Sustainable supply chain

We are committed to ensuring that work that contributes to our success considers the needs of the present and future generations. We have set out our sustainable supply chain strategy accordingly.

Our strategy is based on The British Standard for Sustainable Procurement BS8903. The standard balances economic, environmental and social considerations such as whole life costing, expenditure analysis and best value.

We are using the category management process to identify where we can improve sustainability criteria in our tendering process and to work more closely with our suppliers to improve their understanding of our requirements and sustainability objectives. We also use this process to:-

  • Specify equipment that is carbon, energy and water efficient,
  • Only select suppliers that meet minimum sustainable standards,
  • Use whole life cost analysis to award contracts,
  • Give / receive feedback from suppliers to improve supplier performance,
  • Reduce waste and dispose of assets responsibly.

What's important to Supply Chain - Sustainability Definitions

For us, sustainability means striking a balance of economical, environmental and social factors.

We value the role that our supply chain can play in helping us achieve our sustainable aims.

We use our category focused supplier management process to embed sustainability by:-

  • Assessing sustainability risks early in contract awards, planning and acting to reduce these risks.
  • Specifying equipment or services that are sustainable e.g. carbon, energy, water efficient, use recycled materials, avoid waste to landfill, and do not harm sensitive habitats or communities.
  • Setting minimum standards when we select suppliers - either at pre-qualification or at contract award e.g. high labour standards, and by only working with safe and financially stable suppliers capable of delivering our contracts.
  • Using whole life cost assessments across a range of criteria to award contracts.
  • Giving feedback to suppliers on their sustainable performance and agreeing two-way action plans to improve their performance.
  • Bring suppliers together via supplier associations to collaborate on key improvement activities.
  • Encouraging suppliers to work with their Supply Chain on all the above aspects.
  • Encouraging innovation by seeking out innovative suppliers

We have identified 10 areas of sustainability, 8 covering environmental factors and 2 social factors.

To help you understand what we value in our 10 areas of sustainability see our best practice guidelines

How are we performing

Below are just some of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that we use to ensure we manage areas of high risk or impact and continually improve our sustainable supply chain performance.


Target 2015/16

Performance 2015/16


% Suppliers Paid On Time



We know how important it is for our suppliers to be paid on time, and this will continue to be an area of focus

% Procurement Spend Signed Up To Sustainable Supply Chain Charter



We will continue to encourage our supply chain to formally commit to supporting our charter

% Construction waste diverted from landfill (generated by our key suppliers)



We continue to promote resource efficiency with our partners. In 2015/16, 95% of waste was diverted from landfill. Up from 86% the previous year.

Supplier Relationship Management Score (a measure relating to supplier performance)



Whilst disappointed with the current performance this is being addressed in the current transformation process for Commercial.  This is one of the key focus areas for 2016/17.

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