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Reducing Costs And Adding Value

To guide the sustainable procurement actions from risk management towards value creation, you most certainly need the willingness from the management side.

How to improve sustainability and compliance across your global supply? What is the first thing procurement professionals should have in mind when improving sustainability and compliance across the business?

Air Liquide is a world leader in gases, technologies and services for industry and healthcare. The Group strives to lead its industry, deliver long-term performance and contribute to sustainability. Embedded in the Air Liquide Group Procurement Department, the sustainable procurement function translates the regulatory and operational requirements into a Group Procedure, defines and monitors accordingly objectives and KPIs for each major geography and business unit, and ensures the Group Procedure’s deployment with the selected suppliers via a worldwide correspondents network.
First of all, the sustainable procurement is a transversal challenge that needs a full alignment between interacting functions such as Legal, Ethics, Sustainable Development, Operations, Supply Chain, Human Resources, etc. and a comprehensive understanding of the business and geographical specificities.

What is the unique blend of strategies to reduce costs and add value?

With more than 10 years evolution within the Group, a strong willingness from the Management guides the sustainable procurement actions from risk management towards value creation. Take an example of Supplier CSR day in China. In addition to regular online trainings, we consider that the “physical contact” with the suppliers will always bring its value to strengthen the relationship and further sensibilise on sustainable procurement topics. In 2018 & 2019 Air Liquide China has initiated the “Sustainable Supplier Day” in collaboration with EcoVadis, such events contributed to the supplier engagement in the evaluation campaigns as well as the corrective action plans completion. It reduces the distance between Air Liquide buyers and the suppliers who should share and jointly reach the CSR objectives.


Shui MAHIEU is a Global Sustainable Procurement Manager at Air Liquide. She joined Air Liquide in 2008 as an international procurement process and performance manager in Air Liquide Healthcare. She moved to Air Liquide Head Office as Global Sustainable Procurement Manager in 2014. Before joining Air Liquide, she was a global e-sourcing project leader in Alcatel-Lucent HQ (Nokia Corporation) for 4 years. Shui animates a working group “Duty of care” with around 20 companies in France. She was born and raised in China, living in France for 16 years, having two masters in Engineering and Business in China and France, Project Management Professional (PMP) certified, trilingual and bicultural. In 2019, the project managed by Shui received three awards: EcoVadis leadership awards, Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) leadership awards and Handeco awards.

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