27 November 2020

Elia Group calls on suppliers to work on sustainability

Together with 6 other European Transmission System Operators (TSOs), Elia Group calls on its suppliers to offer their products or services in a sustainable way. The call for a greener choice has been launched in an open letter. Suppliers are encouraged to contribute to a more sustainable and carbon-neutral society.

“The greener choice”

As Transmission System Operators (TSO), we are at the center of the energy transition of our societies and economies towards a more sustainable and carbon-free world. Our mission is to ensure that we provide sufficient capacities for the transport of renewable energies, while ensuring reliability of critical network infrastructures at affordable costs for our customers. We owe this to the societies we serve.

Yet, as the transition towards a more sustainable economy continues, more and more elements of our core business are affected by this transition—from the way we interact, move and produce to the way today’s demands is shaping tomorrow’s supply. Thus, as TSOs, our responsibility has grown far beyond our traditional objectives. Today, we must also reflect on the choices we make when buying the materials and services that are essential to our operation.

The international momentum of investments into more sustainable products provides us with the certainty that we are only at the beginning of a global transition. A growing societal responsibility demands of each enterprise—public or private—to contribute towards this common objective. As European utilities, we must lead the way in this transition and attempt to be at the forefront of green investments. As Purchasing Departments, we play a significant role in this ambition. This means paying increased attention to the environmental, biodiversity, circular economy and social impact of the equipment and services we buy – simply put: making a greener choice. We welcome and promote new ideas to fulfill conventional needs with innovative solutions. We are convinced that almost all aspects of our business will become ”greener” and more sustainable by revising the technologies and methods, investing in innovative digital technologies (5G, AI) to allow electricity networks to play their role as a “central nervous system” of the electricity system.

All suppliers—established and new—are encouraged to contribute to this evolution. We will take into consideration this new trend in our future selection and / or awarding criteria’s.

Furthermore, we strive to gain a deeper insight into the environmental footprint and social impact of the products and services we purchase. We do this with the long-term objective to encourage those suppliers who are able to make measurable reductions in this regard.

Lastly, as TSOs, we are jointly urging and will incentivize our partners to set up sustainability targets. Simultaneously, we recognize that our suppliers rely on a clear signal from the European market, setting the path for the coming decades in order to ensure the necessary investments.

With the present letter, we seek to confirm our engagement to support this transition and encourage our existing and future suppliers to take decisive action for a more sustainable and resilient world tomorrow.

Together, we are ready to make the Greener Choice.

Harald van Outryve d’Ydewalle, Head of Elia Group Purchasing
João Correia Botelho, Director Procurement REN
Gilles Etheimer, CPO RTE
Sjouke Bootsma, Associate Director Supply Chain Mgt TenneT
Mónica Jiménez-Arellano, CPO Grupo RED Eléctrica
Vivienne Bracken, CPO National Grid
Alessandro Fiocco, CPO Terna

Vanwanseele Marie-Laure
Spokesperson Dutch Elia Belgium                        
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