Briefings

Condat Gets Top Marks from EcoVadis
Photo courtesy of Condat

Condat Gets Top Marks from EcoVadis

By Simon Johns - Dec 01, 2021

Industrial lubrication company Condat reached platinum level on the Ecovadis corporate social responsibility platform, putting the French lubricant company in the top 1% of Ecovadis’ best-rated sustainable companies.

Ecovadis assess the environmental, social and ethical risks of a business and its suppliers across a wide range of industries. The Paris-headquartered agency looks at four main areas of concern: the environment, labor and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement.

Introduced last year, platinum is the highest distinction in Ecovadis’ supplier sustainability rating structure. It is awarded to companies that achieve an overall assessment score between 73 and 100. Condat signed up to Ecovadis in 2018, initially achieving silver, demonstrating a commitment to sustainable improvement over the past three years.

“Being evaluated by EcoVadis allowed us to increase and [carry out] our [corporate social responsibility] actions. It is also a powerful lever to impact positively on our supply chain’s CSR,” Laetitia Chauvy, Condat’s CSR and products regulatory affairs manager, told Sustainability InSite via email. “It is also a good means to innovate.”

Going through the Ecovadis assessment process helps companies to respond to customer and partner demands for transparency and demonstrate their dedication to sustainability, explained David McClintock, EcoVadis’s marketing director, told Sustainability InSite.

The resulting scorecard of an evaluation is easy to share with multiple stakeholders and helps an organization connect with new trading partners through a global directory. While standards, practices and materiality of sustainability and CSR issues vary widely across business activities, EcoVadis’ assessment and rating methodology can be adapted to size, location and activity.

“Lubricants would fall into the ISIC classification 2029 under chemicals. Some examples of key challenges in this industry include energy consumption and [greenhouse gases], water conservation, cleanliness and wastewater emissions, manufacturing waste, consumer and employee health and safety,” McClintock said. “By working with EcoVadis, companies in the lubricant industry can substantially improve their sustainability practices, showcase their performance and differentiate themselves from competitors.” 

>Read more about Ecovadis here.

While there are other providers of similar services – for example, B Corp, Positive Workplace and Lucie – Ecovadis has the most subscribers in Condat’s home country of France, as well as globally. What differentiates it as far as Condat is concerned is that it is a complete assessment of a company’s CSR actions and policies. 

“Ecovadis is a general assessor and not a sectoral assessor. Internationally recognized, it covers a complete value chain, which is virtuous in terms of progress,” Chauvy said.

Condat advises other companies looking to carry out similar audits of their sustainability performance that Ecovadis “is an effective way to structure your approach, to progress and to give a level in a known frame of reference. Building a robust file with all the supporting documents takes time, so you have to anticipate this preparation.”

“As an independent assessor, Ecovadis ratings are highly valued, their methodology and process means that stakeholders can rely on their assessment as an indicator of the integrity of suppliers within the supply chain. It really helps that there is a standard approach and it makes it easier for companies to choose strategic partners,” John Eastwood, head of global business development at chemical company Croda Europe Ltd, which is also an Ecovadis platinum member, told Sustainability InSite. 

An evaluation of a company’s activities is made through a questionnaire and submitted documentation, which are analyzed by a sustainability expert. The process uses recognize standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative, the United Nations Global Compact and ISO 26000.

“Our customers want to know that we are a responsible, sustainably minded organization,” said Eastwood.

In the absence of Ecovadis, or similar third-party verification, companies would need to conduct their own assessment, which could be time consuming and costly, especially when a company might have hundreds of suppliers and customers, he explained. “In time, more and more companies will insist that suppliers are ‘accredited’ by Ecovadis or similar organizations, it makes managing supply chains easier and more transparent but without the need for companies to share sensitive data with all their customers.”

Condat and Croda are joined by Swedish base oil and lubricant maker Nynas, German chemicals giant BASF, specialty chemicals manufacturer Azelis, oxo chemical producer OQ Chemical and polymer producer Kraton, among others.

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