During the 2018 financial year, infrastructure provider and consultancy Amey spent over £2 million across its supply chain on companies who use their profits to create positive, social change in communities across the UK and overseas.
The figure is more than double what was paid in 2017, when £930,000 went to suppliers sharing this ethical purpose.
Speaking on the announcement, John Cully, Chief Procurement Officer at Amey said: “We are very proud to have reached such a significant milestone for social enterprise spend. We still have much more we want to achieve but our work is testament to a belief that public services can be delivered with social, environmental and economic benefits at the heart. Not only does working with social enterprises support incredibly worthy causes, it also provides fantastic value to the tax payer, ensuring each public pound invested in infrastructure goes even further.”
A further £1.6 million was also spent on social enterprises by Amey’s joint ventures including GEOAmey, KeolisAmey and Amey Sersa, in what was a landmark year for third sector spend.
The increase reflects the diverse range of social enterprises joining Amey’s supply chain, whether suppliers of staff, services or materials. New to Amey for 2018 was WildHearts Office, who through supplying Amey’s office stationery, fund wide ranging initiatives from addressing social mobility in the UK, to supporting gender equality in the developing world.
Kris Bryson, Partnerships Director from WildHearts said: “We are delighted to be working with Amey, transforming an everyday overhead into a social investment. As a direct result of our relationship with Amey, we have transformed over 2,500 lives locally and globally.”
Wildhearts join suppliers such as Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, a social enterprise run by the charity Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), which provides employment to ex-forces personnel and people with health conditions or disabilities. The RBLI were able to employ two full time employees last year purely through business from Amey’s highways business, for whom they manufacture road signs.
In 2017, Amey joined the Buy Social Corporate Challenge, an initiative which saw businesses commit to collectively spending £1 billion with social enterprises by 2020.
Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK said: “The Buy Social Corporate Challenge was founded to galvanise large companies into creating positive change through their everyday business spend – benefiting the communities they work in and those the world over.
“Since joining the Challenge, Amey has shown a genuine commitment to working with social enterprises – highlighted by them winning the Buy Social Market Builder Award at the UK Social Enterprise Awards last year. We welcome their improved spend figure for 2018, the benefits of which will be realised by some of the most vulnerable people in the UK and overseas.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Amey to further embed social value into their supply chain.”
In 2019 Amey will spend c.£1.5 billion over 4,500 goods and materials suppliers, services suppliers and subcontractors. Seventy-five per cent of these are SMEs, including social enterprises.