19th July, 2022
By: Joanne Ballard, E.S.G Strategy and Compliance Director
In the first part of my blog on UN global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) number 8 – ‘Decent work and economic growth’ – I looked at how businesses should carefully examine their supply chain to ensure they weren’t inadvertently supporting forced labour. In part 2, I’ll consider how the supply chain can ‘diversify, innovate, and upgrade for economic productivity’ — and it’s easier than it sounds.
Businesses are natural engines for powering economic growth, but it could be their choice of suppliers that makes the biggest impact on SDG 8 targets for supporting productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. Working towards that goal can be as simple as supporting smaller businesses and shopping local.
While some of our partners are global and multi-national providers (and their technology offerings make them irreplaceable as part of our business model), Maintel has made a conscious effort to proactively look for opportunities to use local suppliers wherever possible.
That’s how we purchase marketing gifts, Christmas hampers, fruit and snacks for staff, and it’s how we hire cleaners for our office buildings across the country. Choosing small local businesses to deliver services to each location means we have more suppliers and therefore more relationships to manage, but the benefits hugely outweigh that minor inconvenience.
By supporting small local enterprises:
We hold our local suppliers to exactly the same standards as our global partners, running credit checks, director checks, and requesting details of standards and certifications they work to. And we monitor them, not just in terms of SLAs but looking at safety of working environments and staff welfare. We ensure their employees are paid a living wage, and would never pay a supplier in cash, (it would be red flag for them to even ask).
SDG 8, ‘Decent work and economic growth’, is a great example of how taking action towards one Sustainable Development Goal naturally facilitates the achievement of others.
Supporting local small and medium-sized enterprises can provide more opportunities to offer productive employment and satisfying personal development than creating jobs within your own business, while naturally lowering your carbon footprint. And by keeping an eye on your suppliers’ suppliers, you can easily affect equality, diversity and poverty targets too.
Are you looking for your next adventure or know someone who is?