At the Adecco Group, we conduct our business responsibly and in compliance with international standards, best practices, and the laws and regulations of the territories in which we operate. One aspect of our approach to sustainability is supply chain responsibility. This means we not only take responsibility for the social and environmental impact of our own activities, but also take a critical look at the impact of the activities of our business partners, including our suppliers and service providers.
Our business depends on a competitive, globally balanced,
and localised network of business partners. We believe that as a leading, globally operating corporation we can
make a positive contribution to sustainable development by proactively working together with our suppliers to
identify, manage and mitigate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks and where possible turn them
into opportunities. This also helps to ensure that the Adecco Group is not part of or party to activities,
wherever they take place, that do not adhere to our own standards of environmental, social and ethical conduct.
This may refer to specific products or services, individual companies, specific industries or also segments
thereof. While they may be perfectly legal, they may expose the Group (and potentially its stakeholders) to
reputation, financial and/or other risk.
We have thus made responsible business practices a core element of our procurement strategy, supplier management process and day-to-day operations. This enables us to assess and manage such risks strategically and consistently across the Group.
Supplier responsibilities: The Adecco Group Third Party Code of Conduct
Our Third Party Code of Conduct is integral to our supplier selection process. While we acknowledge that every supplier operates independently, to ensure we meet our ambition, commitments and obligations, we expect that all our suppliers and other third parties agree and adhere to the Adecco Group’s responsible business standards and comply with all applicable laws, regulations and relevant international standards.
Our Third Party Code of Conduct establishes the fundamental principles to responsible business conduct we expect our suppliers and related third parties to adhere to, ensuring consistency across the diverse environments we operate in and alignment with the Adecco Group Code of Conduct. It applies globally across all our operations and we require commitment to it from all our suppliers.
The Third Party Code of Conduct is periodically updated to align with evolving regulation, legislation, best practices, stakeholder expectations and our own ambition for sustainable business conduct.
Supplier selection and engagement
The Adecco Group seeks to engage in long-term relationships with suppliers and service partners that are committed to sustainable development and to demonstrate responsible supply chain management. We have established methodologies and guidelines to ensure we conduct procurement and supplier relationship management in a fair, competitive and transparent negotiation process, in line with our policies and values.
We verify and monitor supplier compliance through a formal assessment process.
Condition on purchase orders: Purchase Orders are mandatory (with potential exception of small procurement volumes which might not be covered by explicit procurement contracts) and must include commitment to the Adecco Group Third PartyCode of Conduct in the conditions of purchase.
Supplier Assessment, Qualification and Onboarding: The supplier onboarding process is initiated by the Adecco Group’s Procurement team. Suppliers must pass several requirements in our qualification process, including commitment to our Third Party Code of Conduct and participation in the Third-Party Risk Assessment.
Supplier Evaluation and Monitoring : We evaluate and monitor our supplier portfolio regularly for ESG risk factors, inherent risks from operations and production, and exposure to those risks. The frequency is based on a risk-based approach, to ensure our due diligence is carried out in a manner that is commensurate with the products and services that we buy. This includes recurring screenings, health-checks, risk assessments, and supplier base optimizations. See ‘Our approach’ below for more details.
Contracting: All new and extended/renewing procurement contracts must include the contract clause which commits the supplier to our Third Party of Conduct and, additionally, defines self-assessment and audit rights.
Supplier diversity: We believe that a diverse and inclusive supplier-base benefits us by bringing different perspectives, innovative solutions, and a resilient supply chain. As such, we are committed to exploring opportunities to promote, increase, and improve the business participation of qualified underrepresented business enterprises in our procurement process, including but not limited to women, ethnic minority, LGBTQ++, disabled, and/or veteran or small business owned businesses.
The Adecco Group offers an independent channel for employees and external stakeholders, including suppliers, to raise any concerns relating to potentially improper business conduct and to report any actual or suspected misconduct, including violations of the Third Party of Conduct, by using the Adecco Compliance & Ethics (“ACE”) Line. The Adecco Group will accept anonymous reports, consistent with applicable law.
We respect the right of all workers to speak up and raise grievances without fear of retaliation.
Our supplier risk management process follows international best practice standards and is aligned with the principles and approach of the UN Global Compact, to which the Adecco Group committed in 2003 as the first company in its industry, as well as other globally recognised standards such as the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
The Adecco Supply Risk Management Process
Source: UN Global Compact
Risks in scope: In our third-party risk management, we focus particularly on the following risk areas:
Embedded into all risk areas are the overarching risk categories of
Compliance with laws and external and internal policies, rules and regulations
Prior to onboarding a supplier it is important to us to conduct an initial risk assessment as part of our decision-making process. We conduct a basic risk assessment on the supplier and the nature of their expected product or service (relationship) to get a broader picture of the potential risk profile and hence reduce the chance of unknowingly inheriting undesirable risk.
Identified risks are categorized against the Adecco Group Risk Catalogue, which is a library of the most common risks that may occur based on our business model.
We assess the supplier risk based on their inherent risk profile by applying a risk-based tiering approach. Based on the supplier risk profile, the risk assessment can involve several risk areas such as Compliance, ESG, IT Risk, Data Privacy, and others.
Treat the Risk/ Mitigation:
Risks either need to be eliminated or mitigated. This is done by subject matter experts of the category to which the risk belongs, who define the necessary mitigation actions and oversee their implementation.
Suppliers can be included in several specialized risk management programs for ongoing assessment and mitigation. Changes in supplier profile, relationship profile or for example regulatory changes may trigger an assessment. Our supplier portfolio will be continuously monitored to ensure that obligations are fulfilled, and the Adecco Group and its stakeholders are not exposed to undesirable risk.
Integration and training
When carrying out procurement duties and responsibilities, the Adecco Group`s employees that are in contact with the suppliers are expected to address the Group’s commitments to legal, ethical, environmental and social standards. Our internal policies and procedures specifically address these commitments in procurement activities. Relevant employees receive training according to their responsibilities.