Sustainable Supply Chain
- Supplier Code of Conduct
- Green Procurement
- Electric Utility Industry Sustainable Supply Chain Alliance
- Commitment to Supplier Diversity
Supplier Code of Conduct
Northeast Utilities (NU) is committed to sustainability in its supply chain and has recently published its first Supplier Code of Conduct that clearly sets out expectations for suppliers. Recognizing the importance of ethical behavior in business relationships and in the workplace, NU and its companies require all suppliers to abide by its Supplier Code of Conduct, directing its suppliers to provide high quality products and services, and to also:
- Be honest, fair and respectful at all times
- Keep their commitments to quality, reliability and service
- Perform to the highest ethical standards
- Understand and operate in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, policies and procedures
- Maintain a culture of ethical business practices, encourage open communication to all stakeholders and foster awareness of and commitment to the responsibilities outlined by NU
- Effectively communicate standards and procedures to their employees, agents and representatives through training programs and disseminate information on requirements and expectations.
NU’s Environmentally Preferable Procurement (EPP), or "green procurement," guidelines focus on obtaining products or services that have a reduced impact on human health and the environment. Our EPP guidelines and associated tracking mechanisms have led us to the use of Forest Stewardship Council certified recycled paper and soy-based inks for printing, low-energy flat screens for computers, recycled and sustainable promotional products and biodiesel fuels. NU has partnered with its office supplies provider to set a minimum order amount which significantly reduces shipping and packaging. Estimated 2012 savings from this process include over two tons of corrugated cardboard boxes and eight tons of carbon dioxide from reduced vehicle emissions. All Requests for Proposals require vendors to describe the environmental impacts of their products or services.
Electric Utility Industry Sustainable Supply Chain Alliance
NU has been an active participant in the Electric Utility Industry Sustainable Supply Chain Alliance (Alliance) since 2008. The Alliance is a standards development organization formed to promote environmental stewardship and provide value to customers and shareholders. Focusing on non-fuel suppliers, the Alliance's goal is to work with industry suppliers and other interested parties to improve environmental performance and advance sustainable business practices. The work of the Alliance is accomplished through working teams, comprised of volunteers from the Alliance member utilities and other interested parties. Category working teams have been formed to develop environmental best practices and metrics for major categories of electric utility purchases. Other working teams have been formed to define best practices and to support the operations of the Alliance.
A supplier education team is one way that the Alliance raises supplier awareness on sustainability issues, particularly by connecting them with available resources, such as the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Alliance website contains educational materials, videos and guidance documents for suppliers. The Alliance also presents webinars for suppliers that provide technical support and shared experiences from Alliance utility members, as well as other resources such as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Climate Registry.
Commitment to Supplier Diversity
The Diverse Supplier Development Academy (DSDA) is a joint venture developed by NU in collaboration with the University of Connecticut and SCORE (formerly known as the Service Core of Retired Executives). The DSDA seeks to equip high potential diverse businesses with advanced business knowledge, skills and tools which will facilitate growth and allow these businesses to become more competitive in the marketplace. A stronger diverse business community will contribute to the economic vitality of the region through job creation and downward pressure on the cost of goods and services brought about by increased competition.
The DSDA will accomplish this through a 12-week program incorporating three core elements – education, mentoring and hands-on support. First, the program will offer education in core business principals to sharpen the skills and knowledge of each business owner. Second, the DSDA will provide one-on-one mentoring through SCORE to provide valuable guidance to each entrepreneur in pursuit of attainable goals that encourage business growth. Finally, the DSDA will include hands-on support through the University of Connecticut to connect entrepreneurs to other tools, resources, and networks necessary to support their own business needs. Upon graduation, each participant will leave the program with knowledge, skills, tools and a body of work that has immediate application and benefit to their own businesses.
"NU was rated the No. 1 utility in Newsweek's 2012 Green Rankings, reflecting our strong commitment to supply chain sustainability."