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7 July 2011

Arco is proud to announce that it has retained its Big Tick status in Business in the Community’s (BITC) 2011 Awards for Excellence, for its dedication to ethical supply chain management.

As the UK’s market-leading distributor of safety clothing, equipment and industrial supplies, the reaccreditation underpins Arco’s belief that the health and welfare of its own people and those working for companies in its supply chain are of critical importance. The Big Tick award is the first level of award available to entrants of the national Awards for Excellence, which recognises inspirational programmes that are making a positive impact on the community, the environment or wider society.

The Big Tick award, achieved by Arco in 2009, recognises companies that have shown innovation, creativity and sustained commitment to corporate responsibility. Reaccreditations are given to companies that can demonstrate the continuing positive impact of their award-winning initiative. In 2005 Arco was the first in the personal protective clothing industry to develop its own formal ethical policy, ensuring ethical trade plays a central part in its supply chain and trading strategy.

As well as own brand suppliers, Arco works closely with proprietary brand suppliers to reduce transportation between businesses, reduce inventories and optimise respective supply chains. In 2006, Arco put in place an auditing regime for companies supplying Arco’s own-branded products; strengthening the policies and procedures that continually improve the health, safety and welfare of workers.

Fundamental to Arco’s desire to develop its ethical programme in line with best practice, Arco became the first company within its industry to join the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) in 2007, and has since chaired the General Merchandise Caucus group meetings in 2011. In 2010 Arco became members of SEDEX, an ethical data exchange system used with suppliers to achieve continuous performance improvement.

Joan Irving, Supply Chain Director at Arco said: “It is a great honour to receive the reaccreditation from BITC. Since the Big Tick accreditation in 2009 we have worked hard to ensure our products continue to be ethically sourced, as well as ensuring a safe working environment for all employees. The reaccreditation is an acknowledgement of the hard work and determination that the Supply Chain team has demonstrated over the last few years. It is recognition of Arco’s success in embedding an ethical trading policy into an already established supply chain system”.

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