Responsible supply chain

Ensure that our selection of safe goods, services, works and suppliers takes into account our approach to responsible business.

Working with our suppliersWe spend over £1 billion annually on a wide range of civil engineering works, goods and services with over 5,000 regional, national and international suppliers. Purchased items can range from a water meter to a new water treatment works! You can find out about how we do this on our suppliers pages.

We are committed to fostering the right relationship with our suppliers; with key suppliers this will mean close co-operation, alignment to company objectives, regular two-way dialogue to improve processes, setting and raising standards throughout the entire supply chain and measuring / improving supplier performance. This is referred to as Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and it is fundamental to our success.

We want to make sure that our selection of suppliers takes into account our approach to responsible business that’s why we have developed a Sustainable Supply Chain Charter setting out the standards we expect from our suppliers, and those they can expect from us in return. The charter covers environmental elements, such as reducing waste to landfill energy usage and carbon emissions, using recycled materials; health and safety standards and social priorities, such as fair treatment for employees. 75 per cent of our annual spend is with suppliers who have signed up to the charter.

We ensure our suppliers and buyers understand our values, which range from environmental considerations such as reducing waste to landfill and carbon emissions, to humanitarian priorities such as fair treatment of employees and protecting human rights.

In return, we treat our suppliers as valued partners, paying them promptly, giving them on-going support and providing opportunities for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to bid for work.

Our dedicated supply chain teams help us achieve our aims by closely monitoring sustainability performance. We measure our performance against UK sustainable procurement best practice models, such as British Standard for Sustainable Procurement and (BS8903) and international standards, such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

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