29 August 2022

The Greener Choice – A Joint Call for Action

Today, we stand together as ten European TSOs and confirm the ambitions we outlined in our first Greener Choice letter, in the hope of turning our vision into reality.

Dear suppliers,

In 2020, we as transmission system operators (TSOs) approached you with our letter entitled ‘The Greener Choice’. Since then, global supply chains have been ruptured in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and are again being challenged by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It is clearer than ever that as we are accelerating Europe’s transition towards the first climate-neutral continent, we must also build up resilience in our global supply chains and drive decarbonisation well beyond our own activities. Today, we stand together as ten European TSOs and confirm the ambitions we outlined in our first Greener Choice letter, in the hope of turning our vision into reality.

We share these ambitions with, and face the same challenges as, many of our suppliers. We must therefore take the next steps together. In practice, this means TSOs and suppliers must both do their part. It is on us to lower entry barriers for innovative technologies and the circular use of raw materials. We will need to revise standards and practices that stand in the way of a smarter way of working and overcome legacy technologies, such as the use of SF6 as an insulating gas. Naturally, this process will take many years. Along with the signatories of this letter, we have formed a working group which strives to coordinate and consolidate methodologies for rating and quantifying more sustainable manufacturing, service and logistical processes. These metrics will eventually be taken into account in our procurement processes.

Similarly, we would like to see our suppliers - each to the best of their abilities - also transition towards more sustainable business models. We expect all suppliers to examine their value streams and account for raw materials, their provenance and recycled content, as well as emissions resulting from manufacturing and logistical processes. Where possible, suppliers should undertake standardised life cycle assessments of their products and services and share this data with us via common exchange platforms. This will form the basis for our transition towards carbon neutrality. Moreover, we would like to encourage suppliers of all sizes and from all sectors to invest in seeking out ESG performance ratings. These can help to identify an organisation’s strengths and weaknesses and structure its approach to sustainability. At the same time, such ratings allow us as clients to benchmark suppliers’ achievements and reward front-runners.

We value the efforts that many of you have already undertaken and encourage you to stay on this path. Your ideas are welcome and we are eager to discuss them with you. If you are unsure about how to tackle these topics, do not hesitate to reach out to us – we look forward to speaking with you.

Let us help each other and work on this challenge together.

Robert Steinemer, Head of Procurement at Amprion
Norbert Hiesleitner, Head of Procurement at APG
Harald van Outryve d’Ydewalle, Head of Elia Group Purchasing
Vivienne Bracken, Chief Procurement Officer at National Grid
João Correia Botelho, Director Procurement at REN
Gilles Etheimer, CPO at RTE
Ringeisen Ralf, Head of Procurement and Claim Management at Swissgrid
Sjouke Bootsma, Director Supply Chain Management at TenneT
Alessandro Fiocco, Head of Procurement at Terna
Domenico Gentile, Head of Procurement & Contract-/Claim management at TransnetBW

Vanwanseele Marie-Laure
Spokesperson Dutch Elia Belgium                        
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