Released this week ready for Modern Slavery Reporting is the first ever Modern Slavery Declaration for products. The Global GreenTag International MSD™ Modern Slavery Transparency Declaration (GGTI MSD) implements a comprehensive risk assessment and verification process in association with manufacturers on individual product supply chains.
Helping manufacturers to monitor, report on and ultimately eradicate human slavery occurring in their supply chains; the GGTI MSD will, in addition, support companies with large procurement portfolios to comply with Federal, State and International government legislations in Australia, UK and USA and each of their mandatory Modern Slavery Reporting requirements. Otherwise, they potentially incur heavy penalties, depending on the territory in which they are operating.
Global GreenTag has been undertaking product and supply chain level investigations in ethical product certifications that cover many of the issues covered by the Modern Slavery legislation since its inception 10 years ago. The company welcomes the pressure such legislative requirements applies up and down supply chain lines as Government legislations around Modern Slavery continue to grow and increase the mandate for change.
David Baggs, CEO and Program Director of Global GreenTag International who has led the development of the Global GreenTag MSD™ said:
“We saw a great need and responsibility to help highlight the differences between business as usual products with no transparency about their sourcing and manufacture to those that manage their supply chains to ensure they are ethically, socially and culturally to the best of their capability – and we ‘ve done this from day one of GreenTag’s existence.
What the MSD does differently for companies with large procurement portfolios is give the industry a common language, to help in the collation and aggregation of such complex and variable quality data, make the results transparent and report on not just the risk of Modern Slavery as required by the various legislations but also on the quality of the data relied on to make that assessment.
I am sure that other leading product certification schemes like GECA, Cradle to Cradle, and UL would agree, that the reporting of every product’s life cycle from raw materials extraction to end-of-life outcomes should include ethical considerations such as Modern Slavery and be monitored and declared along with health and environmental considerations.”
Australia, has witnessed powerful legislation enacted in 2019 by the Australian Government, which turned up the heat on Modern Slavery (MS) at a national level to deal with 10 important ethical employment and human rights issues collectively now described as encompassing the concept of ‘Modern Slavery’. Companies operating in Australia with a turnover of more than $100 million are required to submit their MS statements to the Australian Border Force.
“Although the government won’t be enforcing financial penalties as yet because of the impacts of COVID19, it has introduced a world first online register to support the promotion of modern slavery transparency and this year will be publishing companies’ statements on their compliance with the new laws,” said Mr Baggs.
The development of the Global GreenTag MSD has incorporated the needs of Modern Slavery movements globally to meet MS requirements. It embarked on development of the Global GreenTag MSD after the UK in 2015 launched its Modern Slavery Legislation, requiring a mandatory MS Risk Analysis Statement publication for companies with global turnover of more than €50 million. It also followed developments by the State of California in the USA, which has legislated Modern Slavery requirements and in both France and the Netherlands, which have legislated elements of Human Rights requirements.
The certifier also became actively involved with a number of interest bodies to bring stronger focus to the problem of Modern Slavery in Australia and was one of a core group of companies that pledged support behind the Australian Human Rights Commission’s call for Modern Slavery legislation in late 2017.
“More recently, we have been paying close attention to relevant developments in the built environment industries, such as a new credit that is being proposed within the LEED Pilot Credit Library, and the International WELL building Standard for MS Compliant or Ethical Supply Chains ” said Mr Baggs.
“The building industry is a massive consumer of products and materials, but it is not the only industry that has large procurement portfolios, so we hope to be of assistance to companies that need to quickly and progressively assess Modern Slavery risk information at a product level to support their own MS reporting requirements. With the MSD, we highlight manufacturers, products and supply chains that are doing the right thing.”
Protections included within the Global GreenTag product level MSD™ consider a list of Modern Slavery activity, involving: Deceptive Recruiting, Trafficking, Servitude, Forced Labour, Forced Marriage, Debt Bondage, Worst Forms of Child Labour, Discrimination, Equal Remuneration, Free Association and Collective Bargaining.
The scope of the MSD™ provides clarity for all parties along supply chains, communicating transparently:
- the risk of Modern Slavery in each ingredient or element supply chain; and
- the reliability of the data, which the Global GreenTag MSD™ statement is based upon.
The GGTI MSD report provides individual supply chain scores and weighted overall average score and risk rankings of ‘Very Low Risk’, ‘Low Risk’, ‘Low to Medium Risk’ through to ‘Medium’ and ‘Very High Risk’). The report provides a quick product Modern Slavery Risk overview, as well as detailed supporting documentation for a manufacturer’s or their purchasers’ corporate Modern Slavery Statements, whether these be mandated or voluntarily undertaken.
Supporting the development process of the MSD, there were two Stakeholder Review processes conducted internationally by Global GreenTag. The first engaged manufacturers and individuals from various industries, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and countries to refine the final version of the MSD process and template, including three large construction companies that would be required within the Australian legislation to publish Modern Slavey Statements to understand in more detail their needs in Modern Slavery Reporting.
The second survey issued was to support the weighting process of the Product MS Scorecard to determine if the indications from the initial stakeholder process that scores should be involved, also meant that weightings of those scores should be involved also, and if so, what those weightings should be.
The results included responses from nearly 50 Australian and International companies, NGOs, City Council and Government Agencies, including several Tier 1 Construction and Accounting companies, the Green Building Council of Australia, the United States Department of Labour, Responsible Wood, and Ethical Supply and Human Rights Organisations.
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To organize an interview with David Baggs, please contact:
Debra Robertson (GMT +10 Brisbane Australia time zone).
Mobile: 0437 407 377
To enquire further about the MSD in the USA, please contact Daniel Huard, CEO – Global GreenTag Americas:
Daniel HUARD (US Pacific Time zone)
Cell: +1 702 604 3359
To enquire further about the MSD, please contact Brett Hazlett, Global Sales – Global GreenTag International:
Brett HAZLETT (Australia EST)
Mobile: +61 (0) 430 010 275
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BIO: David Baggs