Tag Archives: Modern Slavery Statements

Being ethical or avoiding heavy penalties, the Global GreenTag MSD™ Modern Slavery Transparency Declaration helps companies monitor product supply chains

 

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.

CLICK THROUGH TO MORE INFORMATION

To organize an interview with David Baggs, please contact:

Debra Robertson             (GMT +10 Brisbane Australia time zone).

Email:                                   media@globalgreentag.com

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)

Email:                                   CEO@globalgreentag.com

Cell:                                       +1 702 604 3359

To enquire further about the MSD, please contact Brett Hazlett, Global Sales – Global GreenTag International:

Brett HAZLETT                  (Australia EST)

Email:                                   manufacturers@globalgreentag.com

Mobile:                                +61 (0) 430 010 275

Read more about:

BIO:                                          David Baggs

Modern Slavery Act – What Are You Doing About It?

Following the anticipated enactment of the Commonwealth of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act and in light of the enactment of the New South Wales Government’s Modern Slavery Act 2018, legislation is already a reality for companies operating in NSW.  Global GreenTag International CEO and Program Director David Baggs says: “the torch light has already been turned on – and it’s really time to do something about understanding the Act and its expectations, fully.”

David is to take a platform later this month in Sydney by invitation from leaders of the Design Futures Council  (DFC) and DesignIntelligence Australia to help bring the realities of the Act forward at a public function.  The event on August 21st  – Sustainable Supply Chains – Fighting Modern Slavery will deal directly with what Modern Slavery legislation means for the business community and especially the built environment sector that is the dominant dealer in the global supply chain.

David will join lead speaker Scott Alden, Partner and procurement expert with law firm Holding Redlich, Sally Irwin, Managing Director of The Freedom Hub and Alexia Lidas, Managing Director of the Design Futures Council and a board member of the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA) to examine the modernisation of the supply chain, covering:

  • What modern slavery is
  • Modern Slavery in Australia – it exists
  • An overview of the legislation
  • Predictions on the implications for future contracting
  • What material and products have had modern slavery traced in the supply chain?
  • How to get verified?

As an early responder to the Modern Slavery Act – Global GreenTag 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.  The company moved quickly to bring the successful Ethical Labour Sourcing tool designed by BRE in the UK to develop a new company assessment tool for Australia that will serve all kinds of businesses to help eliminate possibilities of trafficking or slavery in product supply chains and aid tracking and reporting.

“It is already something Global GreenTag has done at a product level – but now we can support companies, verifiers and the industry in general to engage with the new legislation in as cost efficient a manner possible,” says David.

Alexia Lidas from DFC says “an out of sight, out of mind mentality to the legislation is no longer an option … we have a moral obligation to ensure we are not unconsciously supporting modern slavery.” Plus, she adds, companies need to do a closer reading of the legislation because it won’t only be targeting companies making $50 million plus revenue to provide Modern Slavery Statements, this is a misconception.

“The legislation has been designed so that the mandated formal reporting is undertaken by entities that can carry the burden of additional admin, and are assumedly procuring larger amounts, making them the best focus area. However, they can be penalised for the activity of firms within their supply chain- meaning that although their immediate practices could be squeaky clean, if they have purchased from a firm which has modern slavery in their supply chain- they can be penalised. This domino effect means that each firm has a part to play in ensuring that the supply chain is free of modern slavery – irrespective of their turn-over.”

Procurement expert, Scott Alden, Partner at Holding Redlich also predicts how this might play out in future contracts, adding:

“This will become an increasingly common feature of commercial contracts requiring parties to monitor and address risks of modern slavery in their supply chains.  With penalties of over $1 million dollars for non-compliance with these new laws, we can expect to see specific indemnities where one party causes another to suffer a fine in relation to its Modern Slavery Statement”.

Global GreenTag’s development of the BRE Ethical Labour Sourcing (ELS) Standard will enable Australian companies to engage more confidently with the Modern Slavery legislation, using the Standard to self-assess or to submit to a more robust level using a third party verification process, which GreenTag will assess to provide assurance of their responsible and ethical business practices and provide a maturity pathway for continuous improvement.

The Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard specifies the requirements for organisational management to demonstrate an on-going commitment to the principles of ethical labour sourcing as part of a holistic framework. The framework comprises criteria for evaluating the maturity of the performance of the organisation under twelve issues. The overall verification is not based on an aggregation of the levels of maturity in these issues, but is based on a commitment to improve through an agreed set of objectives.

If you would like to attend this event and find out more, please register HERE

 

Sustainable Supply Chains -Fighting Modern Slavery

DATE:

Tue. 21 August 2018

TIME:

6:00 pm – 8:30 pm AEST

LOCATION

Holding Redlich, 65/19 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW 2000

 

The Design Futures Council (DFC) is a DesignIntelligence gathering of development, architecture, design, engineering, construction, product, and technology leaders who explore global trends, challenges, and opportunities to advance innovation and shape the future of architecture, engineering, construction (A/E/C) and design. Each year the DFC convenes summits on issues of strategic importance to leaders: technology and applied innovation, collaboration, education and talent, sustainability, and the business of design.

The DFC is committed to supporting the A/E/C community by providing information and understanding of trends and future issues. The Council creates context in which leaders from member firms can work with one another—as well as leading thinkers from outside industries—to tackle complex challenges and opportunities in A/E/C.

 

Website

https://designfuturescouncil.com/