A staggering 170,000 people, the equivalent of every person in TWO full Wembley stadiums are victims of modern slavery, explained Matthew Hart, Customer Success Director from Alcumus, in the FMJ / Alcumus Webinar: How to create an ethical supply chain in FM, which took place on June 21st.
“It is a stain on our society that anyone lives in servitude,” he added, “and what some people may find surprising is that over 4,000 were British nationals.”
Helen Carter, Lead Consultant on Sustainable Procurement/Modern Slavery and Human Rights with the Supply Chain Sustainability School, warned that while everyone may accept that Modern Slavery is ethically wrong, “the reality unfortunately is that the complexity of the services businesses and supply chains makes it a really difficult issue to deal with.”
Aside from the moral obligations, commented Madeline Fitton, Senior Manager – ESG & Estates from OCS Group, from a commercial perspective, investment is now based in part on ESG, with modern slavery being, “a major issue for shareholders and stakeholders and to the C suite and this risk is now being discussed at board level.”
Representing the RICS, Paul Bagust, Head of Property Standards said that while there are huge commercial pressures in the FM sector, at the heart of being a professional is the ability to behave ethically. This is why he said, “there is so much more education and leadership which needs to look into this subject at which is why sessions like this are so important, as it doesn’t get spoken about enough.”
During the ensuing discussion the panel explored the latest national and international legislation pertaining to Modern Slavery and discussed ways of strengthening supplier contracts, improve audits and collaborate with local companies and industry peers on best practice.
The panel cited some useful sources of information, including the Alcumus Supply Chain Compliance Board and the BSA Modern Slavery Council; while Helen Carter outlined the contents of the new BS25700 standard with which she’s been closely involved, that will offer guidance on ensuring an ethical supply chain.
View the webinar below to learn how to ensure your contractors and suppliers are meeting ethical labour standards and human rights obligations.
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