Ahead of this year’s annual Sedex conference (26th & 27th March), revisit the comments from last year’s speakers highlighting the need for supply chain transparency in order to go “Beyond Compliance”, and view this year’s agenda: “From Outputs to Outcomes”
Top picks of this year’s sessions:
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Tens of thousands of companies use Sedex to manage their performance around labour rights, health and safety, the environment and business ethics in supply chains. As an official technology partner, Authenticate offers live data from Sedex showing active or expired memberships for businesses in any supply chain that has been mapped on the platform.
Here’s how speakers at #Sedex18 encouraged businesses to play an active role in tackling the problems which affect approximately 46 million adults and children worldwide…
Modern Day Slavery often happens out of sight – “hundreds of feet up, in remote rural areas, miles from any high street”.
It is reported that the majority of Modern Slavery cases take place in only 5 countries (India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan), highlighting the need for a global approach that goes beyond tier 1 suppliers.
It’s getting “harder and harder to see” due to modern manufacturing processes and complex supply chains.
In his keynote speech, Jonathan Ivelaw-Chapman highlighted the need for collaboration between customers and suppliers in order to support continuous reporting and joint remediation.
Fighting Modern Slavery is not only the work of police and prosecution bodies, but “a collaborative effort that must span every layer of business”.
Modern slavery is harming “every industry, in every community, in every corner of the world”, while resources for tackling the growing problem remain extremely limited. It is important for boardroom discussions to address the opportunities for businesses to make a difference.
Engaging with a clearly identified supplier base goes “above and beyond” basic levels of compliance.
Rather than meeting the bare minimum for ethical trading requirements, longer-term programmes to implement training, corrective actions and capability-building can lead to significant improvements in ethical practices.
Having visibility of supply chain data relating to social and environmental standards as well as financial results (aka “the triple bottom line”) can make a real difference to Modern Slavery statistics.
By identifying key data points to demonstrate enhanced ethical standards in practice, the positive outcomes of Corporate Social Responsibility policies can be measured to provide a broader definition of “success” that encompasses the planet and people as well as financial profit.
Creating “a clear line of sight” is critical to implement the actions required to prevent and eradicate illicit labour practices.
Trading relationships within industries that are commonly affected by modern slavery, such as agriculture and fishing, must be carefully managed. By identifying high-risk areas in a supply chain where hidden labour abuse could be taking place, businesses can take the necessary steps to avoid being implicated in cases of abuse.
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