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Suppliers are essential allies in decarbonisation

During the Paris Air Show, Thales invited its strategic suppliers to take part in a special event dedicated to decarbonising our value chain.

"Our procurement spend is in the region of 10 billion euros a year, which is the equivalent of about half of the Group's annual revenues, said Thales SVP Chief Procurement Officer Roque Carmona during his presentation. But the importance of our suppliers goes well beyond the financial data, because you also play a key role in terms of sustainability and corporate responsibility. Without you, we will never be able to build the safer, greener, more inclusive world we aspire to."

"Stepping up to the climate challenge will mean making some major changes in the way we design, produce and deliver our systems and services. And I know some of you are concerned or even fearful about how those changes will affect you. My message to you today is simple – be pragmatic! Start by measuring your carbon footprint, then optimise your industrial processes, switch to renewable energy sources whenever possible, and rethink your transport and packaging solutions. And above all, explore ways to apply the principles of eco-design to all your new products and services. This is how we work at Thales today, and that's how you'll need to work with us going forward."

"Many of you have already signed a formal letter of intent confirming your commitment to work with Thales to fight climate change," he continued. 

"The procurement teams at Thales are here to help you. We have put together our "Book of Carbon" for buyers in all our procurement segments and categories to offer a detailed library of ways you can reduce your carbon footprint," said Roque Carmona. 

All hands on deck

Earlier, Chief Sustainability Officer Anne Bolot-Gittler had run through the guiding principles of the Group's CSR policy, with a particular focus on its environmental dimension. "We will only shrink our environmental footprint if we manage to get everyone on board," she said. "Each and every link in the value chain – starting with our suppliers – needs to be involved if we are going to achieve the ambitious emissions reduction targets we have set for the Group."

Those targets include a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2 – operational processes and energy consumption) by 2030 and net zero by 2040, and a 15% reduction in Scope 3 emissions (supply chain and use of products by customers) by 2030, she said.

After that, Philippe Keryer, EVP, Strategy, Research and Technology, gave two examples of the technological solutions that will help us to build a low-carbon future. "Eco-design is at the top of our list of priorities," he said. "Our goal for the end of this year is to ensure that 100% of our new products designs incorporate environmental protection criteria. We have put specific tools and processes in place to achieve that objective, and we are providing extensive training for everyone in charge of product policy and engineering activities." The second example he gave was about optimising air transport operations through innovative solutions both on board aircraft, with the PureFlyt flight management system, and on the ground, with the latest-generation TopSky family of air traffic management solutions.

The event was also an opportunity to turn the spotlight on three suppliers – Nefab, Selha and Project – for a round-up of the key steps these companies have taken to reduce the carbon footprint of the products and services they sell to Thales.

The final presentation was by François Perret, Managing Director of Pacte PME, a non-profit organisation that brings together major companies and SMEs. He introduced the Pacte PME Alliance for Decarbonisation and Energy Transition, a new initiative by Aéroports de Paris, Bouygues Construction, EDF, Engie, Sanofi, Schneider Electric and Thales to propose practical decarbonisation trajectories that fit the profiles and support requirements of SMEs from different sectors of the French economy.