Award Winners In The Textile Supply Industry

Thomas Kneale have been awarded Supplier of the Year by The University of Manchester, something we were very pleased to win, given that their total supplier base exceeds 8,000 separate organisations. TK were recognized as Supplier of the Year for its exemplary work with NETpositive Futures, a supplier engagement online toolkit which has now been adopted by over 40 HE Institutions to identify and support businesses promote sustainability in their practices.

The tool covers economic, social, ethical and environmental aspects of sustainability and requires suppliers to select positive and negative impacts from a pre-populated list, and/or to create their own custom issues. This in turn generates an Action Plan with suggestions made to highlight ways in which sustainable impact can be improved.

TK embraced the tool from the outset. Both workforce and supply chain were successfully encouraged to generate ideas and create objectives which inaugurate and demonstrate ongoing sustainability development. Existing complementary work undertaken over a number of years provided further evidence when adapted. For example TK is a Living Wage Foundation Organisation, one of only 5,000 of the 5.4 million UK SME’s who voluntarily commit to paying an independently set sustainable minimum hourly rate to all its employees.

Areas covered in the tool include purchasing, modern slavery, waste, recycling and customer feedback and TK found that the NETpositive Futures Tool focused sustainability at the heart of their business practice. As an Accredited ISO 14001 Environmental Management System organisation, a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and member of the Equality Register, the tool provided TK with a home in which existing evidence could be referenced from the start.

When the Awards were announced TK were thrilled to be recognised with ‘Outstanding Demonstration of Impact by a Local SME’. TK were praised in reference to their enthusiasm: ‘Your organisation’s commitment to consideration of sustainability issues is highly commendable and you really are a beacon for best practice’.