Supply chain sustainability
Our Supply Chain Team plays a vital role in carrying out TELUS’ strategic initiatives. This involves collaborating across business units and working with suppliers and service providers to ensure the right products and services are deployed across our network in a safe and cost-effective manner. We value our relationships with our suppliers because they help us achieve our business objectives and contribute to our overall success as an organization. We strive to award business to suppliers who demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainable development by adopting ethical, labour, health and safety, environmental principles and compliance practices that align with ours, and ensure the well-being of their employees, contractors and communities.
Our Supplier Code of Conduct (the Code) is fundamentally aligned with our commitment to being a leading corporate citizen. Consistent with the Code of Ethics and Conduct that applies to our employees and contractors, the Code is based upon generally accepted standards of ethical business conduct. We expect our suppliers to comply with this Code, embedded in all supplier contracts, and all applicable laws and regulations wherever they operate.
Our supplier diversity program delivers an improved and innovative customer experience by taking proactive steps to provide equal access to suppliers that reflects the diversity of where we live, work and serve. The program provides more opportunities for ethnic minorities, Indigenous LGBTQ+ and/or women-run organizations to bid for our business in competitive processes so that our suppliers reflects our diverse customer base and bring new ideas and creativity to the table.
As supplier diversity develops across Canada, TELUS is committed to remain a leader in supporting policy development and growth through board representation, partnerships and development programs. Members of our procurement group actively contribute on the boards of:
Our team members, including members of our internal team member resource groups, participate in a variety of supplier diversity marketplace events across Canada as presenters and regular corporate table hosts for marketplace meetings to expand opportunities for diverse suppliers.
A key focus for our Supply Operations Team, including our Reverse Logistics Team, is the management of end of life products and other devices that are returned or recovered from our customers. During the year, we enhanced our processes to collect and refurbish for reuse consumer electronics, high-speed internet and TV services equipment in our continued efforts to reduce our environmental footprint. In 2019, a key initiative was introduced to optimize our equipment recovery program, which led to a reduction of the number of boxes sent to customers while maintaining our recovery rates.
In addition, the Supply Chain Team provides direction and support in the creation of our strategic marketing initiatives such as our Bring-It-Back™ program (BiB). BiB provides a financial incentive to customers to return devices, increasing our overall recovery rate. These devices are refurbished and reintroduced into the market, extending their useful life and providing an affordable mobile device option for customers. TELUS also uses refurbished units as the primary source of devices for internal team members.
In 2019, TELUS successfully completed and passed an external audit and was re-certified by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment as a steward of electronic waste under the B.C. Stewardship Program, demonstrating our continued commitment in responsibly managing our impact on the environment.
Monitoring our suppliers
Under our comprehensive supplier, we screen all suppliers across a spectrum of 42 activities, including human rights violations, bribery and corruption, money laundering and fraud. All of our suppliers undergo this screening before their work begins.
An additional level of scrutiny is applied to suppliers surpassing a spend threshold. These suppliers will receive a risk rating based on their adherence to a sustainability questionnaire, an analysis of their financial stability, insurance compliance and a health and safety audit. Following this screening, suppliers who are rated as high risk will be notified and a corrective action plan will be developed between TELUS and the vendor to move towards compliance.
TELUS fosters strong relationships with suppliers that are critical to the products and services our customers rely upon. We define critical suppliers as those having a high impact on customer experience or network reliability, as well as other parameters. In addition, non-critical suppliers may become defined as critical if they experience repeated outages and become a risk for our business continuity performance.
Our Supply Chain Team works to establish a culture of continuous improvement with these suppliers through regular meetings on reliability and performance, governance and technological risk.
We screen and monitor critical suppliers through our performance management framework called SENTINEL. This framework has two parts: a dashboard that tracks metrics on performance (primarily based on business continuity and risk); and a stakeholder management component where TELUS shares our findings with the vendor. Where there are lagging metrics, an improvement plan is developed and monitored on a quarterly basis.
In 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finalized reporting requirements to disclose the use of designated minerals and metals mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjacent countries. Cassiterite (a source of tin), wolframite (a source of tungsten), columbite-tantalite (or coltan, a source of tantalum) and gold are often referred to collectively as conflict minerals. Such minerals may be used in electronic and communications equipment that we use or sell.
As a signatory of the UNGC, we are committed to preventing human rights abuses that could result from our operations. These SEC reporting requirements for conflict minerals, mandated by Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, came into effect for our 2013 annual reporting cycle. Through the establishment of an internal conflict minerals working group, we have performed our due diligence and have met the reporting requirements each year.