Purchasing management

In Italy and Germany, purchasing procedures, from searching for a supplier to entering into the contract, are carried out by a common services company, while in Austria, France, the Czech Republic and Spain they are conducted by a purchasing service centralised at the holding companies. Lastly, in Switzerland, purchasing is carried out by the individual companies.
In consideration of the specific nature of the business, which envisages the direct involvement of suppliers in the service provided to the client throughout the area on a local basis, previous contacts with suppliers and management of supplier relations are particularly important to companies of the Europ Assistance group. Also for this reason, Europ Assistance companies independently make their own purchases, and only certain countries, such as France and Italy, have a purchasing service centralised at the local holding company. Supplier information is shared at national level, through a database accessible to all group companies.

The supplier selection process is carried out through clear, certain, non-discriminatory procedures, exclusively using objective, documentable and transparent criteria linked to the quality of products and services offered. Quality is also assessed in consideration of compliance with international ethical principles on labour and human rights, as well as considering the environmental impact of the manufacture and supply methods used.
In Italy, Austria, France, Germany and the Czech Republic, supplier accreditation is performed through IT platforms (supplier portals). Using this procedure, suppliers can enter their company data and view and sign Generali Group documents. In this phase, suppliers are also required to fill out questionnaires to verify their credentials. The information requested also includes the possession of environmental and social certifications and the existence of an environmental policy or initiatives that focus on the environment. More generally, in order to motivate suppliers to adopt responsible social and environmental conduct, in the selection process, the Group considers the possession of certifications or the existence of social and environmental policies to be preferential requirements. Specifically, the introduction of the environment variable in supplier assessment complies with the objectives set out by in the Environmental Policy of the Generali Group, described in the chapter Environment and Climate Change.

The Group gives preference to green procurement for purchases of office equipment, especially of paper, toner and stationery. In France, this is also true for office cleaning products. Furthermore, suppliers that provide services for the Saint Denis complex, which has HQE (Haute Qualité Environnementale) certification, are required to comply with the standards set out by this certification.
In some countries local procurement is also used: for example, company canteens are supplied with local products in Austria and in a few sites in Italy.

In selecting suppliers, some companies give preference to social cooperatives or companies with a social purpose to support their activities in favour of disadvantaged people. For example, in Italy, Europ Assistance uses cooperatives for cultural mediation, disposal of special waste and purchases of promotional gifts and stationery. In Austria, companies buy PC cleaning sets from the association for the blind and printing products from companies that employ former convicts. Several social cooperatives that integrate disadvantaged people, especially the disabled, into the labour market provide goods and services to Group companies in France, the Czech Republic, Spain and Switzerland.

Taking account of the fact that the risk analysis has shown that for textiles and advertising materials there is a higher risk of the use of forced labour or child labour, due to the source countries, where these rights are not fully guaranteed, in Austria suppliers of these products are required to provide proof of origin and preference is given to suppliers certified according to the SA 8000 standard. This standard guarantees several aspects of company management which are significant for CSR, such as respect of human and labour rights, protection against the exploitation of minors and health and safety in the workplace.

Non-European countries

The Ethical Code for suppliers of the Generali Group is the document applied to all countries where the Group operates.

An initial analysis was conducted of non-European countries, which did not detect significant risks related to the possibility that certain suppliers could use forced labour or child labour.

However, it was found that in several countries where the Group operates, freedom of association and collective bargaining are not permitted by law (United Arab Emirates) or are permitted with limitations (China).