sustainable supply chain

Responsibly procure all goods and services
Ensure supply chain partners are selected against responsible and ethical criteria using the principles of ISO 20400

“The response to our innovation challenge from both existing and future suppliers has been remarkable. All of the ideas we received have challenged us to think differently and puts us firmly on the path to Net Zero.‘’

Jonathan Harry, procurement director, Tarmac

We have committed to procure all goods and services in a responsible way.

Achieving this means we need to have full traceability of the materials we buy and fully understand the potential risks in our supply chain.


EV 100

Committed to a 100% electric company car and van fleet by 2030

BES 6001 EXCELLENT rating

all products certified as responsibly sourced 

174 new ideas

Supplier Innovation Challenge on net zero carbon

Supply chain footprint

Our business is vertically integrated, and this means we are able to extract and supply many of the constituent materials we use in our products and solutions ourselves – such as aggregates, sand, cement and lime. However, we also rely on other materials and services from a supply chain of over 6,000 suppliers. With such a diverse and complex supply chain it is important that we understand the impacts of the materials we buy and take direct action to manage the potential risks associated with them.  

Our customers and other stakeholders want assurance that the products we supply are produced in a responsible way. To achieve this, we have streamlined our procurement strategy into five clear stages, this is our “pathway to impact”.


Understanding Risks and Opportunities

Our procurement processes are aligned to the principles of the ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement - Guidance. We actively identify and manage risk, our major contracts are awarded following a rigorous competitive tendering process and decision criteria include value, quality assurance and sustainability indicators. 

We assess supply chain risk at a commodity level against twelve different sustainability aspects such as, health and safety, people, communities, labour practices, environment, climate change and governance to form a commodity ‘heat map’. Using a heat map approach means we can identify the risk profile of a supplier and understand and leverage areas where improvements can be made. By managing risk and opportunity in this way, we are able to obtain a greater insight into our supply chain and to integrate improvements into commodity strategy plans and procurement decisions.



Aligning our supply chain with our values

We expect our suppliers to share our unwavering commitment to good ethical practices. We work closely with our supply chain partners to drive improvements in the supply chain and support suppliers to provide good jobs and manage their environmental impacts. With the growing expectations on transparency and reporting, our supply chain programme is constantly evolving.

Working with our supply chain to reduce carbon

Tarmac has committed to upgrading our entire 2,000-strong fleet of corporate cars and vans to be electric vehicles (EV) by 2030, as well as installing EV charging points and infrastructure in key business locations across the country.

Our commitment is enshrined in our enrolment in the EV100 scheme, our latest procurement initiative in our continued drive towards carbon reduction. We are proud to have become the first UK company in our sector to sign up to this ambitious commitment.

Tarmac has also continued to precure 100 percent clean electricity across our whole business, which allows all of our sites across the country to use electricity supplied entirely through clean UK-based wind and solar sources.

Collaboration in sustainable supply chain management

We support the transition towards more responsible supply chains by engaging with our supply chain partners to find new ways to innovate and create positive change.

Sourcing and selling with integrity

We give our customers confidence in the products we sell by ensuring that we are open and transparent in how our products have been sourced, manufactured and delivered to site. To demonstrate this, we have continued to ensure that Tarmac’s product range is certified against BES 6001 Framework Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products and rated ‘EXCELLENT’. This is a major achievement for our business, and we believe we are the only company in our sector to achieve this across the full product range.

Innovation challenge 2020

As part of our 2020 Innovation Challenge, we called on our supply chain partners to develop and share ideas that contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions. The challenge builds on the success of our inaugural Innovation Challenge in 2018, which generated over 200 bold new ideas that drew on the knowledge and experience of a variety of experts throughout Tarmac’s supply chain. 

The focus for 2020 was on ideas which support the continued drive to reduce carbon across the industry, following the UK becoming the first major economy to commit to achieving a net zero society by 2050. This legislative commitment requires action from public and private organisations to allow for the development of a greener, cleaner society – the built environment will be key in meeting the challenge. 

The UK’s net zero challenge focuses on two key areas: cutting carbon emissions to as close to zero as possible and capturing and storing or ‘offsetting’ emissions that cannot be eliminated. It is a huge challenge for our industry, but one we are compelled and motivated to tackle.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we had 174 ideas submitted from our supply chain, start-ups, scale-ups, SMEs and other organisations. 57 percent of the ideas we received came from new contacts that we have made through this process.

Setting the Standard for Ethical Labour

Our commitment to human and labour rights is reinforced through our Code of Business Conduct (CoBC), which is implemented across all CRH businesses. We are confident that we uphold human rights to the highest standards within our own operations. However, being able to say the same thing with confidence about our supply chain is another challenge entirely and one we focus on as a priority.

Tarmac remains one of only a handful of organisations to be recognised by BRE (the Building Research Establishment) for its commitment to ethical sourcing practices. The company has been officially verified under BES 6002 Ethical Labour Sourcing (ELS) Standard. This standard helps us to ensure we are applying appropriate policies and measures and continuously improving our performance and that of our supply chain.


Looking forward / 2030 and beyond

Having reached the end of 2020, we are about to launch the next phase of our sustainability strategy. We want to ensure we responsibly procure all goods and services and we intend to achieve this by delivering robust procurement policies and processes, full material transparency of the supply chain and working closely with our supply chain partners to support the delivery of our sustainability commitments.  Our supply chain will be key to helping us manage our Scope 3 emissions and lowering the embodied carbon of our products and transitioning our operations to meet our ambition to be net zero before 2050.