05 May 2006 | Anusha Bradley
Barclays bank is to assess the risk its 50 largest suppliers pose to its corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitments.
These 50 suppliers account for over £2 billion - or 50 per cent - of Barclays' global spend.
According to the bank's annual CSR report, published this week, it has earmarked 30 "high-risk" suppliers, which includes those operating in the clothing, textiles and paper industries, to take part in the first phase.
Barclays said its global sourcing team last year reviewed and rewrote its supply chain policy, putting emphasis on procurement's role in improving CSR.
As a result, an in-depth supplier questionnaire has been developed to assess new and existing contractors.
The survey will be included in tender applications and will assess them in the following categories: health and safety; child labour; freedom of employment; freedom of association; disciplinary practices; working hours and pay; equality and diversity in employment standards; provisions of service; and interactions with other suppliers.
Barclays said these considerations will also be built into new supply contracts and it will work with suppliers who do not meet specified standards to improve them.
The report also notes that Barclays was highly commended in the Mayor of London's green procurement awards in 2005 and highlights the renewal of the bank's agreement with trade union Amicus which will protect workers whose jobs might be lost through outsourcing or off-shoring for another two years.
Since the Amicus agreement was signed in November last year Barclays has created 1,000 full time jobs in India, which has affected 1,176 UK workers. A total of 673 of these were deployed elsewhere in the bank and the rest opted for voluntary redundancy.
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