Skip to content

Views from the industry: Hempel

Hempel is a leading supplier of coating solutions, working with customers in the decorative, marine, infrastructure and energy industries. It was established in Denmark in 1915 and today employs people across the globe.

We spoke to Dagny Nome, Procurement Sustainability Manager at Copenhagen-based Hempel, about the challenges of transparency, required by incoming regulation; she also explains how her business tackles this task by focusing on, and working with, its supply chain.

Dagny Nome: At Hempel, our Double Impact strategy is all about enhancing the positive impact we have for our employees, customers, owners, and stakeholders in general. To deliver on our strategy it is critical we have a scalable business – one that can grow and generate higher sales without increasing our costs, or environmental footprint. The Futureproof sustainability strategy was part of a new corporate strategy and launched in February 2021. With that, we decided to take a leap of faith in a way. We knew where the market was heading – our customers were looking to us for answers to some of their sustainability challenges. So, we had to make some strong, bold commitments, and figure out the exact road forward afterwards.

The depth and breadth of our sustainability strategy gave us confidence in our abilities to deliver on significant CO2e savings. A year later, we signed up for, and got approved by, Science Based Targets. With raw materials accounting for about two-thirds of our total carbon emissions, working with our suppliers has been a key focal point since.

The EU regulatory landscape will be extremely important for us, particularly the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). We welcome this development and see it as an opportunity to ensure sustainability is firmly embedded into our supply chains.

The level of transparency required will be a game-changer. Even though we follow a due diligence process and work according to that, we will need to have an increased level of transparency. We must be much better at ensuring multi-tier insight into our supply chains upstream and report more data. Initially, we relied on external sustainability assessments to manage risk, but felt we needed to understand our suppliers and their situations much better. We also wanted to use our customer’s voice to push for change. This is the background for the Hempel Procurement Sustainability Screening.

Currently we have screened around 150 suppliers across a range of categories, from pigments to logistics. We take a systematic approach and involve category managers, both globally and regionally, talking to both strategic suppliers and those that might be in the future. By listening to all our suppliers at the same time, it helps us understand the best way forward for a given category. It also tells us where our suppliers are in terms of maturity.

Our message to our suppliers is that sustainability is a journey that we need to be on together. Therefore, it is important that we have an open communication and share with each other; what are the sustainability drivers for this kind of raw material? How can our shared sustainability targets be achieved? We want to learn from our suppliers and to share our own knowledge.

Dagny-Nome-265x265.jpg

The EU regulatory landscape will be extremely important for us, particularly the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). We welcome this development and see it as an opportunity to ensure sustainability is firmly embedded into our supply chains.

  • Dagny Nome ,
  • Procurement & Sustainability Manager ,
  • Hempel