Ethical Procurement

Ethical Procurement Policy

It is estimated that somewhere between 20 and 37 million people are subjected to some form of modern slavery globally. This can take the form of human trafficking, forced labour and slavery. Vulnerable people are abused by unscrupulous individuals and businesses to provide goods, works and services despite this behaviour being illegal in every country in the world. Customers and consumers should be safe in the knowledge that when they buy goods and services, the people or organisations involved within the supply chain are honest, trustworthy and have high moral standards. Only through robust due diligence procedures and a comprehensive understanding of how the goods, works or services are produced, will the end user be protected from poor or dishonest business practices. While some businesses have a higher risk of exposure than others, every business has a responsibility to promote ethical practices amongst its supply chain. It is Wills Bros commitment to ensure employees within our own company, and workers within our supply chain are protected from such illegal and unethical practices.

There are three main reasons why being proactive in terms of ethical procurement and supply is essential;

  1. To protect the rights of workers
  2. To protect the rights of customers/consumers
  3. To safeguard employees by protecting the reputation of the organisation.

Wills Bros are committed to ethical procurement practices within its supply chain and undertake to provide such assurances to our employees and customers through the following proactive measures:

  1. Promotion of standards, policies and codes of practice which educate and raise awareness about ethical procurement practices.
  2. Selecting suppliers and subcontractors with a proven track record and good reputation in industry.
  3. Making our supply chain aware of our policy on ethical procurement and modern slavery.
  4. Discussing our ethical procurement expectations at supplier meetings.
  5. Undertaking site visits to key supplier workplaces to satisfy ourselves that workers are treated legally and fairly.
  6. Including behavioral expectations in terms of ethical procurement and modern slavery within supplier contracts.

Our Commitments in Terms of Ethical Procurement

Where reasonable and practical to do so, Wills Bros shall always endeavour to:

  • Engage with suppliers to appraise the sustainability of the goods and services they are supplying to the company.
  • Listen to suggestions put forward by suppliers of ways in which we can, through changes to our purchasing choices or ways in which we use products supplied to us, minimise our own environmental footprint.
  • Use sustainability criteria, where appropriate, in the award of contracts, including asking potential suppliers to identify and price alternative more sustainable products or services.
  • Avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through our own activities and address such impacts where they occur and seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly linked to our operations, products or services through our business relationships with suppliers.
  • Be provided with goods and services that comply with all applicable local laws relating to protection of the environment, maintenance of persons’ health and safety, non-discrimination and protection of internationally recognised human rights.
  • Deal with all our suppliers and potential suppliers fairly and ethically and in accordance with this policy.
  • Request a copy of our key supplier’s policies on ethical procurement as part of the selection process, and if they do not have one, we will encourage them to implement one.
  • To align ourselves with suppliers who share of our aims and values in terms of ethical procurement.

Our Expectations from Suppliers:

  1. Engage with us proactively on social, ethical and environmental issues and provide relevant information on performance where requested.
  2. Seek ways to honour the principles of internationally recognised human rights agreements and avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through your own direct activities.
  3. Use responsible business practices and comply with all applicable local laws and mandatory requirements concerning environmental protection (including energy efficiency), human rights and health and safety of persons in the workplace.
  4. Monitor and wherever possible take action to reduce any adverse sustainability impacts from the operations of organisations in their own supply chain.
  5. Fully comply with local regulations on diversity and inclusion.

Corporate Governance and Accountability

To achieve our aims, we will:

  • Communicate our Ethical Procurement Policy to our key suppliers.
  • Review this Ethical Procurement Policy at regular intervals, to determine areas for improvement.
  • Inform our clients of more sustainable alternatives with respect to goods and services that we procure from our supply chain on their behalf, where appropriate.
  • Track the sustainability performance of key suppliers in our supply chain at regular intervals through communication with suppliers and through consultation with credible, independent expert resources.
  • Discuss improvements with suppliers found to be falling below the requirements outlined above or the other principles of sustainable business and corporate responsibility relevant to their business.
  • If agreed improvements are not delivered within an agreed timeframe, consider terminating our relationship with that supplier, taking into account credible assessments of potential human rights or other adverse impacts of doing so.
  • Recognise the successes of our suppliers in reaching or surpassing their own sustainability goals.
  • Promote and share good practice in terms of ethical procurement and building sustainable relationships with small businesses within our supply chain who would benefit from such advice and assistance.

Jonathan Wills