At WDP, we don’t want to shy away from our social and sustainable responsibility. We work hard daily to create a safe, healthy, and pleasant environment, with consideration for the personal well-being of our employees and respect for the environment. We’re now inviting our partners and suppliers to make the same commitment via our Supplier Code of Conduct.
As a real estate partner to the logistics sector, WDP directly and indirectly employs hundreds of people in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, Romania, and Germany. In order to develop quality logistics real estate in these countries, we are joining forces with various local construction companies, architects, and contractors. We find it extremely important that all these parties share WDP’s values, which is why in addition to our internal Employee Code of Conduct, we have also drawn up a guideline for our suppliers: the WDP Supplier Code of Conduct.
“With the Supplier Code of Conduct, we are continuing the line of the code for our own employees,” explains General Counsel Johanna Vermeeren. “In it, we outline WDP’s mission, what the company stands for, and which values we consider important. These values are supported by every employee, so extending them to our partners and suppliers was the logical next step.”
What does the WDP Supplier Code of Conduct entail?
The Supplier Code of Conduct is based on five important elements:
Respect for fundamental human rights is, of course, an essential requirement in all our partnerships. There is no place in our network for activities that violate people’s basic rights and freedoms as set out in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Fair working conditions
Discrimination has no place in the workplace. We expect our suppliers to treat their employees with respect and to pay them correctly.
Health & safety
It goes without saying that health and safety guidelines – both physical and mental – must be respected. We expect our partners to invest in preventive measures, protective equipment, and clear information.
WDP cares deeply about the environment and therefore applies strict environmental requirements in the development of warehouses. We rely on our suppliers to comply with this and to be aware of their environmental impact.
Honesty, integrity, and responsibility are key concepts at WDP.
With this Supplier Code of Conduct, WDP wants to make its partners aware of the social responsibility we have as a (real estate) sector, and encourage them to inspire other companies in turn. The first reactions after the introduction were already very positive. “The introduction our Supplier Code of Conduct at the beginning of 2021 to an initial group of contractors and architects went very smoothly,” says Johanna Vermeeren of WDP. “The willingness to go along with our story is strong.”
See the results
But good will alone is not enough. “Of course, we are pleased when our suppliers show ambition to follow the Code of Conduct. But we also want to see results. That’s why we monitor their activities on-site, why the subject is discussed at every site meeting, and why we take measures where necessary on the basis of our findings. For the sake of clarity: WDP strives for long-term partnerships and sets great store by dialogue and consultation. Therefore, we don’t have a mentality of punishments and fines. But when there is room for improvement, we will talk to the supplier in question and seek a solution together.”
“We realise that issues such as discrimination, unfair working conditions, or corruption have a certain sensitivity, to say the least, and that it’s not always easy to bring them to the table. But we do want to focus on making it possible to discuss these things openly,” says Johanna Vermeeren. “That is why we also offer the #SpeakUp procedure. #SpeakUp gives people the opportunity to come to us directly with complaints or a report of possible violations of these basic principles in a confidential manner.”