In 2021 WSP published its Social Value Supply Chain Charter.  It recognises that a diverse supply base generates local social value, through employment, local economic spend, and opportunities for participation in business.   Its work with Hertfordshire Council is an example of what can be achieved.

WSP has in the last few years set up a Supplier Diversity Taskforce and has transformed its procurement processes to encourage SME and minority-owned businesses as part of its wider social value goals.

Overall WSP has committed to generating £120 million in additional social value over 2022-24, and working with micro-businesses and SMEs is an important part of that.

The Social Value Supply Chain Charter includes commitments to promote a diverse and inclusive supply chain, only to use suppliers that sign up to the Code of Conduct and commitments on the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and to pay SMEs supporting public sector contracts on 30-day payment terms.

There is also a focus on working with VCSEs, ethnic minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, and LGBTQ+ and disability-owned businesses; to providing training and expert advice for SMEs to support their growth and development; and to work with the supply chain on the use of innovation to support responsible business.  Resources such as training materials are shared with the supply chain.

WSP has launched a market-leading initiative to build sustainability into its corporate supply chain. This is now an important part of helping to achieve ambitious social value and climate goals, particularly addressing the Scope 3 emissions challenge.

One recent example was WSP’s work with Hertfordshire Council, which generated £4 million of additional social value.  The work was delivered by some 214 people including supply chain partners and their workforce, with 135 living in Hertfordshire itself. Project team members delivered eight expert business advice sessions via the Local Government Skills Academy, spent nearly £10,000 with local MSMEs for venue hire, and supported four local charities with monetary donations.