The sustainability of a company is not limited solely to the internal development of good practice, it is also necessary to ensure that all the companies associated with it are sustainable too. In order to ensure that sustainability is present throughout the supply chain, a very close relationship with suppliers is needed, as well as the creation of a forum for dialogue and interaction with them so as to ascertain what is being done.
In view of the fact that many suppliers are the same for the entire industry, the idea arose to join forces and work together, putting to one side the possible competitiveness between those companies.
With this idea in mind, in 2010, JAC (Joint Audit Cooperation) was founded: the "Association of telecom operators, aiming to verify, assess and develop Corporate Social Responsibility and implement it across the manufacturing centres of the most important suppliers of these ICT industry multinationals." The foundations of JAC were laid under the slogan, "Cooperation Beyond Competition", because cooperation between companies is more necessary at some point.
JAC, therefore, constitutes that space for dialogue and exchange of ideas and resources which will enable social, environmental and ethical standards to be strengthened throughout the supply chain. The growth of JAC, whose members currently include 12 of the largest telecommunications operators in the world (Deutsche Telekom, KPN, Orange, Proximus, Rogers, Swisscom, TIM, Telefónica, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Verizon and Vodafone), has enabled the number of suppliers and manufacturing plants analysed since 2010 to have increased.
The organisation's worth is backed up by the figures: since its foundation towards the end of 2015, more than 200 audits have been carried out on ICT suppliers in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and North America, in more than 23 countries. The work carried out during 2015 enabled the number of audits carried out to be nearly double the number carried out the previous year, and enabled the corrective actions or resolution of problems identified through audits to increase by 10%.
Thus, by joining the JAC initiative, Telefónica is working to have a strategy for closer cooperation with suppliers, with the aim of ensuring long-term solutions in the field of sustainability.
"For Telefónica, participating in JAC is an important step, because through this initiative, common standards are promoted and the industry's most relevant risks are managed", explained Geert Paemen, Director of Sustainability and Management of Intangible Assets at Telefónica.
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