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As part of our ongoing ESG and Sustainability commitments, today we are proud to share more information about our latest partnership with SEUK.

Why is our partnership with SEUK so important?

We have joined a community of more than 3,000 Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) members as a 'Supporter of Social Enterprises'. We have also signed up to join the Social Procurement Connect programme. The Social Procurement Connect Programme provides the resources, tools and connections needed to build an effective social sourcing initiative.

This is important to us as part of our ESG and Sustainability strategy, with a particular focus on the S (Social) and E (Environmental) elements.

If you've ever read The Big Issue, eaten a bar of Tony's Chocolonely or bought clothing from Patagonia, you will know that social enterprises are businesses that prioritise benefit to people and planet.

Working with social enterprises leverages our business spend for good whilst also increasing diversity in our suppliers. As we continue with our ESG and Sustainable Procurement strategies, we hope to explore working with other potential social enterprises and that this will be a positive journey that we can share with business connections as an effective way to address important issues in society.

We already work with several social enterprises, for example, From Babies with Love, which provides a unique parental leave gifting service where all profits are donated to support orphaned and abandoned children in developing countries.

Who is Social Enterprise UK?

Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) is the UK's national body for social enterprises. They believe that social enterprise is our best chance of creating a fairer economy and a more sustainable future for everyone. Their mission is to achieve that through creating a favourable environment in which social enterprises can thrive. They are the leading global authority on social enterprise and are the biggest network of social enterprises in the UK. They are also a social enterprise themselves and reinvest profits into their social mission.

What are Social Enterprises?

Social enterprises are businesses. Like any other business, they seek to make a profit and succeed commercially. But how they operate, who they employ, how they use their profits and where they work is transforming lives and communities across the UK and around the world. There are more than 100,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing £60bn to the economy and employing around two million people.

According to SEUK, the key elements to being a social enterprise are:

  • The social or environmental mission of the organisation is explicitly stated in its governing documents
  • It generates more than 50% of its income through trade
  • More than 50% of its profits are reinvested to further its social or environmental mission
  • It is owned and controlled in the interest of its social or environmental mission
  • It is transparent about how it operates and in how it measures and reports its social impact.

What's next?

We are pleased to share the SEUK supporter member badge that we can now use in our communications moving forward.

Our procurement team is staring to identify all the social enterprises in our current supplier base and where we might want to explore further opportunities.

We know that a number of colleagues volunteer with social enterprises and we will be sharing some of these stories moving forward.