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Better together with our suppliers

Our Supply Chain

Steel wire rod is the main raw material used for the manufacturing of steel wire products. Bekaert purchases different grades of wire rod from steel mills from around the world and transforms them into steel wire and steel wire products by using mechanical and heat treatment processes, as well as by applying unique coating technologies. The wire products produced by Bekaert are shipped to industrial customers who further process our material into half or end products; or to end customers, directly or via distribution channels.
(GRI 102-9)

Bekaert has about 18 000 active suppliers of which 45% are delivering into EMEA, 6% in Latin America, 16% in North America and 33% in Asia Pacific. 
(GRI 102-10)

Steel wire rod represents more than half of the total spend of purchases and is ordered from vendors from all over the world. The Purchasing function manages the supply process.
(GRI 102-9 GRI 102-10)

Bekaert Supply Chain

Recycled steel: stimulate a circular economy

The total volume of wire rod we purchased in 2020 contained 38% of recycled material, compared to 35% in 2019.

The percentage of recycled material depends on the product specifications and the access to scrap-based wire rod.

  • Today most of the steel used to produce wire rod is made via the primary route. This process is based on virgin iron ore that is molten to pig iron in a blast furnace. Iron-ore based steel only uses a limited amount of steel scrap as coolant for the subsequent convertor process.
  • Steel produced via the secondary route (electric arc furnace melting) is usually made of re-melted steel scrap. Depending on quality demands and scrap availability also iron ore based additions can be needed in this process, resulting in less than 100% recycled material in the final steel.

Bekaert purchases from different sources, in line with the product quality requirements and customer expectations. 

Bekaert has made further progress on projects started in 2019 to develop tire cord constructions and bead wire diameters with wire rod of recycled steel. Further improvement of the steel alloy, our processing performance, and tests by the co-developing customers may help increase the share of recycled material in our raw materials base.
(GRI 301-2)

Virtual Supplier Campaign - Together, we will emerge stronger

To ensure business continuity during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, Bekaert’s Procurement team has set up a Virtual Supplier Campaign. The purpose was to share ideas with suppliers to mutually strengthen our future competitiveness and surmount the health crisis together.    

Suppliers and Bekaert Procurement Team secure Covid-critical PPE globally 

From the outbreak of Covid-19 onwards, the Bekaert procurement teams worldwide have been working closely together with each other and with suppliers to secure the supply of raw materials and of Covid-critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  

To safeguard the health of our employees, every plant needs a minimum stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), sanitizers and face masks in particular. The shortages in the market due to the global rush on PPE made this a very challenging responsibility for our Purchasing teams. Together, we succeeded in ensuring timely supplies from suppliers holding the appropriate certificates and demonstrating flexibility and speed in covering our worldwide PPE needs. 

Virtual supplier campaign

Building a sustainable supply chain

Bekaert’s purchasing department continued its engagement with suppliers to enhance sustainability awareness and control upstream in the value chain. The Bekaert Supplier Code of Conduct outlines environmental, labor and governance related requirements that suppliers must comply with. At the end of 2020, this supplier commitment represented 94% of our spend, putting us well on track to achieve our targets. 

The use of Key Supplier Agreements remains very important for the purchase of wire rod and other supply categories. Such agreements are multi-year partnerships in which sustainability, supply chain integration and innovation are explicit building blocks.

All wire rod suppliers, as well as suppliers of other critical materials and all new suppliers, are formally evaluated on a yearly basis, and corrective action plans are put in place when the minimum required levels have not been reached. These action plans are closely monitored in order to keep the focus on improvement high.

At Bekaert, we closely monitor the EU REACH regulation to confirm compliance, and we ask our suppliers to verify their REACH compliance in the supply process of raw materials.

Bekaert conducted 36 supplier audits in 2020, down from 49 in 2019. This was due to the Covid-19 pandemic and global travel restrictions. We are, however, still on track to reach our 2025 target. 
(GRI 308-1 GRI 407-1 GRI 408-1 GRI 409-1 GRI 414-1 GRI 414-2)

Responsible sourcing of minerals

Bekaert recognizes the importance of responsible sourcing. In 2020, all suppliers covered by the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), signed the Bekaert Supplier Code of Conduct (or delivered proof of following its principles) and 100% of our tin and tungsten suppliers completed the most recent Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT).

This is an initiative of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSi), that helps companies from a range of industries to address conflict mineral issues in their supply chain.

100% of suppliers covered by the RMI endorsed Bekaert’s Conflict Free Minerals policy and compliance plan. 

In 2017, Bekaert set a target to have 100% of its tin and tungsten suppliers complete the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) annually by 2020. We already reached that target in 2018. We have also established a plan to comply with the anticipated 2021 legislation changes. 
(GRI 102-10)

Local sourcing

In sourcing raw materials and other supply needs, Bekaert sources locally (i.e., in the same region as where the materials are being processed) unless the sourcing options are inadequate in terms of quality, quantity or cost.
 
Bekaert supply sources and use by region (regions: EMEA, North America, Latin America, and Asia Pacific ).

Local sourcing

(GRI 204-1)

Other market place related data

Direct economic value generated and distributed: all data are available in the Financial Review chapter of the Bekaert Annual Report 2020 §5.1, §5.3, §5.4, §5.6, §6.13. 
(GRI 201-1)