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23 August 2019 | Prithvi Pandya

During the 2018 financial year, Amey spent over £2 million across its supply chain on companies that use their profits to create positive social change in communities across the UK and overseas. 

The figure is more than double what was paid in 2017, when £930,000 went to suppliers sharing this ethical purpose.

John Cully, chief procurement officer at Amey, said: “Not only does working with social enterprises support incredibly worthy causes, it also provides fantastic value to the taxpayer, ensuring each public pound invested in infrastructure goes even further.”

A further £1.6 million was also spent on social enterprises by Amey’s joint ventures, including GEOAmey, KeolisAmey and Amey Sersa, in what it says was a landmark year for third sector spend.

In 2018 Amey’s stationery supplier, WildHearts Office, funded wide-ranging initiatives, from addressing social mobility in the UK to supporting gender equality in the developing world.

Kris Bryson, partnerships director at WildHearts, said: “As a direct result of our relationship with Amey, we have transformed over 2,500 lives locally and globally.”

Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, a social enterprise run by the charity Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), which provides employment to ex-forces personnel and people with health conditions or disabilities,  employed two full-time employees last year through working with Amey’s highways business.

In 2017, Amey joined the Buy Social Corporate Challenge, an initiative in which businesses committed to collectively spending £1 billion with social enterprises by 2020.

Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said: “The Buy Social Corporate Challenge was founded to galvanise large companies into creating positive change through their everyday business spend – benefiting the communities they work in and those the world over. 

“We welcome their improved spend figure for 2018, the benefits of which will be realised by some of the most vulnerable people in the UK and overseas.”

In 2019, Amey says it will spend £1.5 billion over 4,500 goods and materials suppliers, services suppliers and subcontractors – 75 per cent of these are SMEs, including social enterprises.