Why we’re working towards B-corp certification

24th Oct 2022

“With our sustainability consultancy partner, A Beautiful Green, we conducted a supplier analysis to understand where we stood regarding sustainability into our partnerships. 

“It helped us see more clearly where we needed to improve, and where we wanted to strengthen valuable partnerships. As for now, we have a responsible purchasing policy and ask each one of our suppliers to sign and comply to our supplier code of conduct.” 

Kirsty Shearer, development director, Agilité Solutions

The challenge 

Agilité was purposefully established to redefine the spaces it works in – but recognises that the construction industry needs to evolve as well.  

There is no escaping the fact that the design and build sector is having a significant impact on social and environmental factors – be it though the raw materials used, traditional construction techniques, or the choice of energy installations.  

Agilité has never wanted to simply subcontract its work – and therefore risk jeopardising the integrity it focuses so hard to deliver. That’s why it’s important for the firm to work alongside construction specialists who care about people and the planet just as much as they do. 

Since its inception, Agilité has focused much energy on establishing trusted relationships throughout the European supply chain – and when it enters a new geographical market, the same search for potential strategic partners unfolds.

An essential component of the construction industry, the supply chain comprises organisations of all sizes and specialism – therefore, establishing a partner code of conduct was essential to support the wider work Agilité was undertaking, in its bid to become a more sustainable business.  

The aim of this project was to reaffirm lasting commitments to its trading partners, but also to reform the partnership process for the future. We are talking about the integration of official policies and selection criteria in the selection of new suppliers. 

 

The strategy 

Regulations, procedures, sustainability ambitions, and cultures vary, sometimes even on a state-to-state level, and Agilité relies on the input of its local specialists.  

On every project, it sought to appoint the optimum combination of suppliers – whose own vision aligns with Agilité’s overarching commitment to socio-economic and net zero factors – particularly across design, materials, manufacture, logistics, construction, and disposal. As such, A Beautiful Green worked with Agilité to: 

  • Screen the most important suppliers 
  • Create a pre-qualification questionnaire and adapt to different languages  
  • Survey existing suppliers and benchmark performance 
  • Collect and review qualitative and quantitative data  
  • Carry out further research
  • Collaboration with the suppliers 
  • Create official documents to support the new responsible purchasing approach 
  • Presentation of results 
  • Proposed improvements. 

 

The results 

Now in place, Agilité’s responsible purchasing program seeks to build a supply chain which understands – and shares – its guiding principles. For the client, sustainable procurement is about working with partners to ensure long-term benefits to the economy, communities, and environment – to deliver best value for Agilité’s customers. 

As a result of this project, Agilité has been able to gain better visibility of how its supply chain operates – meaning the trade relations of the future will be based on collaboration and mutual trust. What’s more, as legislation affecting supply chains evolves, each trading partner will have to be held accountable. 

Through this project, Agilité was able to ‘screen’ partners who were/weren’t willing to collaborate towards more sustainable business practices – gaining oversight on who was aligned with its wider business ambitions, and those open to evolution. 

Allowing Agilité to review all commercial links, the project also helped to establish a sustainable foundation for its purchasing department. Agilité now has policies and procedures in place that regulate and structure procurement – including a ‘responsible procurement policy’, ‘modern slavery policy’ and ‘supplier code of conduct’.  

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