Working with Ethical Suppliers


Ben Brocklesby, Director at Origin, the UK’s leading manufacturer of premium windows and doors, discusses why working with sustainable suppliers should be a top priority, and how to identify them.

Making choices that prioritise sustainability and social responsibility has become essential to those working in the construction industry. 

Whilst not enough construction professionals are taking it seriously, consumers and businesses are now more aware than ever and are likely to critique businesses that don’t take CSR seriously. As a family business and leading window and door manufacturer, we confidently believe in creating a positive impact through ethical practices whilst still providing high-quality products.

It’s now essential to work with an ethical supplier that aligns with your values of sustainability and social responsibility. 

Why Choose an Ethical Supplier?

1. Your reputation is invaluable

Working with ethical suppliers demonstrates your commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible business practices. Clients and stakeholders are becoming increasingly focused on working only with businesses that operate sustainably. By actively working to minimise your environmental impact by selecting only ethical suppliers, you’re protecting your reputation as those businesses that do not consider environmental implications are being disregarded and critiqued.

2. Regulation compliance is key

As building regulations become more stringent to create a more sustainable future, it is crucial to work with suppliers who comply with the new standards. Suppliers that prioritise the environment will continue to ensure your projects meet or exceed environmental guidelines as standards continue to evolve as we approach the Future Homes Standard.

3. Earning green building certifications

Working with an ethical supplier will help you achieve green building certifications for your projects. More and more clients are looking to work only with construction companies that hold eco-credentials, such as BREEAM. An ethical supplier can offer products that meet the stringent criteria that are necessary for earning these prestigious accreditations.

Identifying an Ethical Supplier

1. Check certifications 

Look for suppliers with recognised, official certifications and check if their manufacturing processes comply with environmental regulations and ethical labour practices. Suppliers that achieve standards such as environmental accreditation, ISO 14001, show that they are looking to do ‘the right thing’ and are committed to reducing the impact of their operations on the environment. This might be reducing energy and fuel consumption, bettering recycling rates, or offsetting.

At Origin, we are proud to hold the ISO 14001 and the BES 6001 certifications which focus on our operations, sustainable materials, responsible resourcing, and robust product design. Our products not only meet increasingly strict building regulations, but they are designed to beat them too. This substantially improves the thermal efficiency and performance of new homes. 

2. Transparency is key 

An ethical supplier will also openly share details about their supply chain, materials sourcing, and manufacturing processes if they have nothing to hide. Look for transparency in their communication and willingness to disclose information about their products. 

3. Materials matter 

At Origin, we understand that materials are the most tangible aspect of housebuilding and have a significant role to play in the journey towards a more sustainable future. This is why we choose to manufacture our products out of the highest-grade aluminium, which is one of the most recyclable materials on earth. In fact, 75% of all aluminium ever extruded is still in circulation today. This sets aluminium apart from alternatives like uPVC or wood, which fall short when it comes to environmental impact and durability. Beyond its sustainability, aluminium is strong and hardwearing yet lightweight and boasts a striking appearance, becoming a sought-after choice amongst house buyers.

4. People policies 

Being ethical is not just bound to environmental efforts, but extends to social responsibility too. Learn about a supplier’s commitment to social responsibility, including fair labour practices, worker safety, and community engagement. 

Origin began as a family business, and this ethos is maintained to this day. With over 350 employees, each of whom is part of the Origin family, we do all we can to help our staff maximise their potential. We also play an active role in our local community in Buckinghamshire, from sponsoring Wycombe Wanderers F.C., and supporting local hospice charity Rennie Grove, to our partnerships with local schools and colleges. Suppliers who value their workforce and support the local community are more likely to align with your ethical principles.

For those that want to know more, or learn about Origin as a business, please visit

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