Go Ahead

Go-Ahead reveals industry-first supply chain sustainability charter

The Go-Ahead Group has today announced its Sustainable Procurement Charter, the industry’s first comprehensive supply chain policy that establishes minimum criteria in core areas of corporate social responsibility.

Under the charter, suppliers must demonstrate a commitment to sustainable innovation, employee wellness and company diversity.

  • Go-Ahead becomes first major UK transport operator to introduce comprehensive sustainable procurement charter 
  • Suppliers will be required to meet standards of sustainability, diversity and inclusion
  • Go-Ahead aims to ensure there are no zero-hours contracts from its supply chain
  • Charter will encourage innovative solutions to improve air quality, with health and safety as a critical priority

Mandating high standards for suppliers will help Go-Ahead establish its position as best in class for sustainable procurement.

The sustainable supply chain charter has five themes: happier customers, stronger communities, better teams, cleaner environment and smarter technology. The charter’s area of focus within these have been chosen in partnership with suppliers including Michelin, Siemens and Alexander Dennis. The charter, which can be found on the company’s website, has been designed with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in mind.

Specific measures include:

  • Elimination of enforced zero hours contracts for all suppliers
  • Eliminating any use of unpaid work – for example, unpaid internships
  • A requirement for larger suppliers to declare what percentage of their workforces comes from under-represented groups
  • Reporting (for larger suppliers) on how many employees are receiving equalities and diversity training
  • Disclosure of gender pay gaps and a thorough action plan to target any gap
  • Plan for reducing emissions and compliance with air quality requirements
  • Measures by suppliers to encourage employees to contribute to the low carbon economy by reporting what percentage of their workforce use public transport to commute

Elodie Brian, Interim Chief Financial Officer of The Go-Ahead Group said: “We are very proud to be announcing this charter today. Developing this initiative with input from some of our key suppliers has allowed us to ensure these goals act both as a reflection of our common core objectives, and as a benchmark for us all to strive to achieve. As the first in the transport sector to do so, we hope that this charter will act as encouragement for other companies to declare similar commitments to sustainability.

The Go-Ahead Group enables a billion bus and rail passenger journeys annually. Introducing the Sustainable Procurement Charter will help us to hold our suppliers to a higher level of commitment; ensuring our suppliers uphold the same values as we do ourselves, and therefore increase the rate of positive change in the industry.”

The charter’s emphasis on reducing gender pay gaps underpins Go-Ahead’s goal of establishing a minimum 20% diversity level across all teams and business units.

Shaun McCarthy OBE, Director of Action Sustainability, said: “It has been a pleasure working with The Go-Ahead Group to develop this charter. In order to be the best in class for sustainable procurement, it is necessary to deliver best in class procurement – and Go-Ahead’s high-class procurement team has excellent processes and supplier relationships. I am confident they will be using the guidance in the supply chain international standard ISO 20400 to deliver measurable sustainable benefits through their supply chains for many years to come”.

The report can be viewed here