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Policies for managing, selecting and monitoring suppliers

In its relations with its suppliers the A2A Group draws its inspiration from the principles of legality, loyalty, impartiality and independence. Suppliers are selected by placing great emphasis on the fact that they hold quality certifications and comply fully with laws and regulations, with specific reference to everything regarding employment contracts, environmental impact, and worker health and safety.
Group companies collaborate with suppliers in achieving compliance with the principles of economicity, effectiveness, quality, propriety, equality of treatment, transparency, proportionality, impartiality and fairness in business dealings, referring also to the Group’s Code of Ethics.
Tenders for works, supplies and services within the ordinary and special sectors (urban hygiene, electricity, gas and district heating networks) are regulated by European Union laws designed to ensure that the requirements of Legislative Decree no. 163/06, “Code of public contracts relating to works, services and supplies, which implements directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC”, are complied with. In this contextA2A has introduced a system for checking the suitability of companies with the aim of ensuring that their technical skills and economic and financial position correspond to the requirements of the Code.
The publication of European Qualification Systems and Tenders is the main means of communicating with suppliers and providing information to them. If public tenders are not held, these are replaced by an invitation letter, together with the required specifications, through which an offer is requested.
Consistent with the regulatory framework and with the principles of transparency, quality and fairness in business dealings, the form of contracts has been updated to take into account the new requirements regarding:

  • the traceability of cash flows;

  • controls concerning road safety (for contracts relating to motor vehicle transport services);

  • compliance with the quality, environment and safety policy.

The section of the Group’s website dealing with procurement was extended and improved in 2011; now it is easier for suppliers to get to know the world of purchasing from both the vendor management side and the aspects regarding tenders. In the steps leading to the signing of a contract, the selection and management of suppliers is guaranteed by the appropriate portal, where the process of qualification in the Group’s Register of Suppliers process and the negotiating process take place. This portal has been adopted by all companies other than Coriance and Partenope Ambiente.

By using this tool suppliers can propose their names for the various categories of goods and services they provide. At this stage they are asked to complete an electronic questionnaire, which enables information to be collected which does not only consist of company details or information of a financial and organisational nature, but also regards quality, the environment, safety and the related certifications.
This enables the Group to enhance the set of information available for carrying out an initial assessment of the supplier and to transmit the perception to the supplier of the importance that quality, the environment and safety have for the Group. The questionnaires are subsequently supplemented by the Group with reports taken from the data base of a company specialising in statistical research which establish the degree of reliability of the companies/individuals by means of a rating.

SIZE OF COMPANIES WITH ORDERS FROM A2A IN 2011*
Size of the company N° of suppliers Total number of employees in the supplier Amount
1 - 10 employees 266 1,486 22,753,858
11 - 50 employees 412 10,334 87,391,546
51 - 250 employees 209 23,715 107,201,846
More than 250 employees 114 387,702 118,273,441
Not available (in the Register) (**) 206 45,225,654
Not available (not in the Register) (***) 701 9,786,186
Total 1,908 423,237 390,632,531
(*)Does not include Amsa, Ecodeco, Aspem, Partenope Ambiente, Coriance, Plurigas, A2A Calore&Servizi (Heat Management). (**)Qualified suppliers for whom the information in the register is not complete. (***)Suppliers awarded contracts for categories that do not require the standard qualification procedure (e.g. professional services, sponsorships).

With e-procurement purchases travel on the network

In 2011 A2A made further progress in optimising its processes in the procurement area, with the new organisational structure arranged by purchase sector becoming fully operational.
In support of this organisation, the structure dedicated to planning and monitoring purchasing activities controlled and guaranteed the growing use of tools designed to dematerialise purchasing processes (e-procurement) and to enable the Group’s Register of Suppliers to be managed properly and transparently.
The improvement in electronic trading tools enabled over 40% of purchase procedures in 2011 to be channelled through the e-procurement platform, replacing the traditional paper process where possible. A further boost towards dematerialising processes was given with the introduction of the requirement for a digital signature on documents provided through the suppliers’ register platform. This requirement was also tested for tenders, enabling useful recommendations to be obtained that can be used for progressively extending the introduction of this approach over the next few years.