The content and weighting of the corporate social and environmental responsibility criteria depends for instance on the nature of the object of procurement. The target for 2020 was that corporate social and/or environmental responsibility criteria should be applied in 60% of the joint procurements published by HUS Logistics.
However, the year 2020 turned out to be an exceptional one because of the coronavirus pandemic, which had an impact on target attainment.
In 26% of the invitations to tender for joint procurement published in 2020, responsibility criteria were cited as compelling or comparative factors. On the other hand, the number of published invitations to tender also increase substantially. In all, we published 315 invitations to tender (joint and individual procurements, excluding COVID procurements). Responsibility criteria were imposed in 66 of these. Responsibility criteria were included in more invitations to tender than in the previous year, but percentagewise the figure was much lower than in 2019 (62%).
Cooperation with hospital districts and Finnwatch
In early 2020, a joint Guide to Ethical Procurement for hospital districts was published at the initiative of HUS Logistics. The guide was authored by the Competence Centre for Sustainable and Innovative Public Procurement, Keino. The guide was adopted at HUS Logistics during the year under review, and procurement experts were trained in the use of the guide in August 2020. The guide made it significantly easier to incorporate responsibility aspects into procurement and thereby increase the percentage of invitations to tender where responsibility is taken into account.
In early 2019, HUS Logistics signed a contract with Finnwatch ry for collaboration in promoting socially responsible procurement. This was a pilot project where Finnwatch participated in the preparation of two invitations to tender by HUS Logistics and provided recommendations on how to integrate issues of corporate social responsibility into all public procurements undertaken by HUS Logistics. A report on the results of the cooperation was produced in summer 2020, and the recommendations and Code of Conduct, i.e. the contractual terms related to sustainability, have been integrated into the Guide to Responsible Procurement.
We continue to monitor compliance with responsibility criteria among other procurement indicators at operative meetings on procurement. We also report on the indicators to the strategic steering group for procurement. In 2020, we focused particularly on improving reporting and monitoring so as to gain a better understanding of responsibility aspects. Also, in respect of categorization in service procurements, we are further specifying the responsibility targets for service procurement. Specifically, we sought to develop new measures for preventing labor exploitation.
Human rights in countries where procurements are made
The supply chain for products procured by HUS Logistics is global and includes several ‘risk countries’ (BSCI classification). When we investigate the countries of manufacture of the products to be purchased and their location in the BSCI risk country list at the market survey stage, we assess the human rights risks of each procurement. We also discuss the market situation and known risks with potential suppliers. The products commonly imported from BSCI risk countries include surgical and examination gloves and personal protective equipment such as surgical gowns, masks and caps. Typically, there are risks involved in the procurement of disposable supplies acquired in large quantities whose manufacture requires a great deal of manual labor.
The human rights risks we identify include issues with wages, working hours, freedom of association and recruitment fees. Our corporate social responsibility reporting has also highlighted forced labor and the use of child labor. We aim to minimize these risks by insisting on transparency with our suppliers, including e.g. audit reporting. HUS Logistics does not itself audit suppliers or production plants; instead, reliable third party certified audit reporting is included as a contractual requirement in procurements from risk countries.