Home / Buyer Services / Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Covering the basics
Constructionline supports Buyers on the responsible business agenda, providing information for Buyers on what accreditations and kitemarks suppliers have in place. Primarily the areas covered in basic and more advanced policies are:
Quality policies come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes as policy statements, sometimes as customer service policies or customer satisfaction programmes.
All Quality policies should be easy to read and publicly available or available on demand.
A basic quality policy/statement will normally include:
For larger organisations there is often a commitment to meet the requirements of the Quality standard ISO 9001 which gives a much more structured approach to the Quality process but is often associated with products rather than services.
To go beyond a basic policy a supplier may include:
A Health and Safety Policy is a prerequisite for any supplier in the Construction industry. Companies with fewer than 5 employees don’t have to write them down. Despite the excellent efforts being made, the Construction industry has one of the highest accident rates.
All policies should clearly state what, when and how. They should set out who is responsible for specific actions.
The following basic requirements follow the guidance of the Health and Safety Executive.
A basic policy should see to:
Policies should look to meet all requirements of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act and other relevant legislation.
To meet corporate responsibility, the HSE recommends the inclusion of stress:
CSR takes into account the interests of employees and their health and safety. This includes the effects of work on the development of work related stress. Effective management of health and safety is vital to employee wellbeing.
Employers should ensure that as part of their CSR they consider the health and safety of their employees, including work related stress. This may include, for example, using stress management programmes.
An equality policy sets out an organisation’s commitment to tackle discrimination and promote equality and diversity in areas such as recruitment, training, management and pay.
Equality law does not require an equality policy, however, having one shows an organisation’s commitment to equality for workers, customers, clients or service users. They are frequently asked for in a procurement process.
A basic policy should include:
An equality policy should apply to every aspect of employment, from recruitment through pay, access to facilities and employment benefits, discipline and grievance procedures and so on up to the end of the contractual relationship and beyond, for example, when you provide references. A policy might include:
It is important that senior management in an organisation actively support the equality policy action plan. Having the person at the top endorsing it and showing commitment to it makes it far more likely that the whole organisation will get behind the plan.
To make sure an equality policy is put into practice, the EHRC recommends that there should be:
Monitoring of equality-related issues
In order to properly fulfil their public sector equality duty and (in the case of those public authorities to whom they apply) the specific equality duties, public authority employers may be required to monitor matters such as recruitment, promotion, training, pay, grievances and disciplinary action by reference to the protected characteristics of their workers. Currently, there is no legal requirement on most organisations (including private sector businesses, smaller public bodies, voluntary and community sector organisations) to monitor and report on their staff profile. Nevertheless, doing so can help an employer to assess whether, for example, they are:
An environmental policy is now an essential rather than optional document defining how an organisation manages its environmental impact.
A policy should show an organisation is aware of its environmental impacts, relevant legislation, and outline actions to address these key areas. Here is a short guide to basic policy requirements and potential progression towards best practice.
All environmental policies should be easy to read and publicly available or available on demand.
A statement of commitment to (and stated timeline for) a formal Environmental Management System (EMS) such as ISO 14001 (including the step process BS855 for Small & Medium Enterprises – SMEs) or EMAS (Environmental Management Audit System) is also preferable for larger suppliers.
To go beyond a basic policy:
Suppliers may include specific detail relevant to their own operational or market targets. By placing targets in a formal, accessible document it offers additional accountability and commitment to managing environmental impacts including, for example:
In this area suppliers often do not have a formal policy document, instead, they usually come in the form of statements or as additional information about ‘added value’ or charitable activity.
This should not devalue any of this activity and buyers need to use their own knowledge of the area to assess the potential benefits of such activities.
All Community Policies, where held, should be easy to read and publicly available or available on demand.
Basic community activity will normally include:
To go beyond a basic policy a supplier may want to extend their policies to cover:
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