Supplier Recognition Programme

Going the Extra Mile (GEM) Awards

Supplier Recognition Programme

Deadline for entries has now been extended to midnight on Friday 22 June 2018.

Northumbrian Water Group (NWG) have a clear vision to be the national leader in the provision of sustainable water and waste water services.

We recognise that along with our own employees the supply chain play a crucial role in supporting us to achieve this vision. We spend approximately £400m per annum with our supply chain and it is vital that we work with suppliers who share our drive for excellence while delivering outstanding customer service.

To help us create an environment where our suppliers feel valued and are driven to deliver outstanding service, we are extending the ‘Going the Extra Mile (GEM) Awards to promote, highlight and celebrate the crucial role the suppliers play in the success of our business.

The aim of the GEM Awards is to:
- Recognise outstanding contributions
- Develop and encourage an environment for continuous improvement
- Support suppliers growth and development
- Celebrate success with NWG Stakeholders

For full details of this year’s event including the award categories, how to apply, the key dates and FAQ’s please download the application documents from the ‘downloadable content’ section below.

Award Categories and Guidance

Customer Focus Award

A customer focussed approach is a key pillar of our values. We love our customers and we make sure they are at the heart of everything we do. We are looking for a supplier who consistently shows outstanding levels of customer service, putting the customer first while delivering excellent outcomes for NWG.

Creativity and Innovation Award

We value creativity and innovation, and we encourage our suppliers to partner with us to find innova¬tive solutions that drive efficiencies, improve customer experience or simply add value to what we do. Creativity can come in many forms from new product development to the creative use of technology, and if it helps us to work smarter then it definitely fits under this category!

Health, Safety and Wellbeing Award

We place great importance on health, safety and wellbeing. It is embedded in everything we do. We are looking for a project, organisation or initiative where health, safety and wellbeing has been driven beyond what is required by statutory duties while working for us.

One Team Award

One of our values is ‘we are one team’. We place great importance on working together while promoting co-operation to achieve our objectives. By working well as a team we can come up with smarter ways of working and improved performance and outputs. We are looking for a team who have demonstrated excellent team performance while living our values to achieve an excellent outcome.

Responsible Procurement Award

An ethical approach is a vital pillar of our values. NWG are committed to working with ethical suppliers to generate maximum value not only to our organisation but also to society and the economy while also enhancing the environment. We are looking for a supplier who has demonstrated an outstanding responsible approach and who has ethics embedded firmly within their organisation. Under this category suppliers could evidence their responsible procurement approach, showcasing how they ethically procure works/goods and services. Alternatively it could be an ethical approach or initiative that has been adopted as part of your contract, project or programme with NWG.

Legacy Award

We place great importance on the legacy impact we create through the works and services we provide. We are looking to create a positive lasting impact after we deliver a project, which influences our reputation in a positive manner.

We have identified four key components where a legacy value can be achieved:

1. Built environment e.g. buildings, structures and hard landscaping
2. Natural environment e.g. landform, landscaping, flora and fauna, aquatic features
3. Relationships e.g. with communities, corporate bodies, the users of our created assets
4. Learning e.g. what can we transfer to future projects or offer to our industry or professional bodies.

For this award we are looking for a project, programme or contract where there has been a positive lasting legacy created as part of the works which has enhanced our brand and reputation within the wider communities which we serve.

Project / Programme of the Year Award

One of the key pillars to achieving our targets and business outcomes is to have high performing projects and programmes which deliver to agreed milestones while providing notable outputs, benefits or efficiencies. We are looking for completed projects and programmes that have met the below criteria. The projects or programmes could come from any area of our business activity from IS programmes, investment projects, water efficiency projects or working smarter initiatives (to name a few!).

Individual Award

We value those supplier representatives that go above and beyond to provide excellent service. They are a key driver within their organisations to align their internal resources with our needs to deliver exceptional service to our business. Their efforts lead to high levels of stakeholder satisfaction, increased efficiency of our business and assists us in delivering an unrivalled customer service.

Small Supplier of the Year Award

This Award specifically recognises the challenges and outstanding achievements of Small Enterprises who support us to achieve our vision of being national leader. We are particularly looking for those who have made strides in improving their company through implementing best practice. To be considered for this category the supplier needs to have fewer than 50 employees and a turnover of less than £10m per annum.

Overall Supplier of the Year Award

This award we will be given to a Supplier who has consistently provided a high quality of work/service to us while fully demonstrating alignment to our vision and values. They will have gone above and beyond for us and our wider stakeholders and demonstrated best in class working practices. The supplier will also have been successful in being shortlisted in at least one of the GEM award categories.

Please note that suppliers do not need to apply for this award. The GEM awards selection panel will select the winner based on the above criteria.

Downloadable content

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    GEM 2018 categories and guidance

    Award categories and guidance.


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What are the GEM Awards?

The GEM awards are NWG’s supplier recognition programme designed to help us create an environment where our suppliers feel valued and are driven to deliver outstanding service to NWG. We want to promote, highlight and celebrate the crucial role our suppliers play in the day to day success of our business.

Who can enter?

Any of NWG’s suppliers can submit an entry for the awards. The suppliers can work for Northumbrian Water, Essex and Suffolk Water or our commercial businesses.

The suppliers do not need to work directly for NWG and can be a sub-contractor working for one of NWG’s Tier 1 partners or other contracted suppliers (although they must be working on NWG schemes).

Which category should I enter?

You should read the category description along with the guidance and pick the most suitable category for you. If we feel you could do well in a different or additional category, we will sometimes move or duplicate your submission. Remember that the GEM Awards are free to enter, so this is at no cost to you.

Can we apply for more than one category?

Yes, you can submit for as many awards as you like if you feel that you meet the criteria stated for each award.

How do we apply?

Please download the application pack from the website and complete in accordance with the guidance. Once you have completed the entry form please send it to

You will need to complete an entry form for each award category you wish to enter and submit before the deadline.

Can we include NWG employees within the entry?

Yes you can. While the award entry should be led by the supplier, you can include any other stakeholders that played a part in the success.

Can we include additional documentation to support our award entry?

Please follow the instructions in the application pack. All details including word counts and acceptable supporting information is included within the pack. Any additional information not requested will not be considered.

Please remember to include one high resolution image which will be used in our awards night brochure if your entry is shortlisted.

Can we talk about our general business practices within our entry?

These awards are focussed on NWG and we want to see responses that are specific to NWG. Through our procurement processes we already know about your company policies and procedures so these award categories are aimed at celebrating the great work you do when working for NWG and how your practices and procedures have added value to NWG. We would recommend that your responses are specific to us and not generic to your business or work you have done with other clients.

When is the closing date for entries?

All award entries need to be received by midnight on Friday 22 June 2018.

Who will evaluate the entries?

A project team will be created to judge the award entries. This will include a wide range of stakeholders to ensure we have a range of people reviewing the entries.

When would we find out if we are shortlisted?

We will aim to notify shortlisted entrants by the end of July 2018.

What costs are involved?

The GEM Awards are a way of NWG celebrating the role our suppliers play in our success and as such we don’t charge to enter or attend the event. All we ask is that you support our partner charity, WaterAid, on the evening in recognition of the hospitality.

When and where will the awards be held?

The GEM Awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday 25 September 2018 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in County Durham.

Who can attend the award ceremony?

We offer the shortlisted suppliers in each category two places free of charge for each award they are shortlisted for.

Following initial allocation if there are still spaces available we may offer additional places to shortlisted suppliers but we do ask that a small donation is made to our partner charity WaterAid for each additional place.

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