can create a sustainable change if we point our partners in the right direction, she concludes.