Choosing the right suppliers

In the UK, during the recent tender to select a new PPE supplier, sustainability was a key scoring criteria, with a particular focus on ethical sourcing.

As part of the tender process, we reviewed the ethical sourcing processes for overseas manufacturing, including using Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audits (SMETA) to understand the standards of labour, health and safety, environmental performance and ethics at supplier sites.

During the presentation stage of the procurement process, we asked the potential suppliers to review two of their own brand products, a hi-vis jacket and a pair of work boots, and identify where every component of these products came from.

This helped us to assess if the supplier had sourced the products responsibly and to understand the risks of modern slavery in our supply chain and review the mitigation and control measures in place.