Supply chain management is a central part of responsible property management. Legal obligations and voluntary commitments relate to way in which people are employed by suppliers and contractors. A range of financial and operational benefits are also possible by considering sustainability within key service contracts.
Supply chain management involves understanding the sustainability risks and opportunities associated with the goods and services provided to a property. It is also important to specify the requirements that will control these risks within contracts and agreements.
It is important that obligations relating to the Modern Slavery Act are considered by asset, property and facilities managers. Modern Slavery related to exploitive practices including servitude, forced and compulsory labour, child labour and human trafficking.
Modern Slavery presents a growing risk to the property management sector, particularly in relation to waste management, cleaning, security, landscaping and ground maintenance services. These risks should be addressed by reviewing controls within directly managed services and services provided by the supply chain.
The Living Wage Foundation calculates an annual living wage (above the government’s legal minimum wage) based on evidence about living standards in the UK. Companies that adopt the Living Wage may enhance reputation and can experience improved employee motivation, retention and relations.
Delivering Living Wage Foundation certified services involves assessing the viability of paying a Living Wage in relation to property management services. Where feasible, Living Wage certified services should be included in the tendering process for new or revised contracts.
It is important that a company’s sustainability requirements are incorporated into the products and services provided by suppliers and contractors.
Tender documentation should be reviewed by colleagues with appropriate sustainability knowledge to identify sustainability impacts relevant to the contract.
Sustainability specifications should be incorporated within contracts, along with the requirement for suppliers and contractors to provide related sustainability performance data.
Key contract types for which sustainability should be considered include:
A monitoring strategy should be prepared to track supply chain management performance. This will enable the review and continual improvement of performance, and will contribute information for stakeholders’ sustainability reporting initiatives.