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JLL is responsible for significant client expenditures for the properties that we manage, covering both goods and services at these locations. Many of our clients are increasingly interested in integrating sustainable procurement principles into their operations. We are able to meet this demand through the provision of a specialized range of services; from providing environmental assessment ratings for various products and services to providing education on real estate procurement best practices.
We include general and industry-specific sustainability criteria in supplier proposals and questionnaires for centrally managed, multi-client contracts. Many of our suppliers are small and medium-sized enterprises. JLL employs a dedicated supplier diversity manager in the US to oversee the $150 million we spend on average each year with small suppliers and contractors. We have also recently hired a new head of our global procurement initiatives.
We run an award initiative called Suppliers of Distinction to recognize those suppliers that have helped us in our aim of delivering exceptional services to our clients. Additionally, we make use of Ethispshere’s Supplier Risk Index for both ourselves and our clients, which is an online tool to assist organizations in identifying and managing supply chain risk by providing information on sustainability practices.
Our supply chain presents JLL with an opportunity to encourage and influence suppliers on a large scale by ensuring that they reflect our own ethical standards and values. We strive to improve both our own and our suppliers’ sustainable procurement practices. We expect all of our suppliers, whether they provide goods or services directly to JLL or indirectly via our clients, to follow our Vendor Code of Conduct. We apply sustainability criteria to our own procurement practices with a focus on the top items by spend, which includes office, kitchen and printing supplies. We have also specified the selection of energy efficient IT equipment wherever possible.
JLL seeks to capitalize on the skills, expertise and interests of our diverse global workforce to make a tangible difference to the needs of our communities.
A key indicator of how successful we have been with this endeavor comes from the level of voluntary donations we have made in funds and time as well as other benefits in kind. In 2014, JLL recorded total charitable contributions of $4.8 million from both corporate and employee donations. Our corporate donations of $4.1 million are equivalent to 0.8% of our pre-tax profits, compared to the London Benchmarking Group’s benchmark of 1.2%. Overall, our corporate donations have increased year on year in absolute terms but have declined as a percentage of our pre-tax profits.
Furthermore, our employees volunteered more than 4,590 days of their time to support charitable causes, compared to 2,821 in 2013, an increase of 63%. We continue to improve our monitoring systems and believe that these figures underestimate our positive role.