Sustainable products and solutions
Projects within this focus area include product quality and integrity, product packaging and design, and lifecycle impacts of the products and services we offer.
Product quality &
We require all our major suppliers to sign a Supplier Code of Conduct (or operate under its own comparable business conduct principles) and reserve the right to terminate a business relationship with any supplier that violates any of our principles. This agreement includes requirements for social responsibility, including human rights and labour standards, standards for meeting environmental regulations and providing safe working conditions, measures for anti-bribery and corruption and supply chain transparency. During 2018/19 we continued to strengthen our quality control procedures for sourcing products. Quality teams in our overseas sourcing entities continue to visit and assess our suppliers. Each business also assesses its suppliers against set criteria to provide protection to both us and our customers in the event of a product failure or breach of regulation in the supply chain.
A new role of Director of Quality was recruited in 2018/19 to focus on our own brand suppliers and oversee a quality assurance team that performs on-site audits for all new suppliers. The team uses a checklist to measure supplier performance against criteria for quality, labour, wages and working hours, health and safety and environmental protection, and ensures that on-site conditions meet Ferguson standards.
Since 2016, the Company has responded to the UK government’s directive under the Modern Slavery Act for concerted action to tackle the occurrence of forced, involuntary and child labour in the global supply chain. Whilst collectively Ferguson buys products from over 45,000 suppliers in over 40 countries, we source over 95% of our manufactured goods from suppliers in North America and Western Europe where the risk of modern slavery is lower. As we continue to enhance our anti-slavery measures, we will focus our efforts on our international suppliers.
During 2018/19, key milestones included:
- Continuing to commit suppliers to Ferguson’s anti-slavery standards. In total, over 1,800 major suppliers have contractually pledged to abstain from use of child, forced, or involuntary labour in their operations. Approximately 14 per cent of these suppliers are in countries with a prevalence of modern slavery according to The Global Slavery Index.
- Harmonisation of anti-slavery measures across our businesses. Our businesses have continued the process of incorporating ethical and anti-slavery elements in their supplier audit methodologies, best practices from our acquired businesses (e.g. Jones Stephens).
- Launching a new risk assessment tool to enhance the effectiveness of our anti-slavery engagement with our international suppliers. We have implemented a new risk assessment tool that flags potential high-risk suppliers for further inquiry, based on geographic location (linked to The Global Slavery Index 2018 and Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index).
We are determined in our commitment to eradicate any form of modern slavery in our global supply chain.
UK Modern Slavery Act
Sustainability and product design
Offering a range of products with lower environmental impact is important for our customers and we are focusing on the sustainability benefits of the products that we sell, particularly in our own brand range. Ferguson received four Platinum ADEX awards for products in our Mirabelle and Park Harbor lines. This recognition, provided by the Awards for Design Excellence, was based on the design and sustainability of the products designed by Ferguson. They included the Mirabelle Sitka one-piece high efficiency skirted toilet, the Park Harbor Woodbury LED exterior wall lantern, the Park Harbor LED bath light and the Park Harbor LED chandelier.
Climate-related risks and opportunities
Following the recommendations from the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”), Ferguson has convened subject matter experts from across the business to examine the specific risks and opportunities to the business posed by climate change. Please see table below for more information:
View TCFD table here
For additional information on the climate related risks and opportunities specific to Ferguson, please refer to our public Climate Change CDP Response, available at www.cdp.net.