Modern Slavery is a very serious issue which we all have a role in tackling. We believe that it is critical for our employees and suppliers to be fully equipped with the right knowledge about the issue so we rolled out an internal training programme to do just this. As well as the online training we have presented to our sites on the topic, disseminated leaflets onto desks and have worked with our cleaning and agency labour providers to ensure they do the same. The more eyes and ears we have on the ground the more effective we will be in spotting the signs of forced labour and other forms of modern slavery.
Many of our direct suppliers are located in countries that our global risk analytics provider assesses as high risk for modern day slavery which is why we have developed a supplier training pack to help build awareness of the risks they face. Working with our suppliers we also risk assess supplier specific supply chain maps to identify any social or environmental risks beyond that of modern slavery. These assessments are always a topic of conversation when meeting with suppliers; in fact our procurement staff have received a deeper responsible sourcing training so that they are best equipped to have the right conversations about the existing risks and where applicable, understand what action suppliers are taking to address.
Looking ahead we are working with a consultant to deepen our understanding of where there might be human rights issues in our supply chains. We will then work with our suppliers to better understand these identified issues and who the key stakeholders are so that we can effectively address them together.
Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) and ethical audits will continue to form part of our due diligence programme with suppliers but there is an industry wide consensus that audits alone do not fully spot the signs of modern slavery.