Each year, more than 200 suppliers actively participate in the SSP program and additional suppliers are added to the program each year. In 2020, approximately 302,000 workers were impacted through the program as labor conditions improved, the risk of serious injury was reduced, and the negative environmental impact of suppliers brought down. Philips measure and monitor the impact of the SSP engagement through a year-on-year improvement rate.
Apart from the inclusion of additional suppliers annually into the award-winning SSP program, Philips is actively working to make the program more efficient and effective through its research consortium with Eindhoven University of Technology and the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science (JADS). The focus of this consortium is on applying the latest insights in data science and machine learning methods in order to make the SSP program more efficient in determining the sustainability maturity of suppliers, while also increasing the effectiveness of our supplier improvement approach.
From the consortium, a machine learning tool was developed that is able to predict the sustainability performance of suppliers, based on a set of generic indicators. Moreover, we are able to predict the year-on-year improvements of suppliers that are part of the SSP program, allowing further specification of the engagement intensity towards individual supplier needs.
In 2020, a different machine learning tool was developed, which is able to predict expert scorings on detailed pieces of evidence, thereby reducing the time spent on assessments. This leaves more room for experts to support suppliers in their capability building, by sharing best practices and creating business cases that enable improvements.
In addition, Philips launched its newly developed SSP IT platform, which fully supports the entire engagement process, from onboarding to data analysis. It is set up in such a way that other companies can easily start using the system for their own supplier engagements. The program design also enables various codes.
In addition, Philips has ramped up its cross-industry engagement, advocating for further adoption of the SSP approach. The SSP program design enables various codes of conduct to be included. Through public speaking and 1-on-1 conversions, Philips is making the SSP approach available to other companies that want to make a sustainable impact in their supply chains.