I was delighted to attend the launch of the Ethical Labour Standard earlier this month.
BRE has developed this new standard to add to existing standards including ISO 6001 and SA8000, as well as the implementation of the Modern Slavery Act in UK law.
Presentations were delivered by Jacqui Glass from Loughborough University, Chris Harrop from Marshalls Design Space, Mark Bauer from Forbo and Dr Shamir Ghumra, BRE’s Head of Responsible Sourcing.
Some shocking facts that we heard included:
- Over 35.8 million people worldwide live in modern day slavery and over 70% of these live in just ten countries.
- More people will die in the building of Qatar 2022 than will actually play on the pitch during the tournament.
Companies have a responsibility to review and understand their supply chains. This doesn’t have to cost money – in fact, reducing the numbers of suppliers and really understanding and engaging with them can actually give companies competitive advantage.
The new standard
The new ethical labour standard will not be a straight pass / fail result; instead, it will enable organisations to demonstrate their maturity around a number of key performance indicators. This will give companies the opportunity to continually improve their processes.
|Management systems||Assurance and audit|
|Bribery and corruption||Learning and development|
VGC has had a long term commitment to ensuring that we operate in an ethical way. This is demonstrated in numerous policies, processes and culture within the organisation. We are delighted to be on board with this programme, and look forward to being part of the pilot programme later this year for audits against the new framework.
BRE has a video on their website showing the background behind the new standard.