Standards & suppliers

Managing our supplier relationships the right way

Last week, we published our 2019-20 Corporate Responsibility (CR) report, which covers how we manage our relationships with suppliers. 

Our customers trust us to deliver for them. Maintaining their trust – and the trust of all our stakeholders – is fundamental to our success. We are committed to operating with integrity to safeguard our reputation and protect our valued place in society. We are committed to embedding our high standards of social, ethical and environmental conduct across our supply chain. Working collaboratively with our suppliers helps to create economic value for our communities and deliver better experiences for our customers.

Royal Mail Group is committed to playing its part to uphold and protect human rights in our business and across our supply chain globally. Sunday 18 October marks Anti-Slavery Day, which aims to raise awareness of modern day slavery in the UK and around the world.

Key achievements 2018-19

  • 38 per cent of new supplier contracts were awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • We agreed data protection contract amendments with over 130 suppliers following a risk assessment to identify suppliers that process personal information on behalf of Royal Mail and its customers.
  • We now have 29 of our higher risk suppliers active on SEDEX, an online platform that tracks our suppliers’ environment, social and governance performance, and conducts third-party audits to ensure accurate reporting.

Did you know?

  • Our Business Standards are about doing the right thing, following the law, acting honourably and treating others with respect. They help us to do the best job we can for our customers.
  • 99.7 per cent of Royal Mail managers were trained on anti-corruption policies and procedures – this includes attesting that they comply with our Business Standards.
  • Our Speak Up whistleblowing hotline is available 24 hour a day, every day of the year.
  • Every year, we publish a Modern Slavery Statement, setting out the actions we have taken to tackle modern slavery in our business and supply chain.
  • Royal Mail worked with around 3,400 suppliers during 2019-20, with around 97 per cent of our suppliers based in the UK.
  • We spent around £2.3 billion with our suppliers during the year.
  • All Royal Mail suppliers are required to comply with our Responsible Procurement Code of Conduct, which is based on promoting responsible practices across human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Engaging with suppliers on CR issues

Clothing manufacture is a high-risk sector for human rights and environmental issues. CR factors were therefore a major consideration when we retendered for Royal Mail uniforms in 2019-20. All bidders were required to become members of Sedex.

We awarded the contract to Dimensions, which demonstrated commitment to CR during the tendering process. Dimensions works with HERproject, which promotes financial literacy for women working in low-income industries in the global supply chain.

Working with Dimensions, we’ll be able to recycle or reuse over 96 per cent of our uniforms when they reach the end of their life. To date, we have introduced a takeback programme where returned materials are redeployed where possible. Unbranded usable footwear is sent to Africa for reuse and our branded uniforms are processed into fibres and made into a wide range of products.

Find out more about our CR report here.

16 Oct 2020