Global GreenTag Raises the Bar on Modern Slavery at New York Build – Launching World’s First Modern Slavery Transparency Declaration

Mary-Lou Kelly, Global GreenTag’s Managing Director announced the start of a world first Modern Slavery Transparency Declaration – the Global GreenTag MSD – in New York today at the New York Build Expo where delegates  were invited to become part of a global stakeholder consultation process to ready the Declaration for industry by the end of April 2020.

“The time has come for Modern Slavery to be removed from history,” announced Ms Kelly.

“The Global GreenTag MSD addresses a profound humanitarian problem. It is a thorough scorecard that makes it a prolific risk assessment process that will formally recognize manufacturers who are taking responsibility and accountability for their choices in procurement to help minimize the conditions of Modern Slavery prevailing in global supply chains.”

The Global GreenTag product assessment team led by David Baggs, Global GreenTag International’s  co-founder, Program Director and CEO have made a significant step forwards in developing this first Modern Slavery Transparency Declaration, said Ms Kelly.

As a Product Certification Standard, GreenTag says Ms Kelly has always addressed issues of ethical labour sourcing and social impacts, but, we all got very excited when Government Legislations pertaining to incidences of Modern Slavery first began to roll out in California, then the UK and more recently Australia. We say thank you to Governments who are making this an issue to stamp out. Mandation and legislation are crucial to bring about the depth of changes that we need to see happen.  Hopefully these moves by Governments  will eventually trickle out to give more attention to and increase legislation for protection of  the environment and minimize impacts on our eco systems as well,” says Ms Kelly.

Mary-Lou Kelly Global GreenTag International Managing Director

Speaking at the New York Build Expo at the Javits Center, Ms Kelly delivered an hour long presentation, titled: MODERN SLAVERY 2020 Issue Exploration and Option Generation and was joined by Daniel Huard, the Chief Executive Officer of Global GreenTag Americas. Together, they explained the directions of the GreenTag MSD and the next stages that the Declaration would be undergoing.  Mr Huard who Chaired the day-long Sustainability Summit for New York Build Expo yesterday, said:

“The GreenTag MSD Stakeholder Consultation is now underway and we invite interested parties to become involved. Our timeline is to complete the Stakeholder Consultation phase by April 6th, so that the Declaration is ready for the Construction Industry and all product related industries in the US and globally by the end of April 2020.”

In her presentation, Ms Kelly applied holistic 3S thinking – through Science, Sustainability and Spirituality to engage the New York building industry to consider for themselves the importance of the issue of Modern Slavery and solutions to ensure ethical reporting in global supply chains is more widely embraced. She says:

“Mother Earth is one large ecosystem and people are part of that ecosystem. A first call to action in cleaning up most ecosystems is to eradicate the weeds so that the system can grow and thrive naturally. Modern Slavery is one of these ‘feral elements’, whose presence is eroding and eats at the very core of a fully functioning and ethical society. At its core are various forms of greed, power and corruption. The time has come to expose and take those appropriate actions required to eradicate it.”

Discussing existing solutions to Modern Slavery in Supply Chains through Global Modern Slavery Acts, Governance, Human Rights and Sustainability Standards (mandatory and voluntary) Ms Kelly’s presentation also posed what our next steps as a Global Building Industry could be.

Daniel Huard. Global GreenTag Americas, CEO

Action on Modern Slavery in Construction – are we ready to Act?

Later at New York Build Expo, Ms Kelly and Mr Huard also engaged with other industry leaders in a panel discussion event, facilitated by Mr Huard, titled: Action on Modern Slavery in Construction – are we ready to Act?

Together with representatives from the International WELL Building Institute, Skanska Construction America, the US Green Building Council and others where Mr Huard asked speakers to discuss how companies can become positive change agents to minimise the continuing existence of modern day slavery occurring in supply chains, providing answers to questions like:

  • What measures are companies and industry practitioners currently taking to address inhumane practices in supply chains that we think only occur in third world countries?
  • How can you be more aware and be preventing incidences of Modern Slavery creeping into the closets of your business?
  • Where is your business positioned – in relation to being responsible through proper reporting to thwart Modern Slavery occurring – up and down supply chains that you engage with?
  • Who are the vigilant bodies that are ready for Modern Slavery reporting and who can empower your business to be more accountable and responsible?

Possibilities of Modern Slavery occurring in supply chains have always been a requirement for assessment of products under the Global GreenTag International Product Certification Standard.

The certification label has been actively involved with a number of interest bodies in recent years to bring stronger focus to the problem of Modern Slavery and was one of the core group of companies that pledged support behind the Australian Human Rights Commission’s call for Modern Slavery legislation in late 2017.

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GreenTag MSD Stakeholder Review

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BIO: Mary-Lou Kelly

BIO: Daniel A. Huard

BIO: David Baggs