Our Approach

Zest’s purpose is to become a market leader in e-mobility, democratising EV public charging. In delivering these commitments we must ensure adherence to the highest standards of ethical and professional behaviour. Our suppliers play an important role in the delivery of Zest’s services and meeting our business objectives, so our relationships with our suppliers are critical to delivering on those commitments.

The overall objective of the Zest Supplier Code of Conduct is to build trusting and open relationships between Zest and suppliers to drive improved performance throughout Zest’s supply chains. The Supplier Code of Conduct outlines the reciprocal respect of our suppliers and sets out the behaviours and standards expected of all parties.

In selecting suppliers, Zest checks that it is contracting with reputable bodies. These checks are conducted in line with procurement regulations set out by the UK government, which guarantee fair access to opportunities for all suppliers and equal treatment during selection processes.

As we move from procurement into the life of the contract, Zest expects delivery should be in accordance with the spirit of the contract, as well as its letter. Zest expects its suppliers, in delivering goods and services to, or on behalf of Zest, wherever they operate, to act in a manner that is compatible with Zest’s values, upholds the reputation of Zest, promote innovation and expertise, and contributes to growth and prosperity in its widest context.

Zest recognises that in many cases a supplier can only be as good as its customer, so in return, suppliers can expect us to place risk with the party best able to manage it, create the right conditions for innovation and create a culture of collaboration between suppliers and subcontractors, and to pay promptly.

Zest expects our employees to treat suppliers with fairness and respect and to work jointly with suppliers to build trusting, collaborative and constructive working relationships. In return we expect suppliers to treat our employees in the same way, and to work with us to build those trusting, collaborative and constructive relationships that are focused on delivering long term future value for both parties.

This Supplier Code of Conduct is intended for all those involved in Zest’s supply chain, including, agencies, suppliers and subcontractors. As a statement of good practice it should be read both by current and aspiring suppliers to Zest and by their subcontractors in the supply chain. We expect our suppliers to communicate this Supplier Code of Conduct to employees, their parent company, subsidiaries and subcontractors; our commitment is that we will communicate it to our employees.


This Supplier Code of Conduct is intended to set out the way in which Zest and our suppliers will behave towards each other. It is not intended to be legally enforceable, to create any legal obligations or rights or to undermine our contracts with suppliers or the rules we set out when Zest procure our goods and services, which at all times shall take precedence. For the avoidance of doubt, the Supplier Code of Conduct does not take precedence where the courts or other institutions such as a regulatory agency, authority or body have jurisdiction.

Suppliers who provide goods and services to Zest are expected to comply with all aspects of this Supplier Code of Conduct. Both parties should be open and transparent with each other, and report any instances of non-compliance. In these circumstances, the first step is for the relevant Zest employee and the supplier to discuss and, where appropriate, agree suitable remedial actions. If either party considers that an issue has not been resolved by discussion, it may escalate it to the relevant Zest Director and in extreme cases to Zest’s CEO.


For further information and queries, contact the Commercial Director of the relevant Zest department, or email your request to hello@zest.uk.com

Employees and Service Users

Respectful treatment

Our employees, those of our suppliers, and service users have the right to respectful treatment. We will not tolerate discrimination, harassment or victimisation in the workplace or in connection with any Zest service. We expect our suppliers to provide the same commitment, including to their own employees. The Equality Act 2010 protects against discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

Professional behaviour

Zest will work constructively and collaboratively with our suppliers. We expect suppliers to be prepared to invest in their relationships with Zest and establish trust with our staff and with other suppliers involved in delivery. We also expect suppliers to be able to speak out when Zest or other suppliers are not upholding the values of this Supplier Code of Conduct. We also expect suppliers to speak out, without fear of consequences, when a project or service is unlikely to succeed because of our behaviours or a lack of good governance. We expect the same behaviour when a contract is no longer fit for purpose, for example, in its contractual stipulations or measures.

Meeting user needs

It is important that contracts with Zest’s suppliers meet the needs of service users. We will work together with suppliers to articulate these outcomes to ensure that the goods and services being provided meet the needs of users and we expect fully reciprocal behaviour from suppliers.

Vulnerable users

Some Zest contracts deliver services to service users with particular needs such as physical or mental disabilities, medical conditions or other factors that place them in a vulnerable position. Suppliers will ensure that these service users are treated at all times with courtesy and that their dignity, safety, security and well-being is always treated as a priority concern.

Human rights and employment law

Zest and suppliers must both comply with all applicable human rights and employment laws in the jurisdictions in which they work. This includes complying with the provisions of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. In addition, suppliers must have robust means of ensuring that the subcontractors in their supply chain also comply.

Business practices

Management of risk

Zest’s aim is to ensure that risk is allocated to the party best able to manage it. To assist us in making that judgement we will, where appropriate, engage with suppliers and the wider market to understand its views in order to make informed decisions. We do not expect suppliers or Zest to be made responsible for managing a risk that is best managed by the other party. We expect suppliers not to pass down risk inappropriately to subcontractors, and not to assert that they can manage risk that is in fact better managed by Zest. All parties should be prepared to share intelligence of supply chain risks, so that material commercial and operational risks, for example the impact of losing a key supplier, can be mitigated. We require suppliers of critical services to develop resolution plans, deployable in the event of a corporate insolvency or similar event to ensure that critical services continue.

Continuous improvement

We expect our suppliers to use recognised industry practices in the delivery of goods and services to, or on behalf of, Zest. We also expect suppliers to continuously improve these goods and services and bring innovation, ideas and expertise to help Zest address its strategic challenges and to support Zest’s growth and objectives. We will endeavour to create the right conditions to allow suppliers to innovate both during the procurement process and the life of a contract and where appropriate we will inform suppliers of our innovation requirements during the procurement process.

Future Plans

In order to give guidance to suppliers on future opportunities and the associated resource implications, we will share our pipelines and plans for future services. Although we will update them regularly, suppliers should understand that these are only estimates.

End-to-end Delivery

Some of the services that Zest requires are complex, and no single supplier will have complete contractual responsibility for every element of what is needed to deliver to the end service user. In such cases, we will endeavour to create and maintain a culture that facilitates collaboration between all suppliers and Zest to ensure that the right service outcomes are achieved. In order to achieve this, we expect suppliers to be aware of how they contribute to that overall delivery, and to work collaboratively with Zest and other suppliers to manage mutual dependencies and ensure that their product or service is used effectively in the delivery of a high-quality service.

Data Quality and Integrity

A robust delivery model including its pricing structure is dependent on the quality of data on which it is based. Zest will provide accurate data and/or build in flexibility to allow for subsequent validation of data, particularly where new services are being provided. For Zest to be able to do this, where a contract is being re-procured, we will require incumbent suppliers to act in a timely manner and be forthcoming with information required for scoping the re-procurement and the tendering process and to behave in accordance with any required standards. As per the contractual obligations, this information should be provided promptly when requested by Zest and updated as required, for example, during any transitional phase leading to transfer of the provision of the services.


Contracts should be priced to offer sustainable value throughout their life, including when changes are needed. Whilst we accept that our suppliers make a fair profit margin in return for the risk they are accepting and the commitments and investments they make to be able to deliver services for us, we expect suppliers not to exploit an incumbent or monopoly position, an urgent situation or an asymmetry of capability or information to impose opportunistic pricing.

Zest will engage constructively with suppliers in relation to any required changes and we expect suppliers to reciprocate. We expect suppliers to work in good faith to resolve any disputes promptly and fairly during the life of a contract through good relationship management and, where appropriate, contractual dispute resolution mechanisms, recognising that Zest and supplier interests are rarely best served by protracted litigation.

Zest will seek to award contracts based on value for money that includes price and quality, including social value where appropriate. We will measure supplier performance on relevant and proportionate indicators and apply proportionate contractual remedies for non-compliance.

Reputation and Trust

Zest wants to work with suppliers who are proud of their reputation for fair dealing and quality delivery. We want working with Zest to be seen as reputation enhancing for the supplier. We expect all parties to be mindful of the need to maintain trust and protective of Zest’s reputation, and ensure that neither they, nor any of their partners or subcontractors, bring Zest into disrepute by engaging in any act or omission which is reasonably likely to diminish the trust within the wider supply chain or Zest’s customers. This is not intended to limit any supplier’s legal obligations, or constrain whistleblowing or their ability to fairly criticise Zest.

Cyber Security

Zest is a Cyber Essentials accredited organisation, it is essential that suppliers safeguard the integrity and security of their systems and comply with the relevant standards and guidance. Suppliers must inform Zest if they become aware of any cyber security incident that affects or has the potential to affect data.

Sustainable Procurement

Zest considers the environment to be at the heart of our service delivery and it underpins all that we do. It is the policy of the business that all of our activities are carried out in accordance with the requirements of our Environmental Policy, which outlines that Zest are committed to preventing pollution and reducing our environmental impacts. Zest expects our suppliers to be aware of, and support Zest in, not only complying with its legal and contractual obligations under social value legislation, but also proactive delivery of the wider policy that sits behind the contractual agreement, and in the delivery of the targets defined within them.

Zest expects our suppliers to assist in the understanding and reduction of supply chain impacts on our environment, and risks related to the security of raw material supply. We expect suppliers to be open and transparent in assisting in reporting on product or service utilisation and any environmental impacts.


Zest and suppliers are both expected to comply with the provisions in our contracts and any legal requirements to protect commercial and sensitive information. Zest and suppliers may both also be party to confidential information that is necessary to be effective partners. This information, even if it is not covered by contractual provisions, should be handled with the same care as information of similar sensitivity. Notwithstanding this mutual understanding, suppliers should recognise that this does not prevent Zest from disclosing information where we are compelled to do so, for example, by law or parliament.

Conflicts of Interest

Zest expects suppliers to mitigate appropriately against any real or perceived conflict of interest through their work with our business. A supplier with a position of influence gained through a contract should not use that position to unfairly disadvantage any other supplier or reduce the potential for future competition, for example by creating a technical solution that locks in the supplier’s own goods or services.

Standards of Behaviour

Ethical behaviour

We expect the highest standards of business ethics from suppliers and their agents in the supply of goods and services funded by Zest. We expect suppliers to be explicit about the standards they demand of executives, employees, partners and subcontractors and to have governance and processes to monitor adherence to these standards, Zest will uphold the same level of ethical behaviours in dealings with third parties and we expect fully reciprocal behaviour from suppliers.

Counter Fraud and Corruption

Zest demand that suppliers adhere to anti-corruption laws, including but not limited to the Bribery Act 2010, and anti-money laundering regulations. We expect suppliers to have robust processes to ensure that the subcontractors in their supply chain also comply with these laws. Zest has zero tolerance of any form of corrupt practices including extortion and fraud that we become aware of and we expect suppliers to be vigilant and proactively look for fraud, and the risk of fraud, in their business. Suppliers should immediately notify Zest and the relevant authorities where fraudulent practice is suspected or uncovered and disclose any interests that might impact their decision-making or the advice that they give to Zest.


Zest seek to be transparent in our dealings with suppliers and we expect suppliers to be open and honest in their dealings with us. In addition, where contractually required, we expect full and prompt disclosure of accurate cost, revenue and margin information in line with any applicable terms of a contract. Suppliers should expect similar deliverables from Zest where contractually agreed.

Treatment of Supply Chain

We expect suppliers to deal fairly with the subcontractors and suppliers in their supply chain. We expect suppliers to avoid passing down unreasonable levels of risk to subcontractors who cannot reasonably be expected to manage or carry these risks. We expect suppliers not to create barriers to the use of smaller organisations who are qualified to provide goods or services, and to encourage innovation in their supply chains to increase the value or quality of supply.

Prompt Payment

We expect both Zest and suppliers to be fair and reasonable in their payment practices. Suppliers should pay subcontractors within 60 days on Zest contracts. Zest will aim to pay undisputed and valid invoices within the specified and agreed contractual settlement period with all suppliers.

Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility

Zest expect our suppliers to adhere to the UK Corporate Governance Code or follow equivalent good corporate governance principles underpinned by robust processes. We also expect our suppliers to be good corporate citizens by upholding the values of this Supplier Code of Conduct, taking into consideration social value legislation in delivering goods and services and supporting key Zest corporate social responsibility policy areas such as diversity and inclusion, sustainability, prompt payment, apprenticeships and skills development and addressing the ethnicity and gender pay gaps.


Supporting apprenticeships, creating sustainable employment and upskilling of the workforce is important to Zest.  As part of our commitment we have a structured process to develop and maintain skills within our organisation and to the benefit of our customers and wider society through the creation of apprenticeships, jobs and upskilling. In support of Zest’s corporate objectives, the Public Contracts Regulation 2015 and Action note 14/15 we require all of our partners to support the creation of apprenticeships and upskilling of staff and have evidence that a robust process is in place.