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Social value is at the heart of how we do business at Willmott Dixon. From the way we procure goods and services to the impact we have on the communities we work in; we consider how our actions enable an array of business and community stakeholders to thrive and prosper.

Supporting people

Our success depends on the skill, knowledge, integrity and commitment of our people. We enable them to give their best by making them feel valued. We provide development opportunities and support their health and wellbeing so they can be happy at work and achieve their full potential.

Whether supporting our own people to help with spiralling energy costs, or improving standards for people in our supply chain, we make people’s wellbeing a priority. You can find out more about how we attract, retain, develop and promote the people working for Willmott Dixon in the Our People section.

Our responsibility to ensure ethical working practices extends to supporting people who work for our supply chain, business partners and other organisations.

Local Procurement

With around 80% of our turnover spent on the procurement of goods, works and services, we can support local businesses and employment by choosing to spend a project’s budget locally.

In 2022, 80.5% of spend for projects procured on the Scape framework was within 40 miles.

For instance, we worked collaboratively with Caerphilly County Borough Council to involve local businesses while building six new one-bedroom apartments to Passivhaus specifications. The project – the first of its kind in Wales - used an innovative steel frame produced by a local steel manufacturer, Caledan (below).

Chris Morton, CEO at Caledan, said: “The innovative design concept has allowed us to explore new production methods and push forward the boundaries of light gauge steel framing for use in Passivhaus construction. We have also been able to provide local employment opportunities and look to the future. It has been a real pleasure to work with all involved.”

Ethical Supply Chain

Our Sustainable Procurement Policy Statement stipulates our preference to work and engage with partners who are undertaking initiatives to promote greater environmental and social responsibility. Our policy also outlines our preference to work with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and social businesses. 95% of our supply chain partners are SMEs.

By supporting business, our reach is greater than if we support individuals alone. We make social value a consideration in every decision we take – from how we support our own people and what we procure, through to the products and services we offer.

Modern Slavery

We take our responsibility for tackling modern slavery and improving the construction sector’s reputation seriously. We stipulate that all our supply chain partners must comply with the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act and Willmott Dixon’s Modern Slavery policy.

We work to improve standards for our people and our supply chain. We are members of SCAPE’s Modern Slavery and Ethical Labour Working Group, Stronger Together’s Construction Group and the Supply Chain Sustainability School, where we are signatories of the People Matter Charter. We are also signatories of the Gangmasters’ and Labour Abuse Authority’s Construction Protocol.

Published in 2022, our latest Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement outlines Willmott Dixon’s plans to identify and address any issues in our business dealings. We focus on taking our supply chain partners with us, helping them to comply with the Modern Slavery Act and Willmott Dixon’s Modern Slavery policy. Last year, 53 supply chain partners were trained on how to identify and prevent modern slavery. Supported by Stronger Together, we carried out ethical labour audits of our supply chain partners in those key trades that carry an elevated risk of modern slavery. And we assessed Willmott Dixon’s systems, processes, and governance to help understand and mitigate the risk in our business and supply chain.

In our latest assessment using the Home Office’s Modern Slavery Assessment Tool (MSAT), we increased our score by 5%. We use the MSAT to understand where the greatest risks lie in our supply chain and make continual improvements through the development of our Modern Slavery Action Plan.

Prompt payment

We know how important cash-flow is to our supply chain partners. In 2022, our average payment time was 28 days and we paid 98% of our invoices within 60 days. As well as giving our partners more confidence to work with us, this shows that our cash position does not rely on unfair supply chain payment terms or on holding back payments.

Real Living Wage

In 2020, we became a Real Living Wage employer and were certified by the Living Wage Foundation. We voluntarily pay the rate to all directly employed Willmott Dixon people, excluding Apprentices and first- and second-year Management Trainees as they are still in training.

Working with social businesses

Now or Never sets targets for spending with social businesses and encourages widespread industry engagement by improving access to the goods and services they offer.

When we talk about social businesses, we mean businesses that are either social enterprises, registered charities we have a trading relationship with, community interest companies or those with a predominantly social or environmental purpose. All of which have been externally verified by Social Enterprise UK.

In 2022, we spent £2.6m with social businesses. This represents a ten-fold increase in direct spend since we launched our social procurement initiative in 2018.

Through our membership of Social Enterprise UK’s Buy Social Corporate Challenge and as founder members of the Social Partnership Portal, we help connect socially focused businesses with corporate partners and their supply chains. 


One of the businesses we work with is Nuneaton Signs (above). This 50-employee strong SME provides signage for our construction sites and has an excellent record of employing people facing barriers to work, particularly those with disabilities.

Since working with Nuneaton Signs, they have recruited two apprentices and two members of staff who are registered blind. We have also worked with the business to ensure we were aligned environmentally too. In an industry-first for a signage company, we have helped Nuneaton Signs to create a fully recyclable range of PVC signage.

The company's new signs are fully recyclable, which is a great move not only for the company, but for our industry too.

We work with social businesses that show a commitment to effective stewardship of the environment. At our Northgate Yard site in Bridgwater, we have teamed up with Somerset Wood Recycling to remove 26 tonnes of timber from the site to be reused in an environmentally sound way. The company also provides valuable opportunities to people in the local community to learn new skills and gain employment. Working nationally with the parent company, Community Wood Recycling, we saved 514 tonnes of wood from the waste stream and created five jobs in 2022. Click here to read Joe's story (below).

Josh community wood.jpg