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Sustainability report 21|22

Sustainable procurement

We are aware that our operations can have impacts on society and the environment in ways that are beyond our direct control. 

Operating facilities, such as PV systems, storage facilities, production equipment, CHP plants and Underground Sun Storage, were designed and built by international suppliers within Europe – mainly in the German-speaking countries – and maintenance can only be carried out by them. In our industry, there are only a few suppliers of specialist equipment, and some activities, such as repairs to our facilities, can only be carried out in Europe by certain suppliers which have suitably trained employees. This makes it all the more important that RAG maintains relationships with suppliers and partners who are also committed to responsible corporate governance approaches, and uses clear and transparent processes for procurement and the award of contracts.

Procurement policy

All purchases made by RAG with a net value of more than EUR 5,000 are subject to the Group-wide procurement policy, which covers CSR principles and the award of contracts for goods and services in accordance with competition law. Electronic award of contracts with a value of EUR 100,000 or more (instead of EUR 428,000) has been implemented with a view to enhancing the company’s competitiveness. This also applies to master agreements. The Head of Procurement is responsible for ensuring that the strictly regulated procurement processes comply with the procurement policy (Group policy no. 06: Procurement policy as amended). This is examined by Internal Audit at regular intervals.

Sustainability in the criteria for awarding contracts

When defining the criteria for contract awards, the company voluntarily takes into account specific environmental aspects, the use of low-emission technologies, sustainability and social aspects in the selection of particular goods and/or services. In 2022, a risk assessment that mainly covered market, regulatory and supply risk was conducted for the company’s top 100 suppliers. CSR and sustainability risks were also quantified. Guidelines that describe the potential risks to be prioritised and action to be taken in view of these risks will be developed in 2023. 

The requirements for sustainable procurement of goods and services in a range of general product groups are set out in the Austrian Action Plan for Sustainable Public Procurement (naBe). RAG voluntarily applies these requirements when defining sustainable criteria for the award of contracts. In addition, the amended Bundesvergabegesetz (Federal Public Procurement Act) 2023 will introduce further requirements related to sustainable procurement, which will then be applied in the procurement process as criteria for assessing suppliers’ suitability and awarding contracts. RAG plans to carry out CSR supplier audits after the amended act is passed. The aim is to audit at least one supplier from almost every material group and to repeat the audit in 2024.

Supplier code of conduct

Our supplier code of conduct applies to all suppliers and contains provisions on human rights, social responsibility, environmental matters, as well as compliance and integrity. The code can be found on our website. In 2022 we held discussions with eight top suppliers for the first time in order to shine a light on our objectives regarding the sustainability of our future energy solutions; these discussions were very well received by all those involved. Our aim is to continue these discussions, including with a focus on future European-level requirements on the duty of care in the supply chain, and work together to devise solutions. 

Safety guidelines

Employees of external companies who carry out work at our sites must comply with our employee protection and safety guidelines. Designated RAG employees are responsible for checking whether these guidelines are understood and for monitoring compliance with them. External companies’ employees must pass a compulsory test.