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Sustainable Procurement

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South West Water has a strong commitment to corporate sustainability and this is a central theme of our procurement strategy for the goods and services we buy.

Our aim is to make South West Water a sustainable company with a sustainable supply chain. As one of the largest private businesses in the region, South West Water recognises the major economic ripple effect of using external contractors and suppliers to provide both core and specialist services.

Our procurement process sets standards for our individual suppliers' approaches to environmental, economic and social sustainability and we take rigorous steps to ensure that they meet strict criteria in this regard.


Suppliers should:

  • Assess and manage key environmental risks.
  • Comply with relevant environmental legislation, regulations and codes of practice.
  • Focus on waste reduction, recycling and the waste hierarchy.
  • Measure their carbon footprint and target reductions.
  • Think 'one planet'.
  • Have formal environmental management systems appropriate to their size. Larger companies are expected to be certified to ISO 14001 (or equivalent) by a certification body with IAF body member accreditation.


Suppliers should:

  • Be financially sound.
  • Operate a sustainable cost model providing a fair wage for employees and timely payment of suppliers.
  • Support an open book approach to cost, encouraging collaboration and driving sustainable cost reduction.
  • Maximise the benefit for the economy and employment in SWW's region.

Social & Ethical

Suppliers should:

  • Operate to the highest ethical standards
  • Accept South West Water's Supplier Code of Conduct
  • Comply with provisions of the Bribery Act 2010
  • Declare any personal interests
  • Comply with international labour standards in accordance with the principles of the International Labour Organisation Conventions
  • Support sustainable local communities in their areas of activity
  • Adopt appropriate ethical standards for global trading (ETI, SA 8000, UN Global Compact

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