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Interview with Yang Haiyun, Chief Procurement Officer at Sennics

The development of sustainable supply chain is an important part of sustainable development in general.

Sennics joined Together for Sustainability last April as the second Chinese member, after Wanhua. In this interview, Mr Yang Haiyun, CPO Sennics, clarifies his company’s expectations regarding TfS membership. It is clear that one of the main benefits will be a substantial reduction in repeated assessments and audits, resulting in a saving of time, resources and cost. By being part of a larger network, Sennics can deploy its resources more effectively, deliver more value and facilitate the company’s sustainable standards.

Q: Briefly describe your company and position

Sennics is a world’s leading comprehensive service provider of polymer additives, and is a member of Sinochem International Corporation. The company is located at the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, and has several R&D centers and production bases all over the world. Its main products include rubber antioxidants, vulcanizing agents, vulcanizing accelerators and nitrobenzene, among others. Sennics operates in more than 50 countries and regions around the world, and its sales network covers Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, etc. Guided by the concept of “In Science We Trust” and adhering to the innovative development concept on ultimate and green growth, the company strives to provide global customers with outstanding products and services as well as a new brand experience.

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

For Sennics, joining TfS is out of the need to fulfill our social responsibility, and to actively improve the chemical industry’s supply chain and make it more sustainable. At Sennics, we believe that it’s our responsibility to drive sustainability for the industry, so we will work together with other TfS members to contribute to the chemical industry’s sustainable development.

Joining TfS is out of the need to

  • create more connections and build more partnerships for our company’s growth. TfS is building partnerships with trade associations of the chemical industry around the world. With the establishment and improvement of these networks, Sennics will be better positioned to combine resources in a way that is more favorable, more effective and more valuable for us, to facilitate our company’s sustainable and high-standard development.
  • improve sustainability across the industry’s value chain including both upstream and downstream players as a whole, and to improve our own leadership position in the industry. We will reinforce partnerships with our customers and suppliers and work together with them to build a sustainable and high-standard ecosystem, to increase synergies and drive the growth of the ecosystem as a whole.
  • demonstrate its accomplishments and increase its influence in the industry. We will leverage the TfS platform to obtain experience and comprehensive feedback, to improve our sustainability practice, to interact with industry partners, and to promote our own innovative development.

Q: Describe your view on sustainability in supply chains globally

With the entire world taking sustainable environmental and social development increasingly seriously, the demand for the sustainable development of enterprise is also improving. The development of sustainable supply chain is an important part of sustainable development in general. For enterprises, especially for those seeking global operations, this is something that they have to do, and will take long-term efforts. Making various parts of global supply chain to be more sustainable is very important to the entire global supply chain. The management of the sustainable supply chain needs team effort. Different enterprises and different industries are connected closely together through supply chains. Various players have to collaborate with each other and trust each other, to increase transparency, visibility and supply chain diversity.

Q: Describe your approach to sustainable supply chains, sustainable procurement

The procurement team of Sennics is positioned to be “the company’s value creator”. The company’s procurement strategy is to “adopt centralised control and intelligent management, to shift the focus of procurement management from transactional management to strategic management, and to improve our competitiveness of sustainable procurement management across the board.”

The company is actively driving the strategic transformation of procurement management. Our aim is always value creation. We are focusing on market research, demand adjustment, cost control, and supply chain management, to shift the focus of procurement management from transactional management to strategic management.

In Sennics, we are committed to promoting environmental protection and sustainable development, while having strict requirements on ourselves, we are also striving to demonstrate our influence and adopt sustainable development standards in our procurement decision making.

We are willing to reach a consensus with our suppliers for green collaboration, to integrate the concepts for energy efficiency, emission reduction, green and low-carbon operations, and the circular economy into our development strategy, and to drive the creation and development of low-carbon supply chain.

Q: You are a relatively small, less complex, more agile organization versus some of the older TfS member companies. In which way, if any, does this affect your approach to sustainable supply chain?

Sennics is striving to become a leading global company in high grade, precision and specialty chemicals. We are currently in a high-growth phase, the company’s size is growing, and the company structure is also being optimised. In polymer additives industry, the structure of our company is relatively simple. However,this makes us more agile and more flexible. In the process of building a sustainable supply chain, we also have higher adaptability and plasticity which makes us lucky to become the very second TfS member in China.

Q: What drove you to take the decision to join TfS and why TfS in particular?

TfS is a global initiative focusing on the procurement activities of the chemical industry’s supply chain. This is in line with the goal of Sennics “to become a trusted partner for global customers and lead the global polymer additives industry’s green development”.

China is the world’s largest manufacturer of chemicals. It plays a major role in promoting the sustainable development of the global chemical industry’s supply chains. Sennics is a leading global service provider of polymer additives. Joining TfS is not only good for the company itself, but also help to make the suppliers more sustainable. This is good for the healthy development of China’s chemical industry as a whole.

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?

By joining TfS, Sennics wants to share information for assessing suppliers, to reduce repeated assessments and the number of audits, and to indirectly save time, resources and costs. TfS is building partnerships with trade associations of the chemical industry around the world. With the establishment and improvement of these networks, Sennics will be better positioned to combine resources in a way that is more favorable, more effective and more valuable for us, to facilitate our company’s sustainable and high-standard development.

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

After joining TfS, we will be able to improve the sustainability awareness of our partners, especially our suppliers. Meanwhile, we will also be able to improve our own sustainability efforts, to allow more Chinese chemical companies and suppliers to get involved in the initiative and benefit from it, and to improve the sustainability standard of the global supply chains of Chinese chemical industry.

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

Sennics has been driving the industry’s sustainable development for almost a decade. The philosophy of TfS is aligned with our company’s philosophy. Sennics has been very serious in promoting sustainability internally. Especially in recent years, with the fast development of global supply chain collaboration, the company’s management has become determined to join TfS. TfS is something new to us. All the employees of the company should actively get involved in this initiative, to understand, digest and fully absorb the sustainability messages of the initiative involving different fields. After being committed to sustainable development for many years, the entire company from the leadership to the grassroots employees is now very clear about the importance of sustainability. Each BU can seize the opportunity to take responsibility for sustainability in its own field involving one line or multiple lines of work, so as to drive the improvement of sustainability across the company, and to remove the obstacles to promoting TfS within the company. The TfS membership will enable our customers to recognise us even more, and will also create better opportunities for the company’s fast growth.

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

Achieving sustainability takes the joint efforts of all member companies at the end of the day. Joining the TfS initiative will increase the transparency of a company’s sustainability standards on an ongoing basis, set clear benchmarks for the company’s sustainability, and make it convenient for the company to make decisions and take action together. A company’s CPO is not just responsible for the company’s own sustainability work. More importantly, he or she also has the responsibility to drive all the companies in the industry to actively respond to the initiative. TfS members and partners can utilise resources more effectively among them. This will help to drive the improvement of the global supply chain’s sustainability on an ongoing basis.

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

As the CPO of Sennics, I am committed to improving the company’s sustainable procurement capabilities. I will keep learning and share the best practices from many other companies in the industry. I will improve our team’s ability to manage sustainable procurement.  This has been the focus of our entire team. In addition to striving for low-carbon and green procurement, Sennics has also set medium-to-long-term goals for sustainability management across the supply chain. We will work with our supply chain partners to take sustainability management to a new level.

Q: Sennics is only the second Chinese chemical company to join TfS. Do you have a message to your colleagues with other Chinese chemical companies?

Sennics is not a very big company. But we have very clear advantages and characteristics. After joining TfS, we want to drive the sustainability philosophy deeper into our own company and our partners. Meanwhile, we will let other Chinese chemical companies know that TfS welcomes chemical companies of different types and different sizes to join it, and will do our part in promoting the TfS initiative.

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