Our markets

better together in the communities where we are active

Bekaert strives to be a loyal and responsible partner in the communities where we are active. We make a point of interacting with local governments in a transparent, constructive way, and we are firmly committed to complying with national legislations and collective labor agreements. Bekaert adheres to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the treaties and recommendations of the International Labor Organization. 

Also in acquisition deals, Bekaert attaches great importance to building open and constructive relationships with local government bodies and with social representatives from the start. This was particularly the case in the communities we entered as part of the Pirelli deal.

Co-creation and open innovation
Bekaert seeks international partnerships with universities and research institutes. In 2015, we continued to cooperate with academic institutions, technology clusters and research partners from different countries in order to bring an outside-in approach.

better together with customers and suppliers

Bekaert has production facilities and sales offices in 40 countries and builds lasting relationships with customers and suppliers, wherever we do business. 

We work closely with customers and suppliers by engaging in co-development projects, by conducting feedback initiatives and satisfaction surveys, and by performing industry analyses together. 

Bekaert has not identified any substantiated complaints from customers regarding customer privacy and losses of customer data to our knowledge. (G4-PR8)

Bekaert Supply Chain Description (G4-12)

Elements in Bekaert's supply chain:

Bekaert supply chain

Steel wire rod is the main raw material used for the production of steel wire. Bekaert purchases different grades of steel wire rod from steel mills, transforms them and applies coating technologies. The wire products produced by Bekaert are shipped to industrial customers that further process our material into half- or end-products, or to end-customers or via distribution channels.

In 2015, Bekaert had more than 19,000 active suppliers of which 44% are based in EMEA, 6% in Latin America, 28% in North Asia, 16% in North America, 2% in India and 5% in South-East Asia.

Steel wire rod represents about 44% of the total Bekaert spend and is ordered from 120 different vendors. More than 80% of steel wire rod spend is allocated to 20 vendors. To ensure continuity of supply, the risk profiles of critical vendors are defined and evaluated. Single sourcing situations are mitigated by developing second sources and/or stock policies. 

Significant changes in the supply chain (G4-13)

Over 2015, major changes took place in the supply of steel wire rod. With the most relevant suppliers, a key supplier agreement is in place in order to intensify the relationship, and guarantee close cooperation in areas of supply chain integration, cost optimization, innovation and sustainability. Such key supplier agreements cover more than 50 % of the total steel wire rod spend. 
The allocation plan for steel wire rod has contributed to make optimal use of business opportunities, and to handle the limitations in the supply chain resulting from trade barrier challenges in several parts of the world.

In 2015, Bekaert’s Purchasing function stepped up its engagement to enhance sustainability awareness and controls within our supplier base. 
  • For the top 10 suppliers by spend category we verified if the suppliers had a code of conduct in place, of which the principles are in line with the Bekaert Code of Conduct. 
  • Suppliers who did not have a code of conduct in place were asked to agree with the Bekaert Supplier Code of Conduct.
  • So far, more than 40% of our global spend agreed to work with us in building sustainable supply chains. 
  • Shared targets and action plans for 2016 were defined with key suppliers, enabling us all to drive sustainability forward across the supply chain. (G4-EN32, G4-LA14, G4-HR10)

Local spending (G4-EC9)

Definition of local = supplier and Bekaert company located in the same region (using the six Bekaert regions: N-AM, LATAM, EMEA, N-ASIA, S-ASIA, SE-ASIA).

Bekaert_Local spending 2015
Bekaert recognizes the importance of responsible sourcing. In 2015 we continued to implement measures compliant with the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative. This is an initiative of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSi), that helps companies from a range of industries addressing conflict minerals issues in their supply chain. 
We actively cooperate with global customers in sustainability programs. We support their CSR programs by implementing specific actions in our CSR policies and we joined sustainability initiatives and standards to serve specific customer requests.

Close customer cooperation

We work closely with customers and suppliers by engaging in co-development projects. As part of one of the core strategies, Bekaert remodeled the innovation strategy in order to speed up R&D in co-creation with customers. The purpose is to make our R&D processes and priorities much more customer-driven. Our focus is being oriented toward fewer projects with faster and better innovation results, and to opportunities with bigger impact. 

In co-creating new steel wire solutions with and for our customers, we increasingly sharpen our focus on the total value chain and consider disruptive innovations that envision the lowest total cost of ownership in our target markets.

Shaping a sustainable value chain

Bekaert also cooperates with customers and suppliers by conducting feedback initiatives and satisfaction surveys, and by performing industry analyses together. Customer surveys are executed annually or bi-annually in all sectors and regions and are based on either standard methodologies or customized on request of the specific customer.

We actively cooperate with global customers, especially from the automotive, construction and energy related markets, in supporting their CSR programs by implementing specific actions in our CSR policies. Acting as a socially responsible supplier helps our customers achieve their sustainability targets.

Market place related data

  • Direct economic value generated and distributed: Data can be found in the Financial Review of our Annual Report 2015 §5.2., § 5.3, § 5.5, § 6.12
  • Anti-corruption policies and procedures: According to our global policy all employees (100%) receive the "Bekaert Code of Conduct" upon hiring, which describes the Bekaert anti-corruption policy & procedures. (G4-56, G4-SO4) This standard policy is coordinated by the regional HR managers and is available in 5 languages. 100% of managerial employees received the Bekaert Code of Conduct and are trained through specific management training programs. 100% of white and blue collar employees received the Code of Conduct (integrated in labor contract). Additional training is foreseen partially depending on the function (eg. Purchasing function 100% trained) and depends on the existence of relations with external contacts in general. During internal audits, the Group Internal Audit department regularly evaluates the anti-corruption policies and procedures, and advises on modifications where necessary. All policies are available to all employees through the Bekaert Intranet.