CIPS joins Walk Free to eradicate slavery in supply chain

Gurjit Degun
23 October 2013

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CIPS has joined forces with anti-slavery charity Walk Free to build a global community of more than one million procurement professionals to help eradicate modern day slavery in supply chains.

CIPS explained that the move aims to eradicate unethical behaviour and procurement and supply malpractice. This will be done by driving modern slavery out of supply chains “through business leadership and consumer power”. 

The announcement came at the CIPS Australasia conference in Melbourne yesterday, which also saw the organisations launch a guide on the subject – Modern Slavery in Supply Chains.

The collaboration means there will be:

● An update to the code of conduct for CIPS members

● An extension to the CIPS disciplinary process to provide greater accountability for breaches of the code of conduct

● A new Corporate Code of Conduct

● Enhancements to the CIPS Global Standard in Procurement and Supply to include a greater emphasis on modern slavery

● An ethical procurement, two-hour, e-learning module and online ethics test for CIPS members and non-members

● A corporate proposition that bestows an ‘Ethics Mark’ and certificate on organisations which sign a statement of commitment

● A corporate register of organisations which have signed the statement of commitment and the corporate code of conduct will be publically available and accessible online.

CIPS group CEO David Noble said: “The increase in global sourcing has led to an increase in serious issues being discovered in procurement practices, in particular the occurrence in the supply chain, unwittingly or otherwise, of modern slavery. We have to make a step-change as a profession to make a real difference in business and society.”

Andrew Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals Group and founder of Walk Free, added: “The slavery industry generates over $32 billion in profits globally. Businesses around the world have their part to play in ensuring slavery is eradicated from their supply chain.

“The first step is asking the question – that is doing a supply chain audit – and that is where procurement officers can show true leadership on the issue.”

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