Any pet company that wants to formalize its efforts to reduce its climate impact and increase transparency in its supply chain needs a supplier code of conduct. The Pet Sustainability Coalition (PSC) released a supplier code of conduct template to help pet companies ensure their suppliers engage in social and environmental practices that are aligned with their brand values.
We chatted with Duynie Ingredients, a PSC Top 20 accredited ingredient supplier. They told us why the code of conduct is essential to their work. In addition, they provided tips and tricks on how they successfully launched it this past year.
Corine Kroft, Sustainability Manager and Sanne Verduyn, Procurement Manager hold the 2021 Supplier Code of Conduct
Why Duynie Ingredients Created a Supplier Code of Conduct
Sustainability is a key tenant of Duynie Ingredients’ business operations, which you can find outlined on their website. The company offers a large assortment of plant-based ingredients made from co-products of the food industry. So the ingredients help to prevent food waste resulting in a lower carbon footprint and less water and land use than other ingredient alternatives made with food-grade raw material.
Duynie Ingredients understands suppliers are important in helping Duynie Ingredients reduce their carbon footprint. When a supplier operates with the environment in mind, Duynie Ingredients’ goals to reduce waste can be maximized since their suppliers’ co-products are the foundation for the products of Duynie Ingredients.
“We expect our suppliers to do their business in a responsible and environmentally friendly way,” explained Corine Kroft, Sustainability Manager of Duynie Ingredients, “Therefore, it is important to ensure that our suppliers commit to the principles we conducted in the supplier code of conduct.”
How Duynie Ingredients Established a Supplier Code of Conduct
Once the Duynie Ingredients team understood the importance of a supplier code of conduct to catalyze their positive impact, they put together a plan to manifest it.
First, they benchmarked all necessary stakeholders and leaders they needed to buy into their plan, including their mother company, Duynie Group and Royal Cosun.
Next, they set the goals for their code of conduct to ensure they approached it holistically. Duynie Ingredients used the Pet Sustainability Coalition’s template to ensure they could easily communicate the comprehensive approach to the suppliers by distilling the multi-pronged process into easy-to-understand requirements: Partnership, People, and Planet.
Another critical aspect of establishing the supplier code of conduct was to gain the buy-in of the Duynie Group Board. The board gave unanimous consent to integrate the supplier code of conduct because they saw it as a way to lead the transition to a circular food system.
“Creating the supplier code of conduct has been a major achievement for our company. It marks a significant step to integrate sustainability on a broader level,” said Sanne Verduyn, Procurement Manager of Duynie Ingredients. “The launch is an important milestone in strengthening the partnership we have with our suppliers, who are of great importance for our company.”
Since Duynie Ingredients launched the code of conduct, all of their suppliers confirmed they are willing to meet the new expectations set in the code of conduct. From expecting suppliers to make every effort to encourage their partners to observe the code of conduct and execute their operations with integrity and respect for people and the planet, the code of conduct helps both Duynie Ingredients and its suppliers operate responsibly.
If you are a pet company thinking about establishing a code of conduct for your suppliers, Duynie Ingredients would like to offer some advice for you –
- Interview and learn from your suppliers and peers who already have a code of conduct in place to understand what areas of sustainability are important to them
- Involve all departments at your company at the beginning and as you create the code of conduct to make sure it can be seamlessly integrated into your operations
- Request for feedback from employees who interface with suppliers early in the process to ensure buy-in and excitement for the supplier code of conduct
Duynie Ingredients’ experience of incorporating a supplier code of conduct can be an example to encourage your suppliers’ to go beyond compliance and incorporate positive practices, which could include environmentally-friendly manufacturing or responsible labor regulations, or both! Remember to reference PSC’s supplier code of conduct template to ensure your suppliers engage in social and environmental practices that are aligned with your brand values.