Lyreco, the French worldwide distributor of office products, has been purchasing UPM’s paper grades for more than 15 years. All of Lyreco’s operations are guided by its EcoFuture strategy, which aims to build a sustainable future through economic development, social responsibility and environmental protection.
Both Lyreco and UPM expect all their suppliers to comply with equally strict standards.
In the beginning of the year, Nasser Kahil, Lyreco Group Quality, Security & Sustainability Director audited the UPM Changshu mill in China, which produces graphic papers and copy papers for Lyreco. The audit was carried out over two days, providing a comprehensive overview of the mill.
“Lyreco is supplied by 63 factories located in developing countries, mainly in China. I used to go to the Southeast Asia for auditing purposes quite often, on average once a month. We inspected such things as working conditions, wages and safety at work. We noticed a number of positives at the UPM Changshu mill. Everything was in order with the buildings, the organisation and the working environment. The premises were clean and bright. A lot of attention had been focused on safety and hygiene. We did not identify any deficiencies related to wages, contracts or insurance,” says Kahil.
“We did detect some issues, particularly in relation to fire safety in employees’ living premises that will no doubt be addressed in a proper way. In recent years, Lyreco has initiated two programmes with the purpose of ensuring that our suppliers comply with local laws, respect human rights and take care of safety at work. We carried out the first supplier assessment in 2015. In that assessment, UPM was ranked first among all the paper suppliers”, Nasser Kahil concludes.