Core Values & Supplier Conduct

The BDZ Group, incorporating ARC companies, was established in 1983 to offer corporate clients consulting services relating to people, management and property. BDZ has subsequently grown into a £50m+ turnover business supplying goods and services through a diverse group of companies in various sectors.

Core Business and Ethical Values

BDZ’s board and senior leaders are responsible for establishing the culture of the business and ensuring corporate social responsibility. BDZ expects all its workers, suppliers and contractors to adhere to its values.

BDZ’s board believes that the combination of sound business and ethical values produces a corporate culture which has the best prospect of delivering consistently excellent results that benefit all stakeholders (i.e. customers, workers, suppliers and contractors, and the wider community).

Therefore, in all aspects of BDZ’s business, principles of quality, efficiency and innovation, customer service, reliability and value for money are allied with fundamental ethical values of honesty, integrity, respect, fairness and responsibility.

BDZ embeds these values through communication, training, collaborative working and support, together with monitoring and accountability.

Supplier Code of Conduct

BDZ expects its suppliers to be socially responsible, and to adhere to BDZ’s values by having good labour and environmental practices and paying suppliers on time.

1. Compliance with Laws

Suppliers must:

  • a. Comply with all applicable laws when providing goods or services to BDZ;
  • b. Comply with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Core Conventions, including the fundamental universal and indivisible human rights applying to labour standards in all states, namely the freedoms: (1) from forced labour; (2) from child labour; (3) from discrimination at work; and (4) to form and join a union, and to bargain collectively; and
  • c. Take reasonable steps to ensure that BDZ’s standards are maintained and enforced within its own supply chain, including through risk assessment and due diligence, sharing information and good practices, contractual documentation, open and transparent business practices, monitoring and accountability.

2. Child labour

There are over 40 million people worldwide who are modern-day slaves and over 100 million child workers. BDZ is legally and morally obliged to ensure that its supply chain is not tainted by the exploitation of child labour, forced labour and unacceptable working conditions.

Suppliers must not use child labour to provide goods or services to BDZ. They must also take reasonable steps to ensure that child labour does not occur elsewhere in their supply chain

For this purpose, ‘child labour’ occurs where:

  • a. The work is carried out by a person who is under the minimum age for carrying out the work in the country where the product or service is sourced from (in whole or in part); or
  • b. The work would be at risk of depriving a person under the age of 15 of their potential and their dignity, and would be harmful to their physical and mental development (for example, by hindering their completion of compulsory schooling).

3. Forced Labour

Suppliers must not use forced labour to provide goods or services to BDZ. They must also take reasonable steps to ensure that forced labour does not occur elsewhere in their supply chain.

Forced labour includes:

  • a. Any form of slavery, servitude, indentured, bonded, involuntary prison, military or compulsory labour;
  • b. Labour exploitation through unacceptably low pay, poor working conditions or excessive wage deductions – where the individual(s) cannot freely leave for other employment or exercise choice over their situation; and
  • c. Any work where government issued identification, passports or work permits are retained by the supplier as a condition of employment.

Workers must be allowed to leave the workplace after their shift, and to terminate their employment freely on reasonable notice.

4. Pay and working hours

Suppliers must comply with applicable laws regarding working hours, wages and benefits (and take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with applicable laws throughout their supply chain).

However, if applicable laws do not provide the protections envisaged by this Supplier Code of Conduct, additional protections must be taken to ensure compliance. Amongst other things, suppliers must:

  • a. Comply with minimum wage laws;
  • b. Not expect workers to work (including overtime) more than the hours set out in any relevant working time legislation or other national legal limits unless there is a lawful and properly evidenced opt-out; and
  • c. Not make unlawful deductions from wages and benefits.

5. Health and safety

Supplies must comply with applicable laws relating to health and safety.

This includes providing a work environment that is safe and conducive to good health, involving the implementation of good prevention, reporting and inspection practices, in order to:

  • a. Preserve the health of workers and prevent accidents, injuries and work-related illnesses; and
  • b. Avoid the loss of skilled staff, absenteeism, supply issues and increased costs (e.g. through litigation and increased insurance premiums).

Supplies must also take reasonable steps to ensure health and safety compliance throughout its supply chain.

6. Discrimination

BDZ believes that a socially inclusive workplace which brings together people with different characteristics and treats them fairly can help to: (a) promote the open and free expression of ideas, and increase creativity, through the understanding and respect for cultural differences; (b) tackle stereotypes in society as a whole; and (c) avoid the wider adverse social consequences of discrimination such as the perpetuation of poverty, stifling of development, reduction in productivity and competitiveness, and political instability.

Suppliers must not (directly or indirectly) discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, colour, gender, disability, age, pregnancy, sexual orientation, national extraction, social origin or political affiliation.

Direct discrimination occurs when a person is treated differently from somebody else because of a particular characteristic (such as those listed above).

Indirect discrimination occurs when a practice, policy or rule applies to everyone in the same way, but has a worse effect on somebody with a particular characteristic than somebody without that characteristic.

Suppliers must also take reasonable steps to ensure that discrimination does not occur elsewhere in their supply chain.

7. Environmental

Climate change presents significant environmental, societal and economic risks through flooding, drought, pressure on resources, political instability, business disruption and more drastic regulation. Businesses have a role to play in combating climate change by adopting environmentally responsible business practices, which can lead to new business opportunities and enhanced efficiencies.

Supplies must comply with all applicable environmental laws, and have in place effective systems to identify and eliminate/reduce potential hazards to the environment.

Suppliers are encouraged to work towards minimising their impact on the environment through the reduction of energy consumption (and associated carbon emissions that are a key contributor to climate change), the use of finite resources and waste.

8. Business integrity

Corruption remains prevalent throughout the world, and can be illegal and/or unethical. It undermines trust, results in unfair competition, hinders economic development and typically has a disproportionately adverse effect on marginalised members of society who become increasingly vulnerable to exploitation. Categories of corruption include bribery, collusion, money laundering, abuse of authority, tax evasion, fraud and conflicts of interest.

Suppliers must act with integrity in all their business dealings, and implement and enforce effective steps to counter bribery and corruption in their own business and supply chain.

9. Grievance procedure and whistleblowing

Suppliers must have clearly documented and communicated disciplinary, grievance and whistleblowing procedure for workers in their organisation. They must also take reasonable steps to ensure that such procedures exist for workers elsewhere in their supply chain.

The procedures must be fair and reasonable. In particular, the disciplinary procedure must give workers reasonable prior written notice of the evidence against them so that they knew and understood what they are accused of. Workers should also have the right to appropriate representation at disciplinary meetings which may lead to significant penalties or dismissal, and a right of appeal.

The grievance and whistleblowing procedures must allow workers to raise any concerns without fear of reprisal.

10. Compliance

BDZ reserves the right to check compliance with its Supplier Code of Conduct, including by visits and inspections and third-party audits.

If a supplier breaches BDZ’s Supplier Code of Conduct, this may lead to BDZ ending the supplier relationship.

February 2019