Engaging our suppliers

We believe that we have the responsibility to work with our supplier partners across their material environment, social and governance (ESG) issues.

We manage this through our supplier management framework, which includes a checklist of criteria on which we track supplier activity and prioritise engagement. This includes matters ranging from business continuity to our suppliers ethical standards.

Working with our supplier manager and an external partner, 2021 saw us model the environmental impact of our supply chain for the first time. The relevant data may be found in our responsible business update.

As a UK-based business working with hundreds of suppliers, we believe that we can promote the change we want to see. In 2022 we received responses to our ESG supplier questionnaire covering 69% of our key suppliers (66% in 2021).

In line with our approach to engaging with our investee companies, we also engage with identified suppliers on matters to support future alignment to our requirement. This could be on issues including how to develop a net zero plan or their approach to modern slavery. 

Conversations are now integrated into our standard contract review process, allowing us to regularly engage with our supply chain to deliver on our common ambitions. 

Our Modern Slavery Statement

In alignment with the work we do as a responsible investor, focusing on the eradication of modern slavery in our investee companies, we also turn the lens on ourselves. As a UK-based financial services business, Rathbones has a relatively low risk of modern slavery within its employee base and direct supply chain. Indirect suppliers further down our supply chain however present a potential elevated risk. Whilst we recognise there may be risk further down our supply chain at this time our approach focuses on those where we have direct control.

As a financial service business, Rathbones does not have significant physical inputs into its business operations, as we primarily purchase professional services and technology rather than commodities. However, no supply chain is risk-free, and we recognise that greater risk may be present further down the supply chain with indirect suppliers (those businesses who supply goods and services to our direct suppliers). We continue to follow a risk-based approach to our supply chain and focus on those suppliers with whom we have a direct link.

To support our supplier-based activities, our supplier manager oversees our procurement hub. This includes our policy guides, FAQs and our e-learning directory contains a training module on procurement and supplier management for all Rathbones employees.

Our modern slavery statement lays out our approach in more detail and has been approved by our board.