Kompass Nachhaltigkeit

Öffentliche Beschaffung

Social and ecological risks in supply chains

What are the risks to be considered in our supply chains?

Find out here, with the help of videos and interactive graphics, which environmental and social risks exist in selected sensitive supply chains, so that you can take them into account in your tenders. A risk analysis allows you to detect and reduce or eliminate the most severe risks within your supply chains as much as possible. Public owned companies, eg municipal companies, with more than 1000 employees are like private companies obligated to observe the German Supply Chain Act (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz LkSG). This page may help you to identify and address the most important risks in your supply chains.

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What are sensible product categories and what should be considered during procurement?

Sensible product categories cumulate products, that contain a special risk of not being produced in accordance with international labour rights and human rights, such as the core conventions defined by the international labour organisation (ILO core conventions). The risk is especially high if there is evidence of human and labour rights violations in the producing country. On the following pages you can find comprehensive information on a selection of sensible product categories that are regularly being procured by municipalities and other public procurers, including frequently reported risks within the supply chain. In case you are procuring goods that belong to this product categories, we recommend you to get informed about the most important risks and to conduct a risk analysis based on the specific details of your procurement process and to document the conclusions and your following decisions within the procurement record.

    Points to consider in your risk assessment:

    • Are you aware of particular risks associated with countries of production? To help with this, you can access country-specific advice from the GTAI, the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. You can also consult reports and summaries from NGOs.
    • Can manufacturers show you that they have conducted their own risk assessment and put in place appropriate measures to minimise and avoid risk? Such measures could include using respected quality labels to certify products and membership of respected multi-stakeholder initiatives. Suppliers could also set out the measures they have in place to ensure they comply with German supply chain duty of care legislation. You can find more information in the Verification section of our website.
    • How significant is your influence on the market and on the business you are contracting? Depending on the size of the contract, you may request more detailed information or specific reports. You can also conduct your own inspection of production facilities or commission third-party inspections from bodies such as audit associations or sector-specific initiatives like Electronics Watch. A number of awarding bodies in Germany and other neighbouring European countries are already making use of these opportunities. Depending on the requirements of the business, it may be necessary to state conditions of this nature in tendering documentation.

    I cant't find the product group I'm looking for. Does this mean there are no risks?

    In addition to the product groups listed here, there are many other groups which cannot be included on this website or which are not generally assessed as sensitive. Nevertheless, in such cases we still recommend tracing the product lifecycle and considering whether a risk may be present in that particular case. Ways of identifying such risks include:

    • investigating raw materials, some of which may overlap with sensitive product groups shown on this website;
    • awareness of risks associated with the country where the product is manufactured; and
    • using the Internet to find reports of violations.

    Even if a product group itself is not high risk, there can be exceptional cases within a group. As the complexity and global reach of a supply chain increases, the more difficult it becomes to trace. This can in turn increase the risk of legal violations. Though less common, violations can even occasionally occur in association with products entirely assembled in Europe or Germany. For this reason in such cases we recommend you conduct basic research. You should also document your findings and the decisions taken on that basis. If your contractor commits a violation, this will allow you to show that you conducted a risk assessment.