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Our suppliers

Making more progress together

As a large company, every year we purchase many products and services from suppliers. Because sustainability is deeply rooted in our organization, we have high expectations of the parties we work with. KPN critically reviews their impact on the environment and the working conditions of staff.

We work closely with suppliers to make equipment and products greener. These partners share our commitment to working more sustainably. Only by working together with all parties in the supply chain can we curb energy consumption and improve working conditions. This is how we will achieve our long-term ambition to be circular, reusing all raw materials and not producing any waste.

Key facts


KPN worked with around 5.000 suppliers in 2021.


82% of our spend comes from suppliers based in the Netherlands.


90% of KPN’s suppliers are based in the Netherlands.

High demands

When KPN purchases products or services, we have high demands of our suppliers. We see them as partners in achieving mutual success. That’s why we want to work with suppliers that are able, together with us, to explore strategic goals and put through improvements down the chain. Our suppliers are innovative, think with us and are proactive in the area of taking social responsibility. We make clear and concrete agreements with the parties we work with on a structural basis. We not only set out the specifications for products and services, but also the sustainable way in which these should be delivered.

Anyone who delivers to KPN must comply with the suppliers’ code of conduct. This sets out the social and environmental demands for suppliers. This code is based on the United Nations Charter and the core conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO). The code contains conditions relating to human rights, labor conditions, privacy, safety, environment, bribery and fraud. The code of conduct forms part of our general purchasing conditions.

Cooperation between major telecom companies

In order to operate responsibly not only in our own country, but also globally, 10 major telecom companies have started the Joint Audit Cooperation (JAC) together. KPN is cooperating with Belgacom, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telecom Italia, Swisscom and Vodafone. The aim of JAC is to audit key suppliers. With these checks, the telecom companies can ensure that all the big players in the chain are committed to socially responsible entrepreneurship.

JAC was founded in 2010. KPN joined this international collaboration in 2011. JAC is currently auditing 64 large suppliers in China, Taiwan, India, Japan, South Korea, Eastern Europe and South America.

In addition to the JAC, KPN is affiliated to a large number of organizations. You can find an overview under Collaborations.

Case study #1

Handing in unused mobile phones

Both customers and non-customers can hand in their 'old' mobile phones at a KPN store. Usable devices get a second life through refurbishment or parts are reused, also in collaboration with KPN partners. This way we recycle phones responsibly and help save the environment.

Case study #2

36,000 fewer invoices

Every month KPN receives piles of paper invoices. From Stedin alone, one of our network administrators, we received 36,000 filled envelopes annually. A waste of time and resources. That is why Stedin and KPN joined forces and from now on all mail arrives electronically via the Simplerinvoicing network. Fewer costs, fewer errors, better for the environment.

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Case study #3

Less plastic

A good example of how to make a product more sustainable is the new wall socket that KPN has developed together with a supplier. The socket is fitted in the customer’s home to connect them to the glass fiber network. The new wall socket is 75 percent smaller and lighter than existing sockets. This innovative design has saved 31 tonnes of plastic in 2017 and 33 tonnes in 2018.

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Case study #4

Efficient servers

One of our suppliers came up with an innovative IT server that processes more data but, at the same time, is more economical. KPN successfully tested this server and, subsequently, we put 24 of these new servers into use. This saves 0.22 GWh per year – the equivalent of the energy consumption of 66 households.

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Case study #5

Saving on paper

Our customers indicated that they rarely use the paper manuals for our modems and TV receivers. They would rather look this information up online. That’s why, together with the suppliers of these devices, we’ve decided to replace the extensive manuals with concise instructions, containing only the most important information. This saves roughly 286 tonnes of paper and €660,000 in costs every year.

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Case study #6

KPN Energy Innovation Lab

In the world of energy, supply and demand are becoming increasingly less consistent. Even when there is no wind and the sun is not shining, we still need electricity. KPN is preparing for this by researching new technologies in the Energy Innovation Lab, such as energy storage, energy generation and energy savings. This not only enriches KPN, but also helps the Netherlands in the current energy transition.

Biodiversity and climate adaptation

About the birds and the bees