The UK Modern Slavery Act is driving the construction sector to address the risks that lie deep in its supply chain. Action Sustainability was tasked to work with a selection of the Supply Chain School’s partners to run a pilot programme to understand the magnitude of the task.
Action Sustainability worked in collaboration with 30+ partners in the UK construction sector to identify some key products that are common to all partners. With the support of partners to encourage their tier 1 suppliers to co-operate we undertook to explore the supply chain of commonly purchased products (such as a hi-vis vest) down to the raw material if possible.
The results were a revelation to the industry. A product as simple as a hi-vis vest has numerous components coming from places such as USA, China, India and Morocco. The challenges encountered in overcoming concerns about commercial confidentiality were significant.
Having developed an understanding of the size and shape of the task, the Supply Chain School is now embarking on a category led strategy to engage all players in the supply chains of high risk categories to come together to resolve these risks in collaboration.
Fig 1: High risk countries for sourcing components for high visibility jackets