1.7 Supply chain and procurement

1.7.1 Supply chain management

UCB is committed to fostering ethical and responsible practices in our supply chain, while ensuring that our sourcing, manufacturing and supplier relationships and partnerships deliver growth and competitive advantages.[3]

A comprehensive global network ensures the adequate supply of quality medical products important for persons living with severe chronic diseases. Supply chain management is a functionally organized entity with strong centralized governance and with direct links with UCB’s departments, with related product-franchises as well as with commercial geographies. It should be understood that supply chains can be highly complex.

The key value in the manufacturing, supply and purchasing departments is an effective governance of the external network of suppliers, contract manufacturing organizations, contract laboratories, carriers, third-party logistics and commercial distributors, whereby risk management is a major component.

A diagram of the supply chain at a glance:

Out of a total of 36 GMP/GDP Regulatory Authorities Inspections of the UCB supply chain (24 inspections at partners site, and 12 at UCB sites or affiliates), none were with critical findings. 

1.7.2 Supply chain management and sustainability

The Supply Chain Security Council overlooks the supply chain management and holds manufacturing and supply partners to high-quality standards and accountability. The Council reviews product and supply chain security and enforces UCB’s global anti-counterfeiting strategy to ensure the patient’s and public health. The cross-functional team is also responsible to detect, mitigate, address, and prevent risks originating from potential adulteration, theft, counterfeit or diversion of products that may threaten patient safety.

UCB applies similar high-quality standards for quality and effectiveness to technically complex formulations and specific packaging produced in our own global manufacturing and in our contract manufacturing organizations. Supply chain management involves a range of activities, including adequate supply chain planning, inventory and transportation/delivery management, temperature control management, logistics service providers as well as logistics security, ensuring sound environmental health and safety conditions, dangerous goods compliance, and global trade management.

UCB signed the Science Based Targets initiatives, supporting the COP21 ambition (to maintain the increase of the global temperature by the end of the century to well below 2°C) by meeting Green House Gas emission targets, will define for our entire value chain, including our external network of suppliers, contract manufacturing organizations (CMO), contract laboratories, carriers, third-party logistics and commercial distributors.

More specifically, each of the Global Manufacturing and Center of Excellence teams now have a dedicated team member focused on green logistics and transportation analysis, in order to take the CSR topics to the next level. Supply Chain has also defined a methodology to collect and calculate the CO2 emissions from primary and secondary distribution partners. As the CO2 baseline is set, it will allow us to track and measure the CO2 emissions, as well as trigger further collaborations with suppliers to find ways to decrease emissions.

Through the serialization program an additional control and authentication across the supply chain is guaranteed, while our trade programs manage partnerships with our distributors to help protect our medicines and to ensure integrity of those medicines up to the patient.

1.7.3 Procurement

UCB considers it important to fulfil its social responsibilities across the entire supply chain, including suppliers. Therefore, UCB requires partners to perform their business in accordance with the Code of Conduct. For any new Request for Proposal/Quotation/ Information, the business partner is requested to accept the principles detailed in the Code of Conduct and also needs to sign a summary document, emphasizing the following areas:

  1. Ethics, Compliance Programs, Trainings and Monitoring at the Supplier;
  2. Anti-Corruption;
  3. Investigations, Debarments, Professional Suspensions related to Bribery, Money Laundering, Fraud or other relevant offenses;
  4. Disclosure Requirements; and
  5. Data Privacy and Security.

The purchasing department overlooks over 22 000 different suppliers in 34 countries, predominantly in eight countries, i.e., Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, U.K. and U.S.

[3] Scope of Reporting: The Supply Chain Security Council has oversight on manufacturing facilities and partners in the supply chain.