Our markets

better together in the communities where we are active

Bekaert strives to be a loyal and responsible partner in the communities where we are active. We interact with the local governments in a transparent, constructive way, and we are firmly committed to complying with national legislations and collective labor agreements. Bekaert adheres to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the treaties and recommendations of the International Labor Organization.

better together with customers and suppliers 

Bekaert has a strong presence in diverse sectors. This makes Bekaert less sensitive to sector-specific trends and it also benefits our customers, because solutions we develop for customers in one sector often form the basis of innovations in others. 
Sectorial breakdown of Bekaert’s combined sales in 2016:

sectorial breakdown 2016

Bekaert has production facilities and sales offices in 40 countries and builds lasting relationships with customers and suppliers, wherever we do business. Our footprint and product offering is aligned with the local business opportunities and demand. This is visible in the sectorial breakdown by segment.

worldmap sectorial breakdown

Sustainable co-creation

We actively cooperate with global customers in sustainability programs. We support our customers’ sustainability programs by implementing specific actions in our respective policies and by joining sustainability initiatives and standards to accommodate their specific requests. Acting as a socially and environmentally responsible supplier helps our customers achieve their sustainability targets. 

We work closely with customers and suppliers by engaging in co-development projects. In line with our core strategies, we remodeled the innovation process in order to speed up R&D in co-creation with customers. The purpose is to make our R&D processes and priorities much more customer-driven. 

More than 85% of Bekaert’s global portfolio of R&D projects is targeting distinct benefits in terms of health & safety and the environment. They help achieve the sustainability ambitions of our customers and of our own operations. These R&D projects consist of innovations that:

  • limit the use of natural and harmful resources
  • lower the energy consumption and exhaust
  • increase recycling opportunities
  • enhance safety
  • address the renewable energy market needs
Bekaert also cooperates with customers and suppliers by conducting feedback initiatives and satisfaction surveys, and by performing industry analyses together. Customer surveys are executed annually or bi-annually in all sectors and regions and are based on either standard methodologies or customized on request of the specific customer. 

In co-developing new products with customers, Bekaert pays particular attention to the confidentiality and secrecy of customer and research data. As a market and technology leader in various markets, we are aware of the compliance rules and the necessity to have the systems and behavior in place to ensure intellectual property rights and data privacy. Bekaert has received no formal complaints from customers regarding such infringements. (GRI 418-1)

Open innovation

Apart from customer-specific R&D, Bekaert also seeks international partnerships with universities and research institutes to foster open innovation on various research themes. In 2016, we continued our cooperation programs with academic institutions, technology clusters and research partners from different parts of the world.
Worldmap partnerships

Our Supply Chain

(GRI 102-9)

supply chaiin 2016
Steel wire rod is the main raw material used for the manufacturing of steel wire products. Bekaert purchases different grades of wire rod from steel mills and transforms them into steel wire and steel wire products by using mechanical and heat treatment processes, as well as by unique coating technologies. The wire products produced by Bekaert are shipped to industrial customers who further process our material into half- or end-products; or to end-customers, directly or via distribution channels.

Bekaert has about 20 000 active suppliers of which 46% are based in EMEA, 12% in Latin America, 10% in North America, 19% in North Asia, 5% in India and 7% in South-East Asia.

Steel wire rod represents 51% of the total Bekaert spend and is ordered from 120 different vendors. The supply process is managed by the Purchasing function. 

Supply Chain Excellence

Bekaert launched in 2016 a Supply Chain Excellence (SCE) program, which covers the total supply chain, with a primary focus on Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP), inventory management, production planning and master data structure and content.

Building a sustainable supply chain

(GRI 102-10) (GRI 414-1) (GRI 414-2) (GRI 308-1)

In 2015, Bekaert’s purchasing department stepped up its engagement to enhance sustainability awareness and control with our suppliers. We reached a global spent coverage of 75% in 2016 (1). We evolved to 80% coverage of our global wire rod spent through key supplier agreements (1). Key supplier agreements are multi-year partnerships in which sustainability, supply chain integration and innovation are explicit building blocks. In 2016, we kick-started the signing of these key supplier agreements in other categories as well. Shared targets and action plans for 2017 were further worked out with key suppliers, enabling us all to drive sustainability forward across the supply chain.
(1) Excluding BBRG

Bekaert Supplier Code of Conduct

Bekaert recognizes the importance of responsible sourcing. In 2016, all suppliers covered by the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) signed the Bekaert Supplier Code of Conduct (or delivered proof of following its principles) and completed the most recent template issued by the CFSI. This is an initiative of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSi), that help companies from a range of industries address conflict mineral issues in their supply chain. 

All wire rod suppliers as well as suppliers of other critical material categories are formally evaluated on a yearly base, and corrective action plans are put in place when the minimum required levels have not been reached. These action plans are closely monitored by the Bekaert purchasing department and the suppliers in order to keep the focus on continuous improvement high. (GRI 407-1) (GRI 408-1) (GRI 409-1)

Local sourcing

(GRI 204-1)

In sourcing raw materials and other supply needs, Bekaert will source locally (i.e. in the same region) as where the materials will be processed, unless when the sourcing options are inadequate in terms of quality or cost.

Bekaert company located in the same region (regions: N-AM, LATAM, EMEA, and Asia Pacific)

Local versus non local sourcing 2016

Market place related data

  • Direct economic value generated and distributed: all data are available in the Financial Review chapter of the Bekaert Annual Report 2016 §5.2., § 5.3, § 5.5, § 6.12 (GRI 201-1)
  • Anti-corruption policies and procedures: all Bekaert employees receive the "Bekaert Code of Conduct" upon entering the company. This document includes the Bekaert anti-corruption policy & procedures. All managers have received the Bekaert Code of Conduct and obtained specific training. Their commitment to comply with the principles of the Code of Conduct is renewed and monitored annually. Also all white & blue collars have received the Code of Conduct. The Code has been integrated in all new labor contracts worldwide. Particular training programs on the Code of Conduct and on anti-corruption and anti-bribery policies are also provided to functional groups (eg. Purchasing function: 100% trained). In addition, the Group Internal Audit department regularly audits the adherence to the respective policies and procedures, and recommends corrective actions where necessary. All policies are available on the Bekaert Intranet. (GRI 205-2)