A diverse supply chain means a sustainable supply chain
The Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Code of Conduct has been developed by the Royal Bank of Scotland and endorsed by WEConnect International and is guided by the principles of inclusion, development, compliance and continuous improvement.
RBS recognises that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other diverse suppliers will play a critical role in the recovery of the economy and that a key component of a sustainable supply chain is diversity. As such they have taken the initiative to develop, adopt and implement a Supplier Diversity & Inclusion Programme which is supported by the voluntary Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Code of Conduct, specifically affirming the bank's commitment to providing a level procurement playing field for SMEs, women-owned and other diverse and other under-represented suppliers across its supply base.
"At RBS we believe that our supply chain should reflect the diversity of the communities in which we operate. This makes business sense, as well as having clear social advantages. We recognise that we still have much to do and are committed to providing a level playing field for SMEs, women-owned and other diverse and under-represented suppliers in our communities, strengthening our marketplaces, promoting competitive advantage and enabling business sustainability in the communities we serve and support."
-Chris Sullivan CEO, RBS UK Corporate Banking
One of the core aspects of the Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Code of Conduct is its ability to be translated and adopted by a wide range of organisations worldwide which is an initiative that WEConnect International will be working on going forward.
The Code supports the growth of inclusive sourcing and asks firms to commit to providing equal opportunities within their procurement processes to ensure that diverse suppliers have access to procurement opportunities throughout the supply chain.
RBS developed the Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Code of Conduct so that it can be easily adopted by any company thinking of increasing the diversity of its supply chain. By voluntarily adopting this Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Code of Conduct, a company affirms its commitment to providing a level playing field for SMEs, women-owned and other diverse and under-represented suppliers, promoting competitive advantage and enabling business sustainability in the communities they serve and support.
Alongside RBS, firms already committed to supporting the Code include Accenture, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, Gibbs S3, IBM, Intel, Interpublic Group, Marriott International, MSD (Merck), SDI Limited, The Sourcing Team and Wyndham Worldwide.
To aid this process, the 'Adopting the Code' document outlines the steps a company can take to demonstrate their commitment to act. It is the first step in the journey towards supplier diversity and should be supported by the development of a robust supplier diversity programme tailored to an individual company's needs and ways of working.
For companies already practicing supplier inclusion principles, the Code can support and enhance existing codes of ethics or supplier inclusion programs. The Code is applicable to all geographies and can cross all underutilized groups.
The Code can be 'supported' or 'adopted' based on the following definitions:
- Companies that already have global supplier diversity and inclusion code of conduct for their firms but who are keen on supporting this Code given the strong alignment of concepts.
- Companies that would like to start the journey towards a more diverse supply chain and are looking to complement current ethics codes or procurement codes.
- Companies that have local supplier diversity and inclusion codes of conduct who are looking to replicate and expand globally.
- Companies that would like to support their suppliers (tier 1 and tier 2) to start/strengthen their journey towards a more diverse supply chain.
RBS and WEConnect International invite companies to voluntarily adopt the Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Code of Conduct and provided here is a template to start, support or expand a firm's commitment toward providing a level playing field for diverse and under-represented suppliers.
The RBS team behind the development of the Code are also happy to discuss their supplier diversity journey, can share how they have undertaken this work and have offered to help other firms in this space - Maggie can put you in touch with them.
**RBS officially launched the Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Code of Conduct on Monday 20th May 2013 at the Portcullis House, Westminster, London, United Kingdom**