Our approach

Using our responsible sourcing principles to create a high quality supply chain and provide suppliers with a way of enhancing their performance in the North West and beyond.

United Supply Chain is a vision for the 2020-2025 Asset Management Period (AMP7) where we will be working with our suppliers in a collaborative, proactive manner. Our approach is centred on ensuring that the United Utilities Responsible Sourcing Principles are brought to life and embedded throughout our supply chain. 

When you become a supplier to United Utilities, as part of our procurement process, a supplier can commit to our Responsible Sourcing Principles as either being a signatory or a leader:


As a signatory, a supplier commits to adhere to the principles, to develop their own supply chain by sharing resources, training and upskilling their staff, whilst working with United Utilities to assure this approach by identifying and mitigating risk


As a leader, suppliers not only agree to the Responsible Sourcing Principles but also commit to go further by demonstrating their commitment to the principles, collaborating with United Utilities in improving practice and identifying new ways of working to enhance the value delivered to customers.

Read more about our approach here.

  • Engagement - We would like suppliers to work with us and with each other to achieve collective outcome. We commit to facilitating supplier forums and events

    Measurement - We will focus on critical or high risk areas and will endeavour to use United Supply Chain as a vehicle to show an improvement in our supply chain performance against the responsible sourcing principles over the asset management period

    Management of Issues - We will manage any issues closely, allowing us to highlight areas of significant or strategic importance. This could be topic focused and may centre on areas such as modern slavery or climate change

    Resilience - We will improve our risk management and resilience by working collaboratively with our supply chain to increase transparency and visibility of any issues

  • United Supply chain is a commitment between United Utilities and its supply chain to focus on efficiency and greater outcomes for customers at the same or lower costs. The benefits of this aproach include:

    Collaboration – closer and improved working relationships between United Utilities and our suppliers, linking strategies, operational excellence and standards through supplier forums and engagement.

    Value - working with our suppliers to achieve our strategic aims will deliver extensive benefits for the environment, locally and globally, such as combatting climate change and the creation of more habitable green spaces for people and wildlife, as well as improved water quality. A focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of our collective workforces through enhanced provisions will deliver wider-ranging community and social benefits for all.

    Assurance - embracing innovation and sharing best practice, as well as resources, will build capability and resilience throughout the supply chain. We will work with our supply chain to define appropriate assurance practices throughout the AMP period.

    Risk Reduction - identification and mitigation of risk will strengthen corporate governance for all.

    Improvement - by working collaboratively we will reduce inefficiencies, remove duplication and realise opportunities.