HS2 initiative aims to spread diversity through supply chain

HS2 has launched a new initiative that aims to enable companies of all sizes in its supply chain to be inclusive and to follow best practice on diversity.

The Marketplace forum will endeavour to equip HS2 supply chain companies with the tools they need to embed diversity and inclusion in their business processes.

It has been designed and backed by diversity and inclusion consultancy the Clear Company, which earlier this year recognised HS2’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion by awarding it the Clear Assured Platinum Standard accreditation. HS2 Ltd was the first company in the UK to achieve the award.

HS2’s seven construction partners have already introduced measures to champion diversity, inclusion and employee wellbeing across their worksites:

  • The Skanska Costain Strabag joint venture (SCS) is upgrading its employee app to enable staff to capture, track and monitor EDI best practice.
  • Mace Dragados has implemented a new ‘Make it Stick’ campaign, which ensures that LGBT+ trained allies are easily identifiable on site through high visibility stickers worn on their hard hats. 
  • And the Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall (EKFB) joint venture has developed a programme of men’s and women’s health workshops, as well as creating wellbeing and prayer room spaces at its construction sites.

The number of disabled, Black and ethnically diverse, and female workers within HS2’s supply chain already exceeds industry averages.

HS2 said it wanted to see that trend continue with more than 2,300 businesses already having won work on HS2 and thousands more expected to join them as £25bn worth of contract opportunities flow out into the wider supply chain over the coming years.

Through the Marketplace platform, businesses can access training and resources to support them in meeting and evaluating progress against key performance indicators set by HS2, in line with the Clear Assured standard.

Mark Lomas, head of equality, diversity and inclusion at HS2, said: “With two decades of construction work ahead of us HS2 is naturally placed to be a real driver for change, and we’ll achieve this by ensuring that every company engaged in delivering Britain’s new railway plays their part in setting a new EDI standard.

“HS2 Marketplace enables our suppliers to be confident that their practices and processes, from recruitment through to the workplace environment, are truly inclusive and follow the best practice standards we expect.”

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