This means extending our values beyond our own business and into the supply chain, recognising it as an extension of our operations and commitments, delivering critical services to our region and providing great water and more for the North West.
United Supply Chain (USC) is a fundamental step change in the way we are looking to engage and work with our suppliers through AMP7, and into AMP8 – replacing the previous Sustainable Supply Chain Charter used through AMP6. USC is centred on using our responsible sourcing principles to create a high-quality supply chain and provide suppliers with a way of enhancing their performance in the North West and beyond. We believe that operating and procuring in a responsible manner will mitigate risk, build resilience, improve compliance and ultimately deliver better value for customers.
In November 2020, as part of our launch of USC, we held our first digital supplier event, with senior leaders from across the business sharing their role in helping us to achieve our company’s vision of being the best UK water and wastewater company.
A variety of supplier engagement activities followed, and we are now in the process of signing up 100 per cent of all targeted suppliers to our responsible sourcing principles. We will then be surveying suppliers to capture our progress and successes, and to identify new ways that we can work better together.
Since 2016, we have had a strong relationship with the Supply Chain Sustainability School, and the launch of USC has seen them partner us on our journey to embed best practice across our business and broader supply chain. This collaboration allows our suppliers direct access to the latest thinking and training in responsible sourcing. Recent insightful workshops have covered carbon and modern slavery – with the latter leading to us enhancing key internal documents to align to best practice.
‘Pride in the workplace’ training by The Proud Trust provided education on diversity and inclusion, another key theme of our USC roll-out. Ensuring that learning gained from this training is replicated internally and throughout our supply chain will be key to helping us embed USC.
We will be showcasing more examples of collaborative working on our USC supplier web pages, as we work to create, adopt and develop better practice across our delivery chain.