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Promoting responsible practices throughout the value chain

Rexel holds a central place in the global electrical industry. The Group relies on this position to define and disseminate strict standards in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility. Its worldwide presence, the density of its branch network, and its role in the communities in which it does business enable Rexel to drive the adoption of best practices within the energy value chain.

As a global expert in the professional distribution of products and services for the energy world, Rexel encourages the acceleration of the energy transition across its entire value chain, which includes encouraging its suppliers to opt for eco-designed products and advising its customers and end-users about services and solutions in order to support them in sustainably reducing their environmental footprint.
Rexel, an active presence in 24 countries. In 2021, this means:

1,966
branches
9,036
suppliers, 26 of which represent 50% of the Group’s purchases
635,000
active customers

“Rexel is committed to promoting good working conditions as well as environmental and ethical compliance across its entire value chain. As a leading distributor, Rexel’s goal is therefore to ensure that the supplies and solutions that it provides for its customers comply with the high standards that the Group promotes in terms of sustainable development.
Our approach, which generates value for all, requires the constant involvement of the Group’s employees and business partners. Its goal is to strengthen the relationships of trust established between Rexel and its partners, especially its suppliers and customers.”

Guillaume Dubrule
Group Purchasing and Supplier Relationship Director

DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIPS OF TRUST WITH ALL OF OUR SUPPLIERS

The Group is convinced that its suppliers and sub-contractors contribute to its growth thanks to their innovative strength, their high standards in terms of product quality, and their capacity to develop new markets.

Rexel in turn helps to strengthen their performance by assisting them in their development and by supporting their business thanks to the density of its network of branches, its omnichannel presence, the recognized expertise of its sales force, and the strength of its logistics model.

In this respect, in 2021, the Rexel Group specified its approach in the area of its suppliers’ commitment to comply with the Group’s standards and values. This involves:
• Recognizing the suppliers who are the most advanced in their CSR approach
• Assisting the suppliers who are ready to commit
• Verifying the progress made by all partners

Recently, Rexel wanted to go beyond the verification and improvement of its partners’ CSR performance and increased the number of direct meetings with its main suppliers. The goal: Identify the points of convergence in the area of sustainable development.

Approach and achievements

Rexel has built a strong partner relationship with all of its suppliers who share the same values of ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility. Mobilizing these players to develop and distribute increasingly virtuous products is one of the Group’s key objectives.

Almost 350 suppliers, who represent 80% of Rexel’s annual purchase volume, have received an evaluation questionnaire regarding their level of commitment to this forward-looking approach. Rexel identifies the least efficient in order to help them commit to an ambitious eco-responsible approach.

Sustainable development clauses in contracts

Rexel’s suppliers are expected to comply with the Group’s standards in terms of human dignity and respect, social advantages and wages, health and safety, freedom of speech and of association and, of course, environmental protection. In line with Rexel’s Ethics Guide, its suppliers commit via these clauses to respect these principles in addition to, in particular, the rules of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

A Responsible Supplier Charter

In 2021, Rexel deployed a Responsible Supplier Charter throughout all of the countries in which the Group operates. Translated into 13 languages, this charter formalizes the commitments expected from its suppliers, service providers, and sub-contractors in the areas of ethics, human rights, and work norms, as well as environmental protection and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. It also reminds suppliers of Rexel’s commitments to them.

The CSR supplier assessment platform

Since 2015, the CSR performance of Rexel’s suppliers has been assessed in order to anticipate and manage the risks related to their activities. The tool relies on procedures of verification and monitoring that are centralized within a shared platform (Ecovadis) in which all relevant data are collected. Rexel has set the ambitious goal of covering 80% of its volume of direct purchases in value through its assessment platform. Beyond the assessment, suppliers provide proof that long-term procedures are in place and that the results are analyzed.

A counterpart to strengthen connections and trust

Every supplier is put in touch with a counterpart at Rexel, comprising a member of the sustainable development team and the buyer in charge of the supplier at the local level. The buyer explains the process, encourages participation, and shares the results. Each supplier receives customized feedback following the assessment. If necessary, corrective or improvement measures are set up. This strict plan helps improve the transparency and traceability of Rexel’s value chain, to limit risks and to foster the establishment of common performance indicators that can be shared with all stakeholders.

On-site audits when necessary

In addition to the assessment platform, Rexel can conduct on-site audits, especially in countries at risk. Within the due diligence plan, the Group enhances them with additional verifications regarding Corporate Social Responsibility performance, as well as human rights. In 2021, 11 on-site audits and 8 follow-up audits were conducted to verify the results of the progress plans that could be put in place. If the compliance level is unsatisfactory or if the corrective measures demanded are not implemented, the collaboration with the supplier is terminated.

50%
of direct purchases covered by the Sustainable Supplier Charter in 2021 (not assessed in 2020)
77.4%
of direct purchases received a sustainable development performance assessment request (+0.4 points vs 2020)
61.1%
of direct purchases assessed using sustainable development criteria (+4 points vs 2020)

THE RISE OF RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Rexel believes that it is crucial to accelerate the distribution of eco-efficient solutions and renewable energies among its 635,000 active customers around the world and to all of the end-users that they equip as well. Its responsibility as a distributor consists therefore in seeking and encouraging solutions that are more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly. Eco-designed products, circular economy solutions, new mobility services, self-consumption or energy storage, smart building management, etc. Rexel is committed to diversifying its portfolio in this sense.

Sourcing the most eco-responsible products and solutions

The Group selects the solutions that best respond to the structural trends of its market: Energy management and renewable energies. The comfort, safety, ergonomics, and energy efficiency of electrical supplies are also among the requirements of all of Rexel’s customers.

Eco-efficient products for construction, renovation, and maintenance are now a major part of Rexel’s product catalogue. The Group sources thousands of eco-designed products and is committed to listing products with a low-pollution full life cycle. A sustainability score for sold products makes it possible to guide customers towards the most virtuous choices.

To go further, thanks to the data repository to which it has access, Rexel develops innovative methods to assess the social and environmental impact of its products across the entire value chain (see the Carbon Tracker below).

Guaranteeing product compliance and safety for the customer and the end-user

As a non-manufacturing distributor, Rexel has a responsibility regarding the products that it sells. The Group must ensure that its SKUs comply with current health, safety, and environmental norms. To guarantee compliance with environmental regulations, a manager is chosen in each subsidiary concerned. This person ensures compliance with European regulations relating to the RoHS Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances and the REACh regulation regarding the declaration of chemicals. Assessment questionnaires are sent to suppliers upon customer request. Furthermore, Rexel guarantees transparency regarding the safety of the products and solutions that it sells.

Rexel says no to conflict minerals!
Committed to a responsible procurement process, the Group refuses to allow its purchasing practices, or those of its suppliers, to contribute to armed conflict around the world. Rexel therefore requires that its suppliers comply with this commitment, especially the absence of conflict minerals in its procurements. This commitment is formalized in the Conflict Minerals Statement.

Committing to the circular economy

While only 10% of the 50 million tons of electrical and electronic equipment discarded each day around the world is recycled, Rexel is making waste reduction a priority. This involves, among other things, minimalized packaging, thanks to the use of recycled corrugated cardboard, which was switched from white to brown in order to limit the carbon impact of its production. Likewise, the majority of Rexel’s products are recyclable and the Group uses a sustainable approach to logistics, alongside its partners and suppliers, in order to optimize unsold inventory and promote repair or reuse.

Innovative services for the energy transition

Rexel’s goal is to become a leading supplier of services in the world of energy and its new markets, whether the IoT (Internet of Things), electrical mobility, Artificial Intelligence (AI), or smart buildings and BIM. From energy management solutions to technical advice, the Group strengthens its services offering year after year in several major areas:

Diminishing the energy impact of buildings

Diminishing the energy impact of buildings

In this domain, Rexel has deployed Primexel to strengthen the promotion of energy renovation and provide financial support for the installers who carry out the work thanks to Energy Efficiency Certificates (EEC). This tool enables eligible professional customers to simulate their profit and the amount of their bonuses if they succeed in conducting works to reduce the energy consumption of buildings.

Promoting intelligent buildings

Promoting intelligent buildings

Rexel is a partner at every stage of the smart building process, even as the Internet of Things market could reach 1.85 billion dollars in 2028 (source: Internet of Things, September 2021, Fortune Business Insights). The Group supports, for example, the swift development of technologies related to BIM (Building Information Modeling) methodology.
In 2021, Rexel also announced a minority stake in Trace Software International, one of the world’s leading electrotechnical software publishers. The company develops applications for the design and operation of electrical and solar installations in construction and manufacturing.
In the residential market, Rexel provides the solution Energeasy Connect, which offers inhabitants the ability to better manage and control the energy consumption of their home from one day to the next.

Supporting the rise of electrical mobilities

Supporting the rise of electrical mobilities

Rexel is expanding its product range for low-carbon mobilities. In 2021, the Group consolidated its positions in the electrical mobility market with the acquisition of Freshmile. This French company is specialized in the installation and remote management of electric car charging stations. A “Freshmile Pass” makes it possible to charge electric vehicles via 150,000 charging stations open to the public in France and in Europe.

Helping Industry 4.0 to grow

The Group promotes innovations in the areas of mobile cobotics and network security and can install smart sensors on industrial production lines, while offering process supervision via Edge Computing. Rexel champions the idea of effective and safe digitization for manufacturers by enabling remote, real-time maintenance and controlled energy consumption.

The role of data in the energy transition

Like Rexel, more and more customers and end-users are committed to a profound environmental transition. Within this context, it is critical to have access to reliable, complete data. If obtaining information is vital, providing it to its customers is just as important.
This is why Rexel has worked for several years to support the latest innovations in terms of artificial intelligence and data analysis. Thanks to its central role in the electrical industry, the Group has access to a large amount of data, enabling it to feed the algorithms created by its teams. The resulting solutions and services enable suppliers, customers, and end-users to involve all of the players in its value chain in the energy transition.

Product Environmental Profiles (PEP) at the strategic center

Rexel provides its customers with digitized PEP for the products it sells. PEP stands for Product Environmental Profile, a collection of information about the environmental impact of each product, obtained via reliable, quantified, multi-criteria data. Here, the data analyzed are: The impact on climate imbalance, total energy consumption, resources consumption, and freshwater use, all of which apply to the entire life cycle of a product. Rexel’s teams retrieve these raw data from suppliers, verify them, process them, and create PEPs. By opting for low-environmental impact supplies, these products are doubly virtuous: They encourage manufacturers to adopt eco-design practices and inform customers at the moment of purchase.

The Carbon Tracker, a tool for customers in 2022
To guide its customers, and by extension its end-users, toward the most energy-efficient and ecological solutions, Rexel developed its Carbon Tracker in 2021. This decision-making service based on Product Environmental Profiles will be implemented Group-wide in 2022. The tool enables Rexel’s customers to learn about the greenhouse gas emissions, natural resource consumption, and water consumption of the items in their shopping cart, throughout their entire life cycle. This allows them to make more informed decisions with the aim of reducing environmental impact.

Rexel supports AI research

The Rexel Group is among the five large companies that support Hi! Paris, an interdisciplinary research center for AI and data science created in 2020 by the Institut Polytechnique de Paris and HEC Paris. The issues of AI and energy efficiency are at the heart of its activities. With this partnership, Rexel wishes to position itself as a global leader in the use of artificial intelligence and data science for the energy industry.

1.22 billion
euros, sales of energy-efficient solutions in 2021
+23.6%
Sales increase in solar solutions in 2021 vs 2020
47.6%
Share of green* sales out of all of Rexel’s activity in 2021

*Green sales refer to the sale of products and services that provide Rexel’s customers with improved efficiency in terms of energy and CO2, without causing any major negative impact to the environment.

CREATING VALUE FOR ALL OF OUR CUSTOMERS

Our approach

Rexel informs and guides its customers toward the most energy-efficient solutions with the lowest environmental impact. To succeed, the Group has built a customer-centric organization and cultivates relationships of trust with its customers in order to create lasting shared value.

This is also why Rexel informs its electrician customers about the issues related to the energy transition, while providing them with eco-efficient solutions and services to help them reduce their carbon emissions as well as those of their end-user customers. Faced with the challenge of the environmental transition, collective action is imperative.

An approach expressed on a daily basis

#1 Rexel is present

A demand for proximity and satisfaction. Rexel has implemented a powerful omnichannel model in which points of contact are multiplying both in the field and online in an increasingly interconnected way: From its 1,966 physical branches all the way to its mobile apps, without forgetting its call centers, its itinerant technician-salespeople, or its webshops.
The coverage of its distribution network is an undeniable competitive advantage, as is its capacity to evolve. The installation of mobile branches at construction sites or procurement at 24-hour branches, as in Finland, attest to this. This model makes it possible to maintain continual contact with electricians, who can come to a branch in the morning on their way to work, or log in online at night to the webshop to place an order with next-day delivery, whether in a branch, via Click&Collect, or directly at their worksite.

#2 Rexel facilitates flows

A demand for optimized logistics flows. 63 logistics centers deliver close to 50,000 SKUs on a next-day basis to all of Rexel’s customers throughout the world. Furthermore, customized tools such as kitting (preassembly of orders) provide customers with a continuous supply, an advantage for their productivity. Beyond its role of distributor, the Group now positions itself as a facilitator for its customers.

#3 Rexel informs

A demand for complete information about products and services. A visual product recognition app to place orders immediately developed by Rexel is an emblematic example of this goal. In just a few seconds, using a photo taken at a worksite, an installer can access all of the technical features of a product, check its price and its availability.

#4 Rexel trains

A demand for partner advice and training. In order to foster the competence-building of its customers, Rexel focuses on advice, financial and technical assistance, and training. Its customers are supported in order to better sell, design, and install these new solutions in complete safety at their worksites. Most often, installer training is provided in branches by expert employees, outside contributors, or manufacturers. These are completed by various tools (web resources, tutorials, hotlines, etc.) paving the way for true ongoing training. To this end, in 2020, Rexel France launched a training platform to enable contractors to develop their skills and strengthen their know-how over time.

THE REXEL FOUNDATION IS MOBILIZING FOR A BETTER ENERGY FUTURE

What is the purpose of the Rexel Foundation?

Created in 2013, the Rexel Foundation for a better energy future promotes access to energy efficiency for all, in particular by fighting fuel poverty in all of the Group’s countries. Through its activities, it also strives to raise public awareness of energy efficiency and the latest innovations in this area. It funds initiatives for the most disadvantaged communities and encourages the development of social innovation by supporting social enterprises in the field of energy.

“Convinced that there cannot be an energy transition without solidarity, the Rexel Foundation has made fighting fuel poverty one of its priorities: Effective solutions require close collaboration with target communities.”

Bertrand de Clermont Tonnerre,
Group Sustainable Development Director at Rexel

A few examples of recent support and achievements

Connecting modest households with contractors

In Marseille, the association GERES mobilizes a network of volunteer electricians, social workers, and associations to facilitate energy renovations in precarious households via a low-cost model than enables the contractors hired to make a profit.

Creating the solar cooperatives of tomorrow

In the state of New York, USA, the Rexel Foundation has partnered with the Rocky Mountain Institute to develop and test two pilot solar cooperatives. Their goal: Find a collaborative community solar production model in the United States, where the cooperative photovoltaic market is emerging. These first two projects are intended for disadvantaged communities.

Hope, for research and innovation

The Rexel Foundation financially supports the Hope Chair, launched in Grenoble in 2018 by the Grenoble INP Foundation. It work focuses on measuring fuel poverty and its impact in order to stimulate innovation and the discovery of new solutions for those in difficulty.

75
projects supported since its creation
70
partners involved
175,000
beneficiaries since its creation