Procurement & Supply Chain Management Department

K M Plant Hire & Groundworks Ltd.

Ethical & Sustainable Sourcing Policy – Applicable to the complete Supply Chain.

Ethical & Sustainable Sourcing Policy – Effective from 1st January, 2021.


K M Plant Hire & Groundworks Ltd (‘K M Plant’) take all relevant social and environmental factors into consideration, alongside relevant financial factors, in making Procurement decisions on the purchase of goods, materials, etc.  and the commissioning of any services.  K M Plant’s purchasing decisions should, where practicable, always consider whole life cost and the associated risks, impact and implications for society and the environment of that purchase.  K M Plant endeavours to buy wisely, prudently and responsibly at all times.

Our own Procurement activity can make a significant contribution to our wider organisational goals of sustainable economic development and resource minimisation, via ensuring that the goods and services we purchase, consider and deliver, provide optimum environmental performance and minimising negative environmental impact.  As such, we actively seek out sustainable products and remove or minimise the use of single use or damaging items.

Our Procurement activity has an additional critical role to play in minimising any risk of social exploitation within the Supply Chain. We believe that this not only makes business sense, but that it also has the potential to positively impact the living and working standards of other people in other countries, in various regions around the world.

This Policy standard sets out the detailed requirements and minimum expectations of our policy of Sustainable and Ethical Procurement. Specifically, it addresses the expectation that our staff and suppliers have a natural respect for our ethical standards in the context of their own particular culture and that relationships with our suppliers are based on the principle of fair and honest dealings at all times.

The same principle of fair and honest dealings must be extended to all others with whom our suppliers do business, including employees, subcontractors and other third parties and their local communities.


Our Policy

K M Plant Hire & Groundworks Ltd.’s Ethical and Sustainable Sourcing and Supply Chain Management ethos and the associated policy, seeks to cover the ethical issues and social responsibility within Supply Chains when managing business to business supplier relationships and the purchasing of goods and services from our suppliers.

Upholding the principles of this policy is a shared responsibility between K M Plant and its suppliers and the policy will be adopted at senior and director level within the company. K M Plant expects its suppliers to assign and accept similar responsibility.

All K M Plant personnel involved in the Procurement of goods and services, have a personal responsibility to be aware and have a thorough understanding of the ethical issues referred to in this policy. We all have a part to play and a responsibility to perform that role justly.



Sustainable Procurement

Our sustainability objective is to ensure a continuous improvement in procurement decisions measured against delivering sustainable and ethical trading. More specifically, we seek to avoid adverse social and environmental impact in the Supply Chain, the reduction of environmental impact from service operations and the purchase of products that meet recognised environmental standards.


Ethical Procurement

Our ethical objective is to ensure that people in the Supply Chain are treated with respect and have rights with regard to employment including the rights to freely choose employment, freedom of association, payment of a living wage, working hours that comply with national laws, equal opportunities, recognised employment relationship, freedom from intimidation and to a safe and healthy working environment.


Our Commitment

Sustainable Procurement Standard

Working in partnership

We will seek out organisations that share our commitment to sound environmental performance and improvement. Where applicable, we will offer assistance to our suppliers in raising their environmental awareness. We will develop partnerships with our suppliers and contractors and work together to minimise the environmental and social impacts of our Supply Chain.
Sustainability requirements will be considered and where appropriate will be specified in our initial Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PAS-91) and Tender related documentation for both suppliers and contractors, to ensure suppliers and contractors are fully aware of our environmental and social criteria at an early stage in the Tender or supplier onboarding process.
Small firms, voluntary and community organisations, social enterprises and ethnic minority businesses are all considered as potential members of our Supply Chain, as they play an important role in the local economy and contribute to social cohesion.


Environmental impact

Where practicable, we will purchase goods that have a minimal impact upon the environment, both local and global. Factors taken into consideration will include:- sustainability of resource production, transportation, full life energy/raw material consumption and waste production, reuse potential, percentage recycled content, sustainable packaging and production processes.
Wherever possible we will consume and purchase less by identifying and eradicating, wasteful practices within our own operation and those operations upon which or where we have applicable influence.
Where possible, will re-cycle goods at the end of their life, where this is viable and where it is not possible, we will ensure disposal in the most environmentally sound manner.
We will purchase products and services that meet at least the minimum environmental standards.
To promote and embed the adoption of sustainable services, we will develop and support through appropriate awareness programmes, new methodologies for identifying needs; appraising options; agreeing design and specification; supplier selection; tender evaluation; contract management and supplier development.


Procurement process

We will use our and the supplier’s purchasing power, wherever practicable, to positively influence and encourage their suppliers and manufacturers, to adopt sustainable practices and but from sustainable sources, in order to create a more reliable market for environmentally and ethically produced products and services.
Environmental and social factors shall be considered in the purchasing process. Specifically this includes considering what the product is made from, the product durability, where it is made and by whom, the efficiency of the product during use and the processes involved in its production and distribution, what the disposal requirements are and if it can be reused, repurposed, upcycled or recycled, etc.
We will add sustainability into the Procurement lifecycle: identifying needs; appraising options; design and specification; supplier selection; tender evaluation; contract management and supplier development.
Sustainable development concepts will be embedded into purchasing functions through internal collaboration and where required appropriate training.


Monitoring and measuring

We will seek to establish KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) for sustainable Procurement where appropriate, and monitor and measure the performance of our Supply Chain against them, also utilising the principles of OTIFIC supplier performance measurement for general propensity.
Where applicable, environmental Law is given effect through Procurement decisions, including international obligations on climate change and sustainable development.  We will support National policy and Legislation to proactively work to reduce CO2 emissions, eradicate ozone-depleting substances from our utilised resources and protect biodiversity wherever possible.


Ethical Procurement Standard

We expect our suppliers to comply with all relevant legal requirements and to also adopt the following moral principles:


Regulatory compliance

Suppliers shall comply with all National and other applicable Law and Regulations. Where the National law and this regard are in conflict, the highest standards consistent with National Law should be applied.
Where the provisions of Law and this policy are not in conflict, but address the same subject, the provision, which affords the greatest protection to people and the environment, is encouraged to be applied.



K M Plant will endeavour to ensure there is no forced, bonded, involuntary, prison or any form of slavery labour within the organisation or its Supply Chain.
All employees without any distinction, have the right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing should they so wish, and, where a significant proportion of the workforce agree, to bargain collectively and utilise collective representation.
Employees’ representatives will not be discriminated against, and will have all appropriate access to carry out their representative functions in the workplace.


Elimination of Child Labour

The long-term elimination of Child Labour should take place in a manner consistent with the best interests of the children concerned, should this be identified.
Suppliers should develop or participate in and contribute to policies and programmes that provide for the transition of any child found to be performing Child Labour, to enable her or him to attend and remain in quality education until they are no longer considered to be a child.
Children and young persons under 18 years of age shall not be employed at night or in hazardous conditions.


Right to a Living Wage

Wages paid for a standard working week meet or exceed national (or, where applicable, local) required minimum legal levels and standards.
In any event, wages should not be paid in kind and should be enough to meet basic needs.
No deductions shall be made from any wage without mutual consent.
All workers are to be provided with written and comprehendible information about their employment conditions in respect to wages before they enter employment, and the particulars of their wages for the pay period concerned each time that they are paid.


Avoidance of excessive working hours

Standard working hours must comply with National laws and National benchmark industry standards; whichever affords greater protection to the employee.
All Employees should not on a regular basis be required to work in excess of 48 hours per week without mutual agreement (unless having already ‘opted out’ of the Working Time Regulations 1998), and should be provided with at least one day off for every 7-day period on average. Overtime requested by the employer must be voluntary and must not be requested on a regular basis, unless mutually agreed as guaranteed overtime.


No discrimination

A policy of equality for all should be in place and there should be no discrimination whatsoever in hiring, compensation level, access to training, promotion opportunities, required training, termination process, or retirement, based on race, caste, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, sexual status, religious beliefs, union membership or political affiliation.


Provision of regular employment

To every extent possible work performed must be on the basis of recognised employment relationship established through National Law and practice.
Obligations to employees under labour or social security Laws and regulations arising from the regular employment relationship should not be avoided.
Examples include the abuse of labour-only contracting, sub-contracting, or home-working arrangements, through apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment, or the excessive use of fixed-term contracts of employment.


No harsh or inhumane treatment

Physical abuse or discipline, the threat of physical abuse, sexual or other harassment and verbal abuse of other forms of intimidation shall be prohibited.


Safe and Healthy Working Conditions

We expect our suppliers:

To provide a safe and healthy working environment bearing in mind international standards, the prevailing knowledge of the industry and of any specific hazards.
To take adequate steps to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, associated with, or occurring in the course of work, by minimising, so far as is reasonably practicable, the causes of hazards inherent in the working practice and environment.
Provide workers with suitable and sufficient health and safety training, in order that they fully understand the hazards associated with the work activity and environment and the correct practices required so as to minimise the risks.
Provide suitable and adequate welfare facilities including toilet facilities, drinking water and food storage where required. Accommodation, where provided, shall be clean, safe and meet the needs of the workers.
To assign responsibility for Health and Safety to a suitably qualified Senior Management representative.



We expect our suppliers:

To have an effective Environmental Policy, to implement this Policy at all levels throughout the organisation and to include a commitment to continual improvement in environmental performance and prevention of pollution.
To comply with all Environmental Legislation, Regulations and all local Laws which relate to the organisations environmental aspects to facilitate the protection of the environment and minimisation of risks of harm to biodiversity.
To have a process that ensures conformity to local Regulations, including those relating to the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste and the elimination and safe disposal of dangerous or hazardous materials.
To identify a person within its organisation to whom responsibility for environmental compliance issues has been allocated, and to be able to demonstrate that responsible personnel are adequately qualified or trained in such environmental matters.
To routinely identify risks of adverse environmental impact associated with their operations and where operations with identified risks are planned to ensure they are carried out under controlled conditions with the objective of minimising potential adverse impact upon the environment.


Policy Principles

We will use the following ‘Best Practice’ principles to guide the implementation of our policy:


Principle 1: Working together

We will:

work collaboratively with suppliers in pursuit of this standard;
guide relationships by the principle of continual improvement;
welcome and support rather than penalise, any suppliers identifying activities that fall below this standard (undertaken by themselves or subcontractors) and who agree to put measures in place to pursue their improvement aspirations;
consider a similar ethical trading standard as a reasonable alternative, where suppliers are already working towards sustainability.


Principle 2: Making a difference

We will, and we expect our suppliers to:

Use an environmental and social risk-based approach to the implementation of this policy standard;
Focus attention on those parts of the Supply Chain where the risk of not meeting this policy standard is at its highest, and where the maximum difference can be made with resources available.

K M Plant Hire & Groundworks Ltd. suppliers should:

Be prepared to demonstrate the basis of their approach with regard to the above.


Principle 3: Awareness raising and training

We will, and we expect our suppliers to:

Ensure that all relevant people are provided with appropriate qualifications, training and guidelines to implement the requirements of this standard.


Principle 4: Monitoring and independent verification

We will:

Recognise that implementation of this standard may be assessed/reassessed through monitoring and independent verification, and that these methods will be developed as our understanding grows.

We will expect our suppliers to:

Provide reasonable access to all relevant information, premises, and workers (through team briefing, toolbox talks, forums, interviews, etc.) and to fully co-operate in any assessment against this policy standard – using all reasonable endeavours to ensure that their subcontractors do the same.
Use reasonable endeavours to provide workers covered by this policy standard with a confidential means to report to the supplier failure to observe its requirements, so this can be addressed and actions planned and implemented accordingly.


Principle 5: Continuous improvement

We will, and we expect our suppliers to:

apply a ‘continuous improvement’ approach in agreeing general schedules for improvement plans with suppliers not meeting this policy standard;
base improvement plans on individual case circumstances;


Ultimately, K M plant Hire & Groundworks Ltd. will refuse/decline to do business with a supplier where serious breaches of this policy standard are identified and where the supplier consistently fails to take corrective action within mutually agreed timescales. This will result in the supplier’s removal from the Supply Chain until demonstrably corrected and remedied.


Policy Summary

Social responsibility

Suppliers must uphold basic Human Rights.
Suppliers must ensure that all employees have attained the minimum age required in order to be legally employed and have a right to work.
Employees must be free to choose to work for the supplier and free to leave the supplier and there should be no forced, bonded, involuntary or slave labour.
Employee wages and benefits should at least meet industry or national legal standards.
Employee working hours and holiday allowances should comply with industry standards or National Laws.
Employee working conditions must be safe and hygienic at all times.
Suppliers should always work in compliance with the Laws of their Country.
Suppliers should have a policy of equality where there is no discrimination.
Suppliers must make every effort to minimise the impact on the environment by seeking continual reduction in the use of resources, waste generation and by re-using and recycling where practical without affecting quality or function.
No organisation within the Supply Chain should be linked to an oppressive regime, or be involved in an organisation that may damage the reputation of or is unacceptable to the principles of K M Plant Hire & Groundworks Ltd.
Employees should have freedom to join Trade Unions or other recognised representative organisations.


Supplier Management

Supplier’s confidential information must not be disclosed to any third party or used in any way without the consent of the supplier or other named party.
The relationship between K M Plant and the supplier should be open and honest and no relevant information should deliberately be withheld by either party.
In competitive situations unsuccessful suppliers should be fully debriefed about the Procurement process and the rationale around the ultimate decision making process.
All suppliers should be treated fairly at all stages of the Procurement process.
The arbitrary or unfair use of purchasing power or influence is discouraged.
Any material personal interest which may affect, or be seen to affect, impartiality or judgement should be declared by any staff member involved in the Procurement process.
It should be ensured that suppliers understand and agree to any negotiated terms and conditions, and that these will be binding unless otherwise agreed.
With regard to size, maturity and location of suppliers, consideration should be given to the magnitude of business awarded to a supplier, the impact of that business on the supplier and the level of dependence on that business.


Evidence of Compliance

K M Plant’s Procurement and Supply Chain Management personnel will have the right to carry out regular monitoring of the implementation of Ethical and Sustainable Procurement commitments and ethical standards of practice by suppliers and business units to enable us to identify trends and ensure that environmental and social factors are being considered appropriately in Procurement decisions and functions.



Additional guidance and details of relevant Legislation is available from the following sources:

UK websites

DEFRA ( Guidance on EC public procurement rules and best practice including OGC/Defra note on environmental issues in purchasing.

OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT COMMERCE ( Guidance on procurement and estate management can be found on the framework for sustainable development on the government estate.

ENVIRONMENT AGENCY ( Legislation and good practice approach.





This remains in force until otherwise countermanded or superseded by a replacement Policy, sanctioned by the Managing Director, and is mandatory upon all suppliers, and is applied universally across the Supply Chain.

The Document represents an official Policy of K M Plant Hire & Groundworks Ltd. and forms the basis of Contractual Terms of Trade, and has been instigated and implemented by the Procurement and Supply Chain Department, upon the instruction of the Managing Director of K M Plant Hire & Groundworks Ltd.

Monitoring and Review

The Managing Director is responsible for engaging Internal Audit to independently assess compliance with this Policy. The Managing Director will report annually on compliance with this policy, which will make an independent assessment of the adequacy of the policy and disclose any material non-compliance. The Managing Director may also make an independent assessment of the adequacy of the Policy in response to an event such as an instance of non-compliance.

Khan Lynch
Managing Director