17 October 2022

New partner for more sustainability in the supply chain: IntegrityNext

One of our purposes at Yunex Traffic is to take responsibility for the planet. Therefore, we commit to a comprehensive ESG (Environmental - Social - Governance) framework and develop internal measures to ensure sustainable operations. To ensure that ESG criteria are also met in the supply chain, we work together with IntegrityNext.

We interviewed Ben Schenk (Vice President Procurement & Logistics at Yunex Traffic) and Nick Heine (Chief Operating Officer at IntegrityNext) to learn more about the joint partnership for greater supply chain sustainability.

Why are we committed to sustainability at Yunex Traffic?

Ben Schenk: "Yunex Traffic already has a clear focus on sustainability as its purpose: One of our purposes is that we take care of our planet. Of course, we don't stop here with our sales portfolio (GoGreen portfolio) and ourselves as a company (GoGreen company). The motto 'Only clean business is good business' has focused for a long time on the issue of corruption and then on regulatory compliance. Today, the motto applies much more broadly to all ESG areas: Environmental protection, CO2 emissions reduction, equal rights, equal opportunities, occupational health and safety, fair wages, etc. Our expectations go well beyond the legal standard. At the same time, compliance with legal requirements is understandably not out of focus. Furthermore, all of us on the team also have a personal interest in creating or maintaining a fair and livable world for ourselves and our children."

What is the relevance of the supply chain in terms of sustainability?

Ben Schenk: "Through our supply chains with more than 5,000 direct suppliers in more than 40 countries worldwide, we have a major influence in purchasing on compliance with and implementation of ESG requirements. We want to exert this influence accordingly. The fact that more and more countries are passing corresponding laws (e g., the LKsG in Germany) and customers are including ESG requirements in tenders is logical and the right step.

The importance of supply chains becomes particularly clear when we consider a company's direct CO2 emissions, i.e., the emissions of its own operations Scope 1 and Scope 2 with the emissions of its supply chain (Scope 3 upstream). At Yunex Traffic, our supply chains account for over 90% of total CO2 emissions; Yunex Traffic itself as a company only accounts for less than 10%. From my experience, it's similar with other companies."

How do we ensure an ESG compliant supply chain at Yunex Traffic?

Ben Schenk: "We communicate our basic requirements for legal compliance, human rights, labor practices, environmental protection, fair operating practices, and the fair sourcing of minerals to our subcontractors through our Yunex Traffic Code of Conduct. This is our minimum standard.

In addition, we take a close look at supplier- and country-specific risks. A supplier who works for us on the construction site must consequently fulfill different requirements than one of our software suppliers. We have to make a clear distinction here. If these measures are not enough to create clarity, we also conduct on-site audits of suppliers. These are carried out by external partners to ensure neutrality and objectivity."

What support does IntegrityNext provide?

Nick Heine: "IntegrityNext provides companies with an ESG risk management platform to improve the sustainability of their supply chains. With our software, we enable companies to review their supplier base against regulations such as the Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act, international standards such as human and labor rights, and voluntary commitments such as the Net Zero Goal. Our interdisciplinary team of procurement and supply chain experts, thought leaders in sustainability and technology, work every day to make global supply chains more transparent, sustainable and resilient."

What are the advantages of software for sustainable Supply Chain Management?

Nick Heine: "The sustainability requirements for companies are increasing. On the one hand, the sense of responsibility of the companies themselves, the preservation of competitiveness and the demand on the part of their own customers play a role. On the other hand, companies are increasingly confronted with extensive supply chain legislation, such as the Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act in Germany. At the same time, companies today operate with vast numbers of direct suppliers. The result is often very long and opaque supply chains. For the majority, it is a major challenge to check the multitude of their suppliers for their sustainability performance and compliance with applicable regulations.

This is where a supply chain management software like IntegrityNext comes in. It enables companies to efficiently integrate complex sustainability requirements into existing procurement processes in a legally compliant manner and apply them to any number of suppliers. At IntegrityNext, we prepare the complex regulatory requirements in terms of content and processes and map them in the platform. In this way, we provide companies with a ready-made tool that is always up to date and ready for immediate use.

Reporting requirements can also be met effortlessly with the help of IntegrityNext. At the touch of a button, companies can create a sustainability report in accordance with the internationally recognized GRI standards and gain a quick overview of the most important sustainability KPIs in their supply chain. Overall, our sustainable supply chain management software helps companies meet sustainability requirements such as the German Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act quickly and with little effort."

Why did we at Yunex Traffic choose to work with IntegrityNext?

Ben Schenk: "It was clear to us that we wanted to work with an external partner on this issue. After a corresponding market analysis, we decided on working with IntegrityNext. What convinced us was IntegrityNext's approach to keeping the effort low for suppliers and us alike. The teams are constantly working on optimizing the questionnaires so that their processing involves minimal effort for the suppliers. At the same time, we ensure that they only receive the questionnaires that are relevant to them. This increases acceptance among our suppliers. On our side, too, IntegrityNext reduces the manual effort to a minimum, which means a considerable reduction in workload with several thousand active suppliers and a large number of new suppliers every week."

Nick Heine: "The platform is very intuitive, clear and easy to use. Both our customers and suppliers appreciate that. There are no costs for the supplier - this lowers the inhibition threshold and means high response rates of 82% on average. We also get feedback from suppliers, for example, that it took them just 25 minutes to respond to an assessment standard set.

Currently, around one million suppliers are already being monitored by IntegrityNext. This is a huge advantage for customers, he says, because usually some of their suppliers are already registered on the platform. For suppliers, this means they only have to register once and can share their profile with multiple customers. "In addition, IntegrityNext does not need a long implementation phase. We bring quick results to our customers. On average, a project takes 8 to 10 weeks."

Why should suppliers register on IntegrityNext?

Nick Heine: "For suppliers, a profile on IntegrityNext offers the opportunity to share their sustainability performance with customers and, if desired, publicly. Many suppliers share their IntegrityNext profile on their website, social media or even in tenders to show their commitment and increase their competitiveness. Of course, it's also primarily about disclosing important, non-financial information to their customers and thus contributing to greater sustainability and transparency.

Suppliers register once, create a profile, and fill out questionnaires requested by the customer on various sustainability and compliance topics. In most cases, they can upload certificates and supporting documents instead or in addition. Once the supplier has done this, they can share the information with all customers who request it. The effort for the supplier is enormously reduced by this and by the ease of use."

What are Yunex Traffic's goals in working with IntegrityNext?

Ben Schenk: "We are convinced that with IntegrityNext we have found the right partner to comply with our own, but also the (future) legal requirements. And without these becoming an overbearing, bureaucratic monster for our supplier or for Yunex Traffic. Ideally, we'll be able to fully automate the process as we move forward.

Since more and more companies have to screen their supply chains due to legal requirements and / or simply want to meet their social responsibility, it makes sense from my point of view to choose an open platform. Here, suppliers can make their profile available not only to one customer, but to several customers at the same time. For suppliers, this is a huge advantage and saves a lot of time and resources."

"We are very pleased to accompany and support Yunex Traffic on its journey to a more sustainable supply chain."

Nick Heine, COO IntegrityNext

About Ben Schenk

Ben Schenk has been involved in strategic sourcing and logistics for over 20 years in a wide variety of roles. Ben has held positions including Purchasing Manager at Siemens Rolling Stock in China, Purchasing and Logistics Manager at Siemens Mobility in Australia, and Supply Chain Excellence Manager at Dresser-Rand in the US. Since February 2020 he is the global VP Procurement & Logistics at Yunex Traffic.

About Nick Heine

Nick Heine has been in the software business for over 20 years, including 17 years in strategic sourcing and supply chain. As an expert in supplier management, risk management and compliance, he held various roles at Xcitec, Emptoris and IBM. In 2016, he co-founded Integrity Next GmbH with Martin Berr-Sorokin and Simon Jaehnig, where he currently serves in the role of Chief Operating Officer.