Our Governance priority
We will be a collaborative trusted partner across the supply chain, helping to tackle common challenges
We are committed to conducting business honestly, transparently and with integrity. It is the right and proper way to behave, ensuring we uphold high ethical standards across the Group. It also supports our long-term success.
We understand our reputation and good name are amongst our greatest assets and could easily be lost by actual or suspected unprincipled behaviour. To support good governance and ethical behaviour across our Group, our actions and those of our employees, suppliers and partners are guided by a series of Group policies. These are reviewed periodically to ensure that they continue to 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.
The Group meets the legal obligation to make its tax strategy publicly available on our website.
Diverse and robust supply chain
We work collaboratively with our suppliers, customers, and internal stakeholders to establish a culture of transparency, trust, and continuous improvement. We believe that this approach helps us to build a resilient, sustainable, and world-class supply chain that delivers value to all parties involved. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of honesty, transparency, and integrity in all our business dealings. We believe that a diverse and robust supply chain is essential to provide quality and timely delivery of products and services to our customers.
To achieve this, we work with a portfolio of 12,000 suppliers, ranging from large multinational OEMs to small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs). Of these suppliers, approximately 1,100 are key in our ability to deliver continuous improvement and innovative quality outputs. Building strong relationships with our suppliers is essential to achieving our sustainability goals. By working collaboratively, we can identify opportunities for innovation, create value for all parties involved, and promote responsible business practices throughout our supply chain.
We conduct annual due diligence on our business-critical suppliers to ensure compliance, identify any risks in their supply chain, and ensure that our key suppliers are reputable, responsible, and competitive. Our AI risk resilience solution maps our supply chain ecosystem (over 300,000 suppliers through our sub-tier ecosystem), monitors activities, and receives alerts when hidden risks are exposed in our sub-tier supply chain.
Code of Business Conduct and Ethics policy
Compliance with the Babcock Code of Business Conduct is compulsory for our employees, business advisors and business partners (or, in the case of business advisors and partners, they must have equivalent standards and procedures in their own businesses). The policy is kept under review by the Group Company Secretary and General Counsel and on an annual basis the Board undertakes an annual ethics review, seeking assurance that the Group’s Ethics policy is complied with.
Our Ethics policy comprises a detailed manual, available to employees on the Group’s intranet and also available on our website, which contains guidelines, authorisation mechanisms and other procedures aimed at identifying and reducing ethical risks. It supports extensive policies around anti-bribery and competition law that clearly show our zero tolerance for any form of bribery or anti-competitive behaviour.
We treat breaches of our Codes or associated guidance seriously. Employees can raise any concerns that our Code or its associated guidance is not being followed without fear of unfavourable consequences for themselves. To ensure that anyone with a concern is able to access advice and support, our independent whistleblowing hotline, EthicsPoint, (operated by NAVEX Global) allows for confidential and anonymous reporting and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in all territories where we are based.
At Babcock, we are committed to maintaining strong and sustainable supply chains, which requires collaboration with our suppliers and sub-tier suppliers to adopt sustainable practices. Our goal is to reduce the environmental footprint of our supply chain while meeting our business objectives and benefiting society. To demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and responsible business practices, we have published our Sustainable Procurement Policy and Supplier Guide.
We are committed to aligning our Procurement and Supply Chain processes and standards with ISO20400 by the end of 2023. We have developed a strategic roadmap that provides the framework required to integrate sustainability into our procurement and supply chain activities, enabling us to deliver sustainable outcomes through our supply chain.
Working with SMEs
As part of our commitment to supporting SMEs, we ensure that a significant portion of our procurement spend is allocated to SMEs, with 24% of our total spend in FY23 being with SMEs.
As part of our sustainable procurement strategy and business processes, we are committed to enabling the growth of our SME supplier population. We monitor our percentage of spend with SMEs and take necessary actions to support the growth of our SME supplier population. Furthermore, we actively engage with smaller and local suppliers, especially those that help inclusion of under-represented groups, to contribute to economic prosperity and societal integration.
Scope 3 carbon emissions mapping
To better understand and reduce our carbon footprint, we have adopted a spend-based calculation methodology for mapping our upstream value chain emissions. These findings will serve as a baseline for further developing Babcock’s carbon strategy, allowing us to continually identify opportunities for emissions reduction enabling targeted action plans to achieve our sustainability goals. By taking a proactive approach to measuring and reducing our carbon emissions, we are demonstrating our commitment to sustainability and taking responsibility for our impact on the environment.
Payment to suppliers
At Babcock, we prioritise prompt payment to our suppliers and believe it is crucial to building strong and sustainable relationships with them. We adhere to the payment practices and performance regulations and are committed to the prompt payment code. Furthermore, we encourage our suppliers to adopt this code and promote its adoption throughout their own supply chains.
In FY23, we achieved an average payment term of 21.4 days to our suppliers versus 24.6 days in the six months preceding March 2022. We recognise that predictable and timely payments are essential for maintaining strong supplier relationships and helping our suppliers to manage their cash flow. As such, we are committed to continuously improving our payment processes to ensure that we pay our suppliers on time and in accordance with agreed-upon terms
Babcock respects all international treaties including the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. In the UK, we expect our suppliers and extended supply base to adhere to the Modern Slavery Act 2015, as we do ourselves. We expect all our overseas suppliers to understand and comply with the intent of the Act.
We believe that by working together with our suppliers, we can create a more ethical and sustainable supply chain that benefits everyone. To this end, we have developed a supplier code of conduct that sets out the human rights standards and expectations that our suppliers must meet to do business with us.
The human rights risk assessment process is embedded into our core processes including supplier onboarding, audits, assessments, and performance management. We conduct regular audits and assessments to monitor compliance and identify any areas for improvement. Where issues are identified, we work collaboratively with our suppliers to address them and provide support for remediation.
The introduction and rollout of our strategic Risk Resilience tool allows us to track human rights risks through live monitoring within our extended supply chain. This approach uncovers hidden risk and serves as an early warning system should events or changes occur in our supply chain with live alerts being communicated to the Procurement & Supply Chain team.
We firmly believe in the importance of conducting all business with integrity and support the elimination of modern slavery in all its forms. Our publicly available Group modern slavery transparency statement outlines our commitment to responsible sourcing and supply chain transparency, including our due diligence processes, supplier engagement approach, training and initiatives to promote responsible sourcing. Our due diligence processes, including supplier onboarding, supplier audits, and technology solutions, monitor any potential modern slavery risks in our supply chain.
We recognise that preventing modern slavery requires collaboration from all stakeholders, and we expect our suppliers and extended supply base to share our commitment to responsible sourcing and supply chain transparency.
Babcock recognises the threat of cyber attack and the potential consequences including operational disruption, unlawful access or theft of information and resultant reputational damage. Babcock works hard to mitigate such risks and holds an Information Security Committee which meets quarterly to provide governance, direction and assurance that the Babcock security posture is appropriate and effective.
Babcock applies all required international and government security standards for secure installation and operation of information systems. Security operations are deployed to establish threats and to protectively monitor for risks to information, systems and networks. Core IT services are certified to ISO27001 (Information Security) and ISO22301 (Business Continuity) standards as well as Cyber Essential Plus, a requirement for UK government working.
Babcock is a member of the joint UK Ministry of Defence and industry Defence Cyber Protection Partnership (DCPP) which seek to ensure the defence supply chain understand the cyber threat and is appropriately protected against attack. Babcock is represented on all the working groups and the DCPP Executive committee.
Babcock continues to invest in cyber resilience and provides cyber security education and training to raise cyber awareness across the workforce.