Our suppliers

Our belief

We understand that we can only achieve sustainable growth when we engage with all of our stakeholders. Part of our mission is to integrate sustainability, responsibility and accountability in everything we do. Our suppliers are amongst our main stakeholders, and so we make sure they respect specific criteria in their purchase, sale and outsourcing procedures. That way, they too reflect our social, ethical and environmental concerns.

Our Sustainability Code of Conduct for Suppliers

KBC’s suppliers are required to comply with the principles outlined in our Sustainability Code of Conduct for Suppliers, which forms part of our overall corporate sustainability and responsibility strategy. The Code of Conduct is in line with the UN Global Compact Principles and applies to all KBC group entities and to all KBC’s procurement and outsourcing activities.

The Sustainability Code of Conduct for Suppliers sets out following requirements:

  • Suppliers obey all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Suppliers respect human rights and do not allow any harassment, physical or mental punishment or any other form of abuse.
  • Suppliers respect local and international labour regulations with regard to working hours and wages.
  • Suppliers warrant that there are no forced labour practices and that employees are free to leave their job after giving reasonable notice.
  • Suppliers have a non-discrimination policy in place that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, race, social or physical handicap, religion or origin.
  • Suppliers respect the core principles of the International Labour Organization. This includes not employing children below 14 years of age or as defined under national legislation: children are entitled to education and must be able to develop freely.
  • Suppliers’ employees enjoy freedom of association and have the right to collective bargaining.
  • Suppliers provide their employees and appointees with safe and healthy working conditions.
  • Suppliers conduct their activities with due respect for the environment and take initiatives to reduce their ecological footprint.
  • Suppliers deliver products and services that meet the quality and safety criteria specified in relevant contract clauses.
  • Suppliers conduct their business with integrity and have a policy in place that prohibits fraud, money laundering, bribes and kickbacks. Suppliers must show zero tolerance towards corruption.

Supplier assessment

All our procurement activities are assessed against the environmental and social criteria incorporated in the KBC Sustainability Code of Conduct for Suppliers. We have worked out a procedure for the different phases in the purchasing activities.

During the selection procedure, all suppliers are assessed on sustainability risk using the KBC Blacklist, World Check and the CSR Questionnaire for Suppliers. If any hits are generated on World Check, these are investigated by the Corporate Sustainability department in cooperation with Group Compliance. It will then be decided whether further cooperation with the supplier is possible. Blacklisted companies are excluded from any activity with KBC. The CSR Questionnaire is an integral part of the screening of a new supplier. It checks compliance with the KBC Sustainability Code of Conduct for Suppliers in more detail. Any supplier that passes this screening is then contractually obliged to sign the Code of Conduct.

Performance monitoring

We actively monitor compliance with the Code of Conduct. If any violations come to light that cannot be fundamentally resolved within an appropriate period, KBC will terminate the business relationship. KBC will support suppliers willing to make the adjustments needed to bring them into compliance.