Vaisala’s excellence in a high-mix, low volume business model depends on effective management of hundreds of suppliers and numerous strategic sub-contractors. To live up to our customer promise and stakeholder expectations, a reliable and responsible supply chain is a necessity for Vaisala. We have thorough requirements for our suppliers and we work together with them so that mutual improvement can take place for both organizations.
Typical Product Supply Chain
Vaisala’s direct suppliers are located close to its manufacturing sites. The company sources components and mechanical parts primarily from Finland, Western-Europe, and the United States, and to a lesser extent from a few Asian countries. Raw materials used in Vaisala’s own sensor factory are currently sourced exclusively from Europe. The upstream supply chains resemble those of other typical global electronicmanufacturing industry supply chains. In addition to the sensor factory in Helsinki, Finland, which produces sensors for all product families, Vaisala’s manufacturing involves assembly, configuration, and calibration of electronic and mechanical equipment.
Typically, our products are highly customized according to customer specifications, and therefore all products are made to order, thus keeping inventories of finished goods low. Final products are shipped directly to customers from the manufacturing sites in Helsinki and in Boulder, Colorado.
Product life cycles range typically from 1 to 20+ years, with scheduled recalibrations and maintenance during that time. Recalibration and maintenance are performed at one of Vaisala’s four service centers or in many cases on site. At the end of the product life cycle, customers are instructed to follow the best available local practices for recycling electronic equipment, or to return products to Vaisala for recycling. Vaisala is required by the European Union Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive to finance the take-back, reuse, and recycling of products that are placed on the EU market.
With the purpose of communicating our sustainability expectations better and ensuring a responsible supply chain from materials sourcing all the way to our distributors, Vaisala has integrated sustainable supply chain management into its sourcing strategy. The strategy emphasizes a longterm approach for better identifying and managing risks and opportunities, aligning our supply chain partners’ sustainability efforts with our own, and encouraging continuous development and closer collaboration through a constructive dialogue. Tools and resources are part of continuous supply chain management and ESG-topics are discussed and monitored regularly with key suppliers.
Sustainability Metrics in Supplier Scorecard
Suppliers are very important to Vaisala, and a lot of effort is placed on managing supplier relationships. To do this, a key supplier scorecard is updated and reviewed annually for all key suppliers. Last year, the scorecard was improved by including three new sustainability metrics into it.
The indicators cover social, environmental and governance issues. The social indicators measure workplace safety and the environmental indicator measures waste recovery rate of the supplier. It is important both for Vaisala and many of its customers that same supplier requirements are passed along the supply chain. A governance indicator measures how well the supplier manages these requirements in their own supply chain.
Tools for managing a sustainable supply chain:
• Supplier Code of Conduct
• Supplier Sustainability Self-assessment Questionnaire (SAQ)
• Pre-assessment procedures
• Guidance for suppliers
• Audits and quarterly meetings with key suppliers, as part of supplier management
Supplier Code of Conduct
The Supplier Code of Conduct reflects Vaisala's values and the Vaisala Code of Conduct, and is based on principles created by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations Global Compact initiative, and the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC). The Code of Conduct contains language from standards and policies formulated by the above-mentioned organizations, as well as those of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) and Social Accountability International (SAI).
A PDF of the Code can be downloaded from the column on the right.
Compliance to Human Rights and Labor Laws
Vaisala does not condone infringement of human rights or breaches of labor laws in any part of its supply chain and takes appropriate measures to ensure that the risks of any violations of the company's Code of Conduct or its Supplier Code of Conduct are minimized in the adjacent supply chain.
Geographical Distribution of Vaisala's Direct Suppliers
Due to the enforcement of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) now requires many of Vaisala’s key customers to report on Conflict Minerals to the SEC. As a supplier, we are therefore required to declare any conflict minerals in our products and be able to show their origin.
Suppliers to Vaisala must ensure that proper precautions are taken in order not to source any materials that have their origin in conflict areas, including but not limited to the tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or in adjoining countries.
Reporting on Conflict Minerals
Vaisala is using the OECD Guidance and the CFSI reporting template to document its compliance efforts with its customers. In turn, Vaisala requires that its suppliers (1) commit to being or becoming "conflict-free", which means that such supplier does not source conflict minerals and sourcing only from assured conflict-free smelters, and (2) provide to Vaisala completed declarations, using the CFSI reporting template, evidencing such commitment and documenting the countries of origin from which the supplier directly or indirectly sources tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, as well as the compliance structure that the supplier has implemented.
To contact Vaisala about conflict minerals reporting please send e-mail to