Supply Chain

Forging a Sustainable Supply Chain

The Group's business model, with a global presence in over 50 countries and a diverse product portfolio, is based on a complex supply chain that requires a continuous interface with numerous suppliers of different sizes and cultural backgrounds. Prysmian works to improve the supply chain in order to benefit our sustainability strategy by taking steps that involve specific business ethics, respect for people along the entire supply chain, and diminishing our environmental impact. Feedback from stakeholders shows they believe a sustainable supply chain has a material impact on Prysmian’s business and value.

Prysmian’s continuous efforts in improving the supply chain benefits all material aspects of our sustainability strategy. It involves specific business ethics, respect for people along the entire supply chain, and holds the potential of diminishing our environmental impact as well as increasing the efficiency of our business.

Our "Supply Chain"

In 2019 Prysmian purchased metals, plastics and other materials from nearly 5,600 suppliers used to produce energy and telecommunications cables and accessories, as well as buying special types of glass and coatings for optical fibers. Suppliers for recurring and strategic materials/services must subscribe to the Code of Ethics. Prysmian picks its suppliers through a formal process based on economic and financial analysis; it examines information and data on, for example, the risk of dependence on the supplier, or on the supplier’s technical and technological capacity and skills. Over 3,500 of Prysmian’s suppliers are in Europe, and Prysmian tries to work with providers with local presence wherever possible. The Group consumes slightly more than 2-3 % of the world's copper production and about 7% of the copper used in the electrical and electronic sector, making it one of the leading economic players in the sector. Long-term strategies for the purchase of copper and aluminum naturally lead Prysmian to work with the largest and most important companies in the respective sectors. Around 10% of the raw materials Prysmian purchases are renewable. Prysmian seeks to use the most integrated manufacturers who can guarantee long-term supplies and have direct access to raw materials, thus creating real industrial partnerships.

Our Sustainable Supply Chain Strategy

For Prysmian to achieve its sustainability goals, it must have a sustainable supply chain. The company has set targets to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions by 15% and recycle 40% of waste by 2020, and suppliers are part of this effort.

To achieve a sustainable supply chain, Prysmian is guided by several principles. The first is assessment: the supplier qualification process starts by having the supplier respond to a questionnaire on a number of issues, including ESG criteria. Risk Analysis is another important principle that Prysmian applies to its most critical suppliers to measure them in terms of sustainability criteria. The Group is committed to using only those raw materials that pass quality tests including environmental and social aspects.

Performance management helps strengthen its sustainability commitment. Prysmian conducts a supplier performance review. In 2017, the group began a vendor mapping effort that asked 100% of base metals recurring suppliers to make detailed self-assessments on principal factors impacting sustainability: integrity, workers’ rights, and the environment.  Replies were analyzed by a third party, and the results of the evaluation were discussed by Prysmian with the suppliers.

In addition, by 2020 Prysmian aims to have carried out 20 audits on raw materials suppliers based on risks in the supply chain.

Prysmian carries out its sustainable supply chain strategy through three macro-activities.

  1. Suppliers for recurring and strategic materials/services must subscribe to the Code of Ethics. We have defined a Conflict Minerals Policy document with the aim of guaranteeing a "Conflict Minerals free" supply chain. Our Human Rights policy has been extended with a specific chapter on the monitoring and identification of potential breaches in the supply chain, with remedial actions and, if necessary, the exclusion from all commercial and business relations of suppliers that do not respond promptly to the standards required.
  2. The current supply chain of raw materials is assessed by a Sustainability Desk Analysis, Risk Analysis and self-assessment.
  3. Progress is monitored with a view to achieving the goals in the “Sustainability Scorecard”.

Project Spotlight


Minerals extracted from conflict zones may result in prolonged fighting, and rules in the US and EU require that companies monitor their supply chains to prevent using these raw materials.  Prysmian aims to guarantee a "Conflict Minerals free" product. It therefore identifies materials and semi-finished products containing 3TG (tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo or neighboring countries).


Prysmian Group has developed a Risk Analysis to asses raw material suppliers. In 2019, Prysmian evaluated 152 suppliers accounting for 61% of spending to assess their current or potential impact in relation to environmental criteria, human rights and working conditions. Prysmian 2020 target (60% of spending  to be assessed by 2020) has been already achieved in 2019 reaching 61% of evaluation of sustainability practices.


Prysmian works with Milan start-up Green Router to measure emissions in its supply chain in Italy and in Northern Europe. The Group has joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership US, which provides a framework to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of goods movement supply chains in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Targets & Achievements

Prysmian purchased 1,930 tonnes of non-renewable materials in 2019, of which 58% were metals, 21% were compounds, and 18% were ingredients.
The Group definition of "local" is all those suppliers whose operational sites are physically close to the ones of Prysmian. In EMEA, Prysmian purchased 70% of its supplies locally; in APAC, 85%; in North America 94%; and in LATAM 83%.

Upholding its commitment to managing sustainability risks affecting its first-level suppliers, in 2020 Prysmian expects to continue the program of supplier audits at the same level of intensity as in prior years. Following the integration with General Cable, Prysmian is in the process of updating its Sustainability Scorecard, and setting new targets for 2022.