We strive to be a ‘fair customer’ and to pay promptly, providing performance meets the terms agreed. For several years we’ve had a target to pay invoices, on average, in less than 30 days. In 2017, we achieved an average payment period of 29 days. Going forward we’ll be reporting in line with the Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance regulations.
We’ve also been an accredited Living Wage Employer since 2011. We introduced the London Living Wage for supplier staff in 2006 and extended the concept to our regional offices in 2008, before aligning with the National Living Wage when it was introduced in 2011. This means that supplier staff working permanently at our London sites currently receive at least 44% above the UK minimum wage, and 24% above it at regional sites.
Human rights & modern slavery
As a leading professional services firm, we’re committed to respecting and upholding internationally recognised human rights. We focus on areas in our suppliers with the greatest risk of human rights infringements, and have detailed our policies, governance, risk management approach and related reporting in our Human Rights and Modern Slavery Statement. We use our annual supplier survey to understand how many of our key suppliers have their own human rights policies in place. In 2017, 66% reported that they have policies on this aspect of their business.
Low carbon economy
We’ve made fantastic progress in reducing the carbon footprint from our direct operations, achieving a 77% reduction in our Scope 1 and 2 emissions since 2007. However, our total impact analysis shows that carbon emissions are the biggest environmental impact in our supply chain, so for several years we’ve engaged with our key suppliers to measure, report and set targets for reducing their emissions.
Having achieved zero waste to landfill in 2012 we challenged ourselves to think differently about the materials we use in our business. We’ve made great progress in progressively adopting the principles of the ‘circular economy’, by reducing consumption, and increasing the proportion of materials we divert to reuse or recycling. We’re also exploring circular solutions for the products and services that we purchase, as our waste and materials programme extends from our core operations to those of our key suppliers.
We’ve supported social enterprises for many years, including contracting with them as part of our supply chain, and in 2016 signed up as a founding member of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge. This aims to harness the spending power of business to support start-ups that have a social or environmental mission, providing jobs for disadvantaged groups. In 2017 we spent £1.5m with more than 40 social enterprises.