Swindon-based insurance company, Zurich UK has launched a new initiative designed to increase transparency within its own supply chain.
With sustainability and social impact now “a driving force” behind many consumer purchasing decisions, the firm has recently unveiled its new flagship Supplier Accreditation Scheme – designed to encourage its suppliers to adopt “sustainable business practices” across their respective organisations.
According to Zurich, the scheme measures the strength of suppliers’ responsible business practices by inviting firms to complete a questionnaire about their community and environmental activities. The questionnaire covers a broad range of topics including environmental impact, diversity and inclusion, workplace rights, governance and community activity. Zurich’s in-house experts score the supplier responses and award gold, silver or bronze accreditation depending on the suppliers’ approach to sustainability.
The scheme is being rolled out across the insurance firm’s complete UK supplier base. In the first wave of accreditations, six suppliers were put through their paces; car hire firm Enterprise Rent-A-Car, business and brand communications specialists RR Donnelley (RRD), delivery company Royal Mail, catering company Sodexo, delivery management company Whistl and stationery specialists WildHearts, with all six firms receiving gold accreditation.
Sophie Timms, head of UK corporate affairs explained that Zurich is “committed” to sustainability and ensuring that its business activities have a “positive impact on society, the environment and the economy.”
She said: “We want to work with suppliers who share the same ethos so we’ve launched the Supplier Accreditation Scheme to encourage them to do the right thing. We’re delighted to see that some of our suppliers are already embracing the behaviours and values which we firmly believe are best for business, customers, their employees and society.
“We strongly believe that by integrating social and environmental concerns into our business operations we can make a real difference and help effect social change. We hope we can work with more of our suppliers to help drive a movement for further change and embed sustainability across our whole supply chain.”
Zurich UK’s accreditation is valid for three years. Firms also have the opportunity to resubmit their questionnaires within a year provided they can “demonstrate they’ve taken action to improve their corporate responsibility measures within their firms.”
For more information about Zurich’s approach to corporate responsibility in the UK visit: www.zurich.co.uk/en/about-us/corporate-responsibility