2 March 2018
Neste develops a new Supplier Sustainability Portal together with its suppliers
Participants of Neste-organized event during Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil in Bali in November 2017 to gather feedback on Neste's Supplier Sustainability Portal demo.
Since late 2016, Neste has been working on digitalizing its renewable raw materials supply chain management system. The company's aim is to build a new, flexible, easy-to-use digital and visual portal, a platform to help the company evaluate potential new suppliers of renewable raw materials, as well as track sustainability performance of the existing ones. A key requirement is that the portal also supports and enables two-way-dialogue between Neste and its suppliers, adding to the already existing means of communication, not replacing them.
Dialogue and engagement have been key defining features also of the development process. Throughout the process, Neste has engaged its suppliers and other stakeholders around the world to gather feedback, views, needs, and expectations. The data is continuously utilized in the ongoing development of the portal.
In May 2017, portal development work was kick-started with the company's first-ever hackathon, organized simultaneously in Helsinki, Finland and in Singapore. Eventually, ideas presented by ten hackathon teams were combined with the company's own, enabling the company to proceed into developing a demo of the portal with Nortal, one of the teams from the hackathon.
Visible progress made
In November 2017, the portal demo was introduced in public during the Annual Conference of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The demo enabled Neste to showcase the key elements of the system, and to convey the overall look and feel that the company is aiming for.
The demo highlights, for example, that the portal can support the supplier in the process of submitting new information in a structured format. The portal will help a new supplier to see what criteria they need to meet in order to become eligible for becoming a Neste supplier. The portal may also alert the supplier when, for instance, a certificate or other information is about to expire and needs to be re-entered, or when there have been changes in Neste's requirements or in applicable regulation, for example. The system could help Neste to quickly identify those suppliers with the greatest need for additional training or other types of support. Obviously, the system would also serve as a centralized database for all supplier-related documentation and data.
"The demo has been very positively received. It is completely understandable, however, that while some suppliers have very high expectations of the portal, some have slight concerns", Eveliina Vikström, the project owner from Neste explains. "It seems that most are able to see the benefits of having streamlined, simplified processes that this system could support. A clear objective of ours has been to create a system that offers added value to both us and our suppliers, and therefore supplier engagement has been an essential element in the development work", Vikström adds.
Neste will continue engaging its suppliers and other stakeholders in the portal development. It will, for example, use internal and supplier focus groups to gather feedback and further input throughout the development process of the actual portal. The development is expected to begin in April together with an external partner, and the aim is to have the first version of the portal ready in the second half of 2018.
Johan Lunabba, Director, Sustainability, tel. +358 50 458 0795, johan.lunabba(@)neste.com
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Neste in brief
Neste (NESTE, Nasdaq Helsinki) builds sustainable options for transport, business and consumer needs. Our global range of products and services allows customers to lower their carbon footprint by combining high-quality and low-emission renewable products and oil products with tailor-made service solutions. We are the world's largest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and residues, and we are also bringing renewable solutions to the aviation and plastics industries. We want to be a reliable partner with widely valued expertise, research and responsible practices. In 2016, Neste's net sales stood at EUR 11.7 billion. In 2018, Neste placed 2nd on the Global 100 list of the most sustainable companies in the world. Read more: neste.com