Founded in 2011, the purpose of TfS is to develop and implement a global audit program to assess and improve sustainability practices within the supply chains of the chemical industry.
The company has joined forces with the six existing members - BASF, Bayer, Evonik Industries, Henkel, LANXESS and Solvay - with the aim of building on established principles such as the United Nations Global Compact and the Responsible Care Global Charter.
"We already carry out extensive sustainability assessments in our own supply chains," explained Ton Geurts, AkzoNobel's Chief Procurement Officer. "But by integrating TfS into our existing strategy we will enhance our current processes and further improve the quality of our supply chains for the benefit of our customers."
Added David Allen, AkzoNobel's Head of Integrated Supply Chain: "As well as helping the company to strengthen its risk management processes and prioritize improvement areas, signing up to TfS will also make our supply chains more robust and enable us to expand more effectively in emerging markets. It will furthermore build on our number one ranking in the Materials industry group on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index."
The TfS initiative involves independent experts carrying out assessments and audits of suppliers, avoiding the need for each of the members to conduct their own. Results and scorecard ratings are then shared within TfS on a web-based collaborative platform.
As well as avoiding double audits and assessments, other benefits include quality assurance, a reduction in the bureaucratic burden for suppliers and the lowering of risks in relation to sustainability requirements.