Ethics and Sustainable Development, Key Factors in Our Supplier Relationships

Ethique relations fournisseurs Ethique relations fournisseurs

With operations in more than 130 countries, we work with numerous suppliers of goods and services worldwide. Forging trust-based relationships with them is a critical challenge for us. Safety, respect for human rights, corporate social responsibility and environmental protection are all embedded in our DNA, and we expect our suppliers to commit to them alongside us.

Our fundamental principles: dialogue and adherence to commitments

Every year, Total purchases more than €30 billion in goods and services worldwide. Fully aware of the potential economic, social and environmental impact of such expenditure, we take these factors into consideration in our supplier relationships. These are based on three key principles: dialogue, professionalism and adherence to commitments.

Dialogue is the key component in our relationships with suppliers. To facilitate day-to-day interaction, we provide our suppliers with a single point of contact within the organization. And to build balanced, long-term relationships, we work hard to ensure that the purchasing process is simple, secure and reliable, paying particular attention to compliance with contractual payment terms

Since 2010, our Fundamental Principles of Purchasing have served as the foundation of both our purchasing process and the long-term relationships we hope to forge with our suppliers. Derived from our Code of Conduct, they set out the commitments we expect from our suppliers in the following areas: 

  • Respecting human rights in the workplace 
  • Protecting people’s health, safety and security 
  • Preserving the environment 
  • Preventing corruption and conflicts of interest and fighting fraud 
  • Complying with competition law
  • Promoting economic and social development

Consult our Fundamental Principles of Purchasing

To build a responsible and sustainable energy future, we require our suppliers to adhere to and implement these principles. We expect them to be especially vigilant and attentive to the human rights-related aspects of their standards and procedures, in particular their employees’ working conditions. We also expect them to ensure that their own suppliers and contractors adhere to equivalent principles. 

Respect for Human Rights in the Workplace: A Non-Negotiable Requirement for All of Our Suppliers

We uphold our commitment to stakeholders to respect human rights wherever we operate. This principle is clearly stated in our Human Rights Guide, with which our suppliers are expected to comply. The key issues we have identified in this area include forced labor and child labor. Our suppliers undergo human rights risk analyses, self-assessments and audits and may be required to implement action plans, where necessary. 

A Mediator to Facilitate Dialogue with Suppliers

The internal mediator acts as a facilitator should disagreements reach an impasse. Serving suppliers and purchasing officers, the mediator restores communication and helps find out-of-court solutions when attempts to resolve differences with a regular contact have been unsuccessful.

Any Total supplier faced with such issues can contact the mediator at the following email address:

Sustainable purchasing underpinned by commitment and responsibility

Total’s operations create hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs around the world. Fully aware of the potential environmental, social and community impact of such job creation, we take these factors into consideration in our relationships with suppliers.

In addition to economic criteria (such as quality, cost and deadline), the supplier and product selection process also takes into account such criteria as resource preservation, waste management and respect for human rights in the workplace. 

As reflected in our Fundamental Principles of Purchasing, integration into the local community is also seen as a priority. We therefore make every effort to facilitate development of the local economy in all of our host countries. We do this by purchasing goods and services from local suppliers and by supporting local SMEs via our dedicated structure, Total Développement Régional

Safety: A Key Criterion in the Supplier Selection Process

For Total, the safety of our service providers’ employees is just as important as the safety of our own employees. This is a core value at Total and one that guides our everyday actions. Safety is therefore one of the key criteria used for selecting and assessing our contractors, because that is the best way to ensure that all of the necessary measures are taken to keep everybody safe.