Responsible enterprise and duty of care
Once a year, an assessment is performed covering a scope that encompasses RTE, its contractors and suppliers. The main risks are listed below, in order of priority:
- The health and safety of employees and contract personnel
- Environment and climate
- Human rights.
The risk assessment pertaining to the procurement function is reviewed once a year. It includes an appendix that focuses specifically on risks induced by suppliers. Among the most significant risks identified by this assessment are those relating to health and safety. Where environmental safety is concerned, threats to biodiversity and to a lesser extent, waste processing and resource depletion constitute the most critical risks. With regard to human rights and basic freedoms, unethical contractor practices are identified as a risk which requires specific monitoring on the part of RTE.
Diligence measures taken by RTE with regard to its suppliers are aligned with the commitments agreed to by the company in the responsible procurement charter, signed in 2016 by the Chairman of the Executive Board and the Deputy general manager in charge of finance and procurement. According to the latter, this charter "demonstrates our determination to increasingly take account of social, environmental and economic factors, in order to improve performance today and in the future". In January 2019, RTE obtained the prestigious "responsible supplier relations and purchasing" label, which recognises companies that foster lasting and balanced relationships with their suppliers.
Every year, on-site safety audits are conducted with the main suppliers. 56 audits were held in 2019, three of which took place in factories abroad. 85 safety shortfalls were reported. 38% of the contracts awarded by RTE in 2019 were primarily based on safety-related criteria.
With regard to environmental safety, on-site audits and inspections are also conducted every year. In 2019, 56 environmental-safety audits were conducted and 54 shortfalls were reported. 48% of the contracts awarded by RTE to the best bidders were primarily based on environmental criteria.
Since 2017, RTE has been an active participant in an eco-design initiative and also involves its suppliers. As an example, 100% of RTE contracts for the supply of transformer equipment include requirements pertaining to the reduction of power losses and therefore of greenhouse-gas emissions.
RTE has provided its employees and partners with a platform where they can raise reports in accordance with a piece of legislation known as "Sapin II" enacted on 9 December 2016, pertaining to transparency, the fight against corruption and economic modernisation. In order to protect whistle-blowers, RTE has chosen the secure "BKMS® System" platform to host all these exchanges. This platform guarantees confidential data encryption and retention on a server that is disconnected from RTE’s IT systems.