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Interview with Klaus Blachnik, OMV, on joining TfS

OMV joined TfS in October 2021, taking over the membership previously held by daughter company Borealis. Klaus Blachnik, CPO of OMV, genuinely believes that TfS membership will provide its stakeholders and customers with the proof and trust that the company is constantly pushing itself to improve its sustainability approach and strive to a greener future. The choice to join the TfS initiative was an obvious one, says Klaus Blachnik, as TfS has proven itself to genuinely wanting to improve the sustainability of chemical supply chains. A TfS key added value is the peer-to-peer network where industry leaders and professionals meet to exchange best practices. It is with great anticipation that OMV joins this network to learn from members which other tools, processes or technologies are out there to advance sustainability in the supply chains. Key for Mr. Blachnik is to develop this unified force towards a more sustainable future in the supply chain.

Q: Can you introduce your company to our readers?

OMV is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies. We produce and market oil, gas and chemical products and process solutions in a responsible way and develops innovative solutions for a circular economy. Combining the chemical and mechanical recycling expertise of OMV and Borealis, the group aims to become a leader in the plastics’ circular economy. With sustainability being an integral part of our corporate strategy, OMV supports the transition to a lower-carbon economy and has set measurable targets for reducing carbon intensity as well as for the implementation of new energy and petrochemical solutions.

Q: What does it mean to become a TfS member?

Becoming a TfS member means to enhance further sustainability in our daily procurement activities, have a better overview on the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the services and goods we purchase and embed more ambitious sustainability targets in our supply chain. Becoming a member of TfS is an opportunity to connect to other companies in the same industry and collaborate towards the same goal: a sustainable future in our industry.

Q: What is your view on sustainability in supply chains globally?

Sustainability in supply chains is crucial for our planet since supply chains involve energy-intensive production and transportation around the globe which contribute to the earth’s pollution. Companies, just like OMV can often make the big difference by making changes in the supply chain.

Q: Can you describe your approach to sustainable supply chains, sustainable procurement?

As the CPO, my goal is to consistently anticipate improvements in the supply chain and contribute to a more sustainable future. In 2020, we defined a new concept to help us accelerate sustainability in Procurement. As part of this concept, we have now three new pillars to support us embedding sustainability along our core procurement processes: work with sustainable suppliers, give sustainability a value in our tenders and reach low-carbon Procurement. For each of these three pillars we have dedicated targets to ensure we monitor and improve our progress on sustainable procurement.

Q: OMV took over the TfS membership previously held by daughter company Borealis who joined TfS in 2017. You sort of insourced a TfS member with lots of experience in assessing and auditing the environmental, social and governance performance of their supply chains. How will this affect the way OMV will implement and drive TfS throughout the procurement department?

Borealis expertise will definitely help us in the onboarding process to become an active member of TfS. This will enable us to involve Procurement faster of the whole OMV Group. Our plan is to expand the sustainability evaluations to more and more suppliers in the future to have a better spend and geographical footprint coverage.

Q: What made you decide to join TfS and why TfS in particular?

TfS has proven itself to genuinely wanting to improve the chemical supply chains sustainably and alongside with Borealis experience within TfS, this initiative is what OMV has been looking for to support OMV’s sustainability commitments.

Q: What does your company expect to gain from the TfS membership, how do you see the mid-to long term benefits from TfS membership?

The TfS membership will provide our stakeholders and customers with the proof and trust that we are constantly pushing ourselves to improve on our sustainability approach and strive to a greener future. This membership is an opportunity to push ourselves further, set and reach long-term goals.

Q: Taken the TfS approach into account, what do you hope to achieve in your network of partners?

The TfS network will provide OMV with a unique opportunity to work together with other companies in implementing sustainable procurement. We look forward learning from the other member companies which other tools, processes or technologies are out there to advance sustainability in the supply chains. Ultimately, this will help us and the other TfS members meeting the Paris Agreement commitments.

Q: Which challenges and opportunities do you anticipate encountering when rolling-out TfS in your organisation?

The implementation of TfS will be an added value in our organization and a phase of familiarization and onboarding will be required, both on OMV side but also on our suppliers’ side. However, we believe we are on a lucky position of having already the Borealis expertise in our department.

Q: TfS is a member-driven initiative: CPO and other professionals of the TfS member companies exchange best practice, drive the initiative forward and shape the future of the chemical industry. What are your thoughts on this?

It is an excellent opportunity to connect with other professionals and exchanging the existing knowledge and approaches and create a unified force towards a sustainable future in the supply chain.

Q: Where do you see yourself contribute to the TfS initiative, also taking your sustainability expertise into account?

Our very good sustainability performance proven by the latest EcoVadis rating for both OMV and Borealis (top 1% of all 75,000 companies rated globally by EcoVadis) and our global footprint and knowledge will support TfS to continuously identify new ways to advance sustainability in chemical supply chains around the world.

Q: Any closing remarks?

We are looking forward for the interesting journey as TfS member and for contributing together with the other members to a more sustainable supply chain.

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