Purchasing policies

 The Purchasing and Logistics Division, within the Parent Company, has the mission to «ensure the definition of the policies and guidelines, as well as the centralised management, of the supplies of goods, services and work for the Group». Each year the Purchasing and Logistics Division seeks to improve the efficiency of the supply process by means of exploiting the technical skills of the buyers and focusing the process on the handling of the various commodities’ categories.

The handling of the Qualification systems for the suppliers is by contrast under the responsibility of the Safety and Protection Division and this guarantees the total independence of the two activities.

Operational supervision is ensured by the Planning, Control and Marketing Unit for purchases, which proposes purchasing strategies in line with the Group’s objectives, guarantees the analysis of the needs of the Companies/Divisions and the drafting of the Group procurement plan, and monitors the evolution of the market of suppliers, the price trend and technological innovations.

Handling of supplies took place in complete observance of the reference legislative framework70; resorting to the calling of tenders as the predominant method of identifying the supplier,  characterising the procedures for awarding work with the utmost transparency and ensuring the centralised handling of the tender contracts.

With regard to the Logistics Unit, during 2012 the foundations were laid for bringing the management of the Group’s central warehouse back under direct control, following the expiry of the contract with the logistics operator which managed the warehouse from 1 January 2007 until 31 December 2012. The materials transport service of the individual companies has also been centralised, via the calling of a tender and the identification of a reference haulage contractor whose rates will make it possible to achieve a saving of around 40% in costs. In conclusion,  the most important logistics activities (operational handling of the warehouses, execution of the inventories, handling of material returns) have been proceduralised, for the purpose of harmonising the execution between the various companies.

In April 2012, Acea adopted and divulged the new edition of the Group Ethical Code which, assimilating the principles, has outdated the previous value codes, including the Tender Ethics Code (adopted in 2003). The current version of the Ethical Code71,dedicates Article 16, sections 1-7 to the dealings between Acea and the suppliers and confirms the great attention to this subject, guiding the conduct of the contractor and the contracting and sub-contracting companies, according to the principles of correctness, transparency and protection of competition. Furthermore, the Code confirms, being the indispensable condition for taking part in the procedures for entrusting the works, goods and services under penalty of exclusion of the same, the signing by way of acceptance of the Group’s Ethical Code and envisages, in the event of violations of the main contents of the Code, subject to verification of the same, the exclusion from the tender or cancellation of the adjudication (Article 16, sections 6 and 7).

70 Italian Legislative Decree No. 163 dated 12 April 2006 – Code of public contracts relating to work, services and supplies implementing EU directives 2004/17/CE and 2004/18/CE.
71The new version of the Group Ethical Code (2012) - the previous one was adopted in 2004 - is available on-line on the company website (Regulations and values section).

The Group Ethical Code ( 2012 edition): safeguarding of the ethical aspects in supplies

Acea Group Ethical Code, Article 16.2:

«Within the sphere of the procurement activities, Acea undertakes to further observance of the health and safety of workers conditions, attention to the quality of the goods and services, the respect of the environment and the pursuit of energy savings, in compliance with the principles laid down in this Code and by the law. In the contracts with supplier in countries at risk, defined as such by the recognised associations, contractual clauses are introduced which envisage: self-certification by the supplier that they comply with specific social obligations (for example: measures which ensure workers the respect of their fundamental rights, the principles of equal and non-discriminatory treatment, protection of child labour); the possibility of availing oneself of control action care of the production units or operating premises of the Supplier Company, so as to check satisfaction of these requirements”.

The procedures regarding purchases pursue the aim of concentrating the planning of procurement within the holding company along with the procedures for the selection of the suppliers, making the process more effective and efficient.

In December 2012, the project relating to the technical adjustments to the SAP management system was completed, for the works, goods and services tenders, necessary for ensuring a more effective handling of the procurement process. The technological evolution of the SAP management system, in compliance with the current purchasing procedure, has made it possible to introduce additional elements for the control and monitoring of the purchasing process.

Furthermore, in 2012 the project for the adaptation of the Pleiade platform was completed (https://vendor.i-faber.com/acea/) for the handing of the on-line tenders and the related support services. The main objectives of the project concerned the evolution of the performances of the e-sourcing platform in compliance with the purchasing procedures, the adjudication criteria  envisaged by legislation and the reporting requested.

The consolidated purchasing portal was also active in 2012, for the handling of the communal contracts, such as travel and business trips, stationery, printers, toner and other consumables.