Babcock has always been, and will always be, committed to doing business honestly and openly. We hold our leaders to account for ensuring their businesses operate according to the standards we expect.
Our Group-wide Code of Business Conduct lays out our policy of strict ethical conduct, highlighting the fundamental importance of conducting all business activities to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
We believe that ethical behaviour underpins our sustainability activities.
We are committed to conducting business honestly, transparently and with integrity. As well as being the right and proper way to behave, this will ensure we uphold high ethical standards across the Group and support our long-term success. We have developed a series of Group policies to guide our actions and those of our employees, suppliers and partners. These are reviewed periodically to ensure that they meet current best practice principles and legislative needs. By establishing transparent policies and procedures we can reduce risk to our business and to our customers.
Ethics Policy and Code of Business Conduct
To protect the Company and reduce risks, we have set out a policy on how we should conduct business, which we summarise in the form of the Babcock Code of Business Conduct. Our Ethics Policy comprises a detailed manual. These include policies around anti-bribery and competition law prohibitions that clearly show our zero tolerance for any form of bribery or anti-competitive behaviour. We also have independent whistleblowing hotlines in each country where we operate so that employees can raise issues confidentially if they wish.
As an international business, we recognise our responsibility for upholding and protecting the human rights of our employees and other individuals with whom we deal in our operations around the world. While we continue to believe that our exposure to the risks of human rights abuses and modern slavery is low within our own business and supply chain, we welcome the opportunity we have to contribute positively to global efforts to ensure that human rights are understood and observed.
Our Modern Slavery Transparency Statement is published annually.
We recognise the very real risk of malicious cyber breach and work hard to ensure both our customers’ and our own information assets remain protected. Babcock’s Group Security Board meets quarterly to provide governance covering cyber and other security and informational assurance risks, issues and threats facing the Group.
Babcock is a key member of the joint MOD and industry Defence Cyber Protection Partnership which is an initiative to ensure the defence supply chain understands the cyber threat and is appropriately protected against attack. Babcock is represented on all the working groups and DCPP Executive committee.
Babcock’s core IT services are certified to ISO27001 (Information Security) and ISO22301 (Business Continuity). In addition, following a recent external assessment, we retained our Cyber Essentials Plus certification which is mandatory for all suppliers of Government contracts.
We partner with our supply chains to identify innovative solutions and ensure timely delivery of quality products and services.
Diverse and robust supply chains enable us to provide quality and timely delivery. We work closely with our suppliers to develop and deliver innovative solutions that drive value for our customers and shareholders. We buy a wide range of goods and services from over 14,000 suppliers. These range from large multinational OEMs to Small and Mid-size Enterprises (SMEs).
Our supply base design is balanced to meet our customer, regulatory and financial performance requirements. It considers supply chain risk and addresses appropriate mitigating actions. We review our business critical suppliers on an annual basis to address any risks or concerns.
We are aligning our processes and standards to ISO 20400 (Sustainable Procurement) and this includes ensuring that we consider circular economy principles including recycling and disposal options.
Working with small and mid-sized enterprises
We recognise the value that SMEs play in the wider economy and we actively encourage them to engage with us. Working with SMEs ensures that we have access to innovative new solutions and provides enhanced flexibility and agility.
Fair operating practices
Our group-wide Supplier Code of Conduct is designed to provide clarity about our expectations of suppliers, including compliance with all applicable laws. While we recognise that our suppliers operate in different geographic and economic environments, we expect that products and services are delivered in a way that support Babcock’s high standards and contribute to the reputation of Babcock and our customers.
Payment to suppliers
We understand the importance of predictable payments when running a business and will ensure good practice across the Group. Twenty-one legal entities submit returns to Companies House according to the Payment Practices and Performance Regulations. Fourteen of our legal entities are signed up to the Prompt Payment Code and are compliant as of 31 March 2021. Average payment across the Group over the past six months to March is 29.6 days, down from 34.5 as reported last year.