The procurement approach has a considerable influence on VP Bank’s environmental impact, image and, not least, cost structure. When commissioning goods and services, VP Bank considers not only basic requirements but also a range of other criteria such as environmental standards, quality, energy consumption and waste disposal.
The “Procurement principles of VP Bank” establish guidelines for how VP Bank conducts its purchasing activities. Transparent ordering criteria, clearly defined requirements for suppliers and uniform supplier evaluations ensure the quality of the procurement process and supplier relationship.
In 2018, VP Bank implemented a new policy for “procurement, investments and expenditures”. A central procurement department provides Group-wide support and oversight for VP Bank’s procurement, compares terms, helps to prepare tender offers and performs appraisals.
Where appropriate, the procurement department creates framework purchasing contracts. Specific purchasing criteria for selected products, which may also integrate sustainability criteria, are defined by the procurement department through discussions with the respective operating departments.
The purchasing approach adheres to the environmental principle of “avoid, reduce, recycle”. If goods offer comparable characteristics at the same conditions, preference is given to those that are especially environmentally friendly or come from environmentally certified producers.
VP Bank’s suppliers are urged to voluntarily propose environmentally friendly alternatives. They are also required to deliver only merchandise and goods that are in keeping with Liechtenstein’s environmental laws and come from countries that comply with the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
These conventions establish minimum standards for the observance of human rights, equal opportunity (nationality, gender), working conditions (occupational health and safety, wages) and have clear guidelines on such issues as child labour and pollution.
The main criteria in VP Bank’s selection process are performance, product quality to specifications, price, creditworthiness, legal compliance and adherence to environmental and social standards. In this regard, VP Bank values regional procurement.
In terms of printing services, VP Bank works primarily with partner companies that print in a climate-neutral way. In the procurement of shareholder gifts, sustainable suppliers from the surrounding region are worked with – for example, the Curative Education Center of the Principality of Liechtenstein (HPZ). VP Bank also uses this institution for packaging purposes. On the occasion of the 2019 Saint Nicholas Day party, baked goods were again purchased from “Soroptimist International”, an organisation dedicated to improving human rights and promoting cooperation.
In order to optimise the supply chain, VP Bank maintains an on-going dialogue with its suppliers. For larger purchases, functional specifications are established and discussed with suppliers. That way each supplier receives the same documentation, which ensures the comparability of prices and services. To prevent conflicts of interest, private contacts with suppliers involved in a purchasing relationship are forbidden.
Suppliers are evaluated at regular intervals on such criteria as price/service, quality, dependability, respect for social and environmental principles, past experience and on- time delivery. Whenever possible, VP Bank also seeks to avoid entering into business relationships with companies that have a monopoly position or are the sole supplier. Quality control is based on suitability, accurate pricing and invoicing.