How businesses consider human rights has gained greater prominence in recent years. It features regularly in current political discourse about public trust in business behaviour and in investors’ demand for increased transparency of Environmental Social and Governance performance. The two are related – lack of disclosure is a gap in the trust narrative.
Our Human Rights Policy demonstrates our commitment to protecting the human rights of our employees and those working on our behalf in our supply chain.
We convened a cross-company working group to draft the policy statement, and identify and assess human rights risks and potential impacts on our employees, customers, suppliers and communities. This group identified our salient human rights issues as access to clean water, data protection and privacy, health and safety, and modern slavery.
Building on assessments undertaken to update our Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for 2017, we carried out a risk-based review of our supply chain to identify the risk from all forms of modern slavery, identifying four categories of spend most susceptible to abuses – chemicals, workwear & PPE, IT hardware & equipment, and mains materials – which encompass 594 suppliers across 13 countries (85% in the EU, plus the US and Australia) and account for 13.4% of our annual procurement spend.
To date, we have not identified any human rights abuses within our own operations nor our supply chain and so no remediation actions have been required. However, as we cannot guarantee that they aren’t present in some form, we’ve mapped our human rights risks against our corporate risk register and manage them within this framework. In addition, our supply chain modern slavery risk management plan is detailed in the Statement.