In Conversation with Samiya Hirji, Account Manager at EcoVadis | K2 Corporate Mobility
In January 2022, K2 partnered with EcoVadis, a trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. Earlier this week, we sat down with Samiya Hirji, Account Manager at EcoVadis, to take a deep dive into the benefits that the partnership brings to K2 and our partner network…
What makes EcoVadis different from other companies in the same business?
The fact that our process benefits both sides of the procurement function: buyers and suppliers. For the buyer, the process is simple and easy to digest; they don’t have to be an expert in sustainability, but if they want to increase their knowledge, we have multiple resources that they can access via the ‘EcoVadis Academy’, our online learning platform. The supplier benefits from the unlimited shareability of their EcoVadis Scorecard as well as the improvement tools within it. In other words, they can share the same scorecard with all of their clients, keeping costs to a minimum and reducing the risk of audit fatigue. Finally, EcoVadis gives both parties the facility to benchmark their performance against that of their competitors, enabling them to see where they sit along the sustainability curve and to set ambitious but achievable targets.
Can you tell me a little bit more about EcoVadis’ Academy?
New for 2022, our Academy offers bespoke courses covering multiple aspects within a sustainability management system. It also offers courses to support procurement teams in engaging their suppliers on the subject of sustainability. All of the courses have been built to do more than simply impart knowledge; their aim is to show procurement professionals and suppliers how to implement that knowledge so that they can use the courses as a springboard to deliver change within their business.
How does K2 compare to the other companies that you work with?
Right from the beginning, we experienced high engagement from the K2 Leadership Team, in particular from CEO Nick Plummer. Nick took the time to fully understand our partnership, enabling him to really leverage the benefits that it offers. For example, the partnership has created a new channel of communication between K2 and its suppliers, and Nick uses this channel to strengthen the connectivity between the company and its partner network.
What benefits does the EcoVadis partnership bring to K2?
I would say that there are two main benefits: risk management potential and getting a head start on carbon data collection.
Risk management potential:
The EcoVadis assessment provides a company with visibility of sustainability risks currently being faced or likely to be faced in the near future. Having completed the assessment, K2 is now able to manage those risks, ensuring that it doesn’t fall short when it comes to meeting targets (e.g net zero targets and Science Based Targets) and to fulfilling its commitments in relation to the United Nations Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals. Given that K2 is also encouraging its partners to take the EcoVadis assessment, the risk visibility that the company is developing is rapidly extending through its supply chain. There are very few companies within the global mobility industry who can claim to have such leverage in relation to their supply chain, and so this puts K2 in an enviable position when it comes to doing business with those for whom risk management is a key concern.
Carbon data collection:
Through its partnership with EcoVadis, K2 collects quantitative carbon data from its partners using the core EcoVadis service EcoVadis Ratings (Metrics). Currently, there aren’t many companies within the relocation space which are doing this, at least partly because net zero targets are not yet mandatory for businesses that operate within this sphere. This means that K2 is able to take the time to have conversations with its partners about carbon management, helping them to understand and engage with the process at a pace which suits them. Other companies will soon find themselves in the much more unpleasant position of trying to open up a dialogue with suppliers at a point where the latter are being forced into a last-minute race to hit newly-enforced mandatory targets.
What does the future hold for EcoVadis?
EcoVadis has been able to grow to the extent that it has because over the last decade, sustainability has become a critical concern from a global perspective: as a result, its importance has skyrocketed. Companies spanning all industries have started thinking about sustainability ratings; in Western Europe, various regulations have come into effect and forced companies to act rather than simply consider. With its# scalable business model and scientific approach, EcoVadis was able to fill the gap in the market that this global shift in mindset created.
In this way, EcoVadis’ growth has been both facilitated and directed by the shifting sea of global concerns. Currently, the concern that sits at the top of the agenda is climate change, a concern that we have already started turning our attention to. We are innovating in the supply chain carbon management space and have already built and launched a Carbon Action Model which enables companies to benchmark their performance and receive a carbon scorecard. As it stands, only 20% of EcoVadis-assessed companies have a strong carbon management system in place, something that will have to change as governments, consumers and the general public toughen their stance on climate change. EcoVadis will be there to help companies map out their carbon management journey and meet the multiple targets that define its stages.
Samiya, it was a pleasure speaking with you! For more information on EcoVadis, visit their website where you will find details about their sustainability assessments as well as a collection of very interesting blog articles. If you are a partner of K2 and would like to learn more about the EcoVadis assessment, please contact Ken McCully, Group Commercial Manager, on firstname.lastname@example.org