So, I have touched down in Orlando and today I will be presenting to a few hundred procurement professionals from America’s Institute of Supply Management (ISM 2017). My topic Combatting Modern Slavery in Supply Chains. Whilst preparing for this presentation it got me thinking about how we can respond effectively.
Over the last couple of years thanks to the Sustainable Development Goals (Number 8 – ) – The ratification of the ILO Convention on Forced Labour by the UK and the Introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the awareness of Modern Slavery and the impact on the supply chains has increased considerably. In fact, the Supply Chain Sustainability School and Action Sustainability undertook a poll of a few hundred businesses at the end of last year and the awareness of modern slavery act accounted for 75% that is an impressive:
But how does this awareness translate to action?
Most of my clients and trainees feel the urgent need to put in quick reactive actions that illustrate they are doing something and can illustrate straight away that slavery has been eradicated from their supply chains. This is the opposite reaction to what is required.
Think about the story of the Hare and the Tortoise. Slowly and surely wins the race and this analogy applies in this case. The need in all cases is for sure and effective action and not reactive and sporadic claims. This is illustrated by the announcement this month of the launch of the first sustainable source of gold and chain of custody scheme from the Democratic Republic of Congo – a country that brings tales of fear and atrocity in the provision of conflict minerals in a lot of our M&E (Mechanical & Electrical) and ICT. The scheme has taken a long time to put in place, has been piloted successfully and is now ready to cross the line. If successful globally the impact is phenomenal not only in terms of supply chain security and transparency but also in terms of where it really matters in the lives of individuals subjected to fear and exploitation every day.
So, when drafting your statements take time to put together a realistic and effective response, resource it like you really want to make a change and remember the Tortoise won the race and left the Hare for dead.
For more information about Modern Slavery Act and how Action Sustainability can help contact:
Helen Carter, Senior Consultant
Tel:020 7697 1977