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Achilles supports John Sisk & Son in ethically managing its supply chain

Case Studies

Achilles supports John Sisk & Son in ethically managing its supply chain

John Sisk & Son delivers innovative construction and engineering works across Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe. With a 160 year history spanning three centuries, John Sisk & Son operates across key sectors and is an Irish family owned business. Sisk has a number of key projects throughout Europe for major pharmaceutical, retail and technology clients.

As ethical business regulations increase in many of its key markets, the firm needs to continue sourcing its key materials and labour across its supply chain, while meeting more stringent procurement standards and ethical business practices. Needing a holistic solution, John Sisk & Son worked closely with its long-term partner, Achilles.


As the construction and civil engineering sectors continue to become more sustainable, companies are revaluating their supply chains and subcontractor relationships. In these highly competitive sectors, sourcing fairly priced materials and in-demand labour while going beyond evolving sustainability legislation is a challenge.

John Sisk & Son is committed to improving its oversight of the social standards of its supply chain. However, when it came to better mapping its suppliers and gathering the data needed to proactively identify risks, there were several challenges. The level of supply chain mapping and data collection and validation required needed more resource and input than it currently had available, as David Case, Head of Supply Chains, UK Civils & Rail explained, “There is a lack of resource within the industry that understands what ethical and sustainable supply chain really mean. There is a lack of off-the-shelf toolkits that help us understand our starting point and where we need to get to”.

John Sisk & Son needed a partner to help it assess the ethical employment credentials of its suppliers, and to act as a centralised source of validation and accreditation. This led to the business expanding on the support of its long-term partner, Achilles.


With the help of the Ethical Business Programme, John Sisk & Son has been able to enhance its supply chain monitoring to better track its key performance indicators and stay on track to meet its ethical business objectives.

John Sisk & Son is also a member of the Achilles Ethical Business Working Group, which helps businesses maintain high standards of employment across markets. As well as providing industry expertise that shapes how the programme operates, John Sisk & Son worked closely with Achilles to ensure the right working standards were being met across its supply chain.

The Ethical Business Programme carries out anonymous employee surveys and ethical employment audits, all with the goal of understanding the business practices of operational sites and specific suppliers. So far, 345 individuals on John Sisk & Son sites have been surveyed. In areas where John Sisk & Son wants to improve, Achilles can also carry out ethical site audits to give John Sisk & Son better oversight of the suppliers it uses. The company can then work with sub-contractors to put in place targeted improvement initiatives. As a result of John Sisk & Son’s commitment to high ethical standards of work, it became the first UK contractor to achieve the Achilles Ethical Employment Certification in 2022.


John Sisk & Son’s commitment to ethical practices goes beyond industry standards

John Sisk & Son’s commitment to ethical employment practices extends beyond industry best practices. The Ethical Business Certification provides John Sisk & Son with full transparency into its supply base’s ethical working practices and insights into its supply chain, resulting in significant reductions in legislative and reputational risks.

Prequalification of ethical suppliers

Through the Ethical Business Certification, John Sisk & Son can source socially responsible suppliers who work to the right standards. With greater oversight of its supply chain, it can identify and mitigate potential risks with its sub-contractors. Moreover, the company can help its suppliers make targeted improvements in its ethical standards, meaning that the firm can preserve its current supply chains, in addition to raising standards across them. John Sisk & Son also ensures that all its blue-collar labour agencies are accredited with the Achilles Ethical Employment Certification, giving the business confidence that its suppliers always meet the right ethical standards.

Up-to-date Ethical Business Certification

Working with Achilles, John Sisk & Son can keep on top of fast-moving ethical business regulation. With the help of independent auditors, John Sisk & Son keeps its inventory aligned with international standards.

By working closely with Achilles, John Sisk & Son has been able to carry out a comprehensive auditing of its suppliers, allowing it to stay ahead of fast-changing ethical business legislation, future-proof its supply chain and exceed industry standards. By leveraging the resources, external certification and international scope of Achilles’ expertise, John Sisk & Son is continuing to go far beyond basic ESG compliance, allowing it to raise its future sustainability and ethical employment ambitions – all while being fully assured that its key suppliers are taking the same important steps.

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