Transparency in supply chains

Space Group UK as part of Nisbets Ltd is the UK’s largest supplier of catering equipment. Space was established in 2000 on the basic principle of high-quality catering equipment, ethical design and great service. Our head office is based in Gloucester, with an office in York and permanent exhibition centre and development kitchen in Bristol.

We welcome the Modern Slavery Act and the requirements it places on business to publicly disclose what they are doing to tackle forced labour and human trafficking.

Integrity is one of our core values and being open and honest with our suppliers and customers are a key part of this. We value our relationships with all our suppliers along the supply chain and understand we are only as good as the workforce producing our products. We are committed to working closely with our suppliers and to working together to root out this crime.

Policy and due diligence

All our suppliers are expected to meet our Ethical Trading Code of Conduct, which includes the provision that workers are free to choose their place of employment. Our Code is aligned with the Ethical Trading Initiatives base code, founded on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and is an internationally recognised code of labour practice. We are transforming our supplier approval process such that all supplier sites need to register on Sedex (The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange). They must declare details of their labour practises before they can start to supply to us. Any sites assessed to have high risk are required to have an independent ethical audit.

Risk assessment

We understand that Modern Slavery is a criminal activity, and the signs can be difficult to identify and that audits only reveal a limited amount of information. We are improving our understanding of the risks and are prioritising our CARE (Corrective Action Report – Ethical) plans accordingly. We are doing this by mapping and streamlining our supply chain and using a risk assessment tool developed by Maplecroft, experts in global risk analytics.

Awareness and collaboration

Our colleague communication portal prominently features our Ethical Trading Code of Conduct. We have enhanced our training program to raise awareness about issues within international supply chains as well as those closer to home, involving temporary labour suppliers. Through our parent company, Nisbets Ltd, we have collaborated with Unseen, a charity dedicated to eradicating slavery, to generate ideas and insights. Additionally, in conjunction with Nisbets Ltd, we participated in the Sedex conference, where we engaged face-to-face with global members, exchanging ideas and gaining knowledge about the challenges that impact responsible business practices. Moving forward, we intend to increase our collaboration with stakeholder groups focused on social and environmental concerns related to the sourcing of natural resources such as timber and palm oil.

While Modern Slavery is a pervasive global issue, it is also prevalent in our local communities. To combat this crime effectively, it is crucial for us to comprehend the intricacies of our supply chains and work together with NGOs, businesses, suppliers, and worker groups to enhance traceability and transparency.

Space is a member of Sedex which serves as a collaborative platform where buyers, suppliers, and auditors can conveniently store, share, and report information. With over 40,000 members in more than 150 countries, Sedex supports the management of various performance aspects such as labour rights, health and safety, environmental impact, and business ethics.

It’s important to note that Sedex does not establish standards or certify policies. Instead, being a Sedex member signifies Space’s commitment to information sharing and utilizing that information to enhance ethical standards within our supply chain.

Ian Bidmead
Managing Director
1st July 2022