Supply Chain ethics at the heart of CIPS and Walk Free Foundation Collaboration

CIPS 23 October 2013

CIPS and the Walk Free Foundation have today announced a joint collaboration to help make a lasting contribution to the eradication of modern slavery in the supply chain.

CIPS and Walk Free have committed to build a global community of over 1,000,000 Procurement and Supply professionals that have the knowledge, capability and incentive to drive ethical behaviour in their supply chains. The shared vision is to eradicate unethical behaviour and procurement and supply malpractice by driving modern slavery out of supply chains through business leadership and consumer power.  

Announced today at the CIPS Australasia Conference, Melbourne, David Noble, CIPS Group CEO 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 said: “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.” 

Also launching at the CIPS Australasia Conference will be a CIPS and Walk Free Co-authored guide - Modern Slavery in Supply Chains – an Introduction for Procurement Professionals.

Under the collaboration, initiatives already outlined will include: 

  • An update to the Code of Conduct for CIPS members
  • An extension to the CIPS Disciplinary Process to provide greater accountability for breaches to the Code of Conduct for CIPS members
  • A new Corporate Code of Conduct
  • Enhancements to the CIPS Global Standard in Procurement and Supply to include a greater emphasis on modern slavery
  • A guide to ethical and sustainable procurement
  • An ethical procurement two hour e-learning module and online ethics test for members and non-members of CIPS with a ‘Ethics Mark’ awarded on successful completion
  • A register of achievement of individuals who have successfully completed the ethics test that is publically available and accessible online
  • A corporate proposition that bestows an ‘Ethics Mark’ and certificate to organisations that sign a statement of commitment and sign up to a corporate code of conduct and achieve ethical procurement criteria
  • A corporate register of organisations who have signed the statement of commitment and corporate code of conduct that is publically available and accessible online.


Liz Lees, Head of Public Relations, on +44 (0)1780 761574 or 07917 648564

Walk Free contact, Ranya Alkadamani,, +61 434 664 589  

About CIPS

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) is the leading international body representing purchasing and supply management professionals.  It is the worldwide centre of excellence on purchasing and supply management issues.  CIPS has a global membership of almost 100,000 in 150 different countries, including senior business people, high-ranking civil servants and leading academics.  The activities of purchasing and supply chain professionals have a major impact on the profitability and efficiency of all types of organisation and CIPS offers corporate solutions packages to improve business profitability. 

CIPS Policy Statement

CIPS has also recently issued the following policy statement calling for a Licence to Practise for the Procurement and Supply Chain Profession calling for: 

  • A clear focus on personal accountability in procurement and supply management
  • Modern day procurement and supply to be carried out by professionally qualified personnel
  • Procurement and supply professionals to be able to demonstrate a pre-determined level of competence and understanding that is continually updated
  • All enterprises/employers - whether in the public or private sectors - to self-regulate by implementing the Licence
  • Government legislation to support this policy
  • All bodies representing the profession (NGOs, professional institutes, consultancies etc) to support this policy  

About The Walk Free Foundation

The Walk Free Foundation is a global organisation with a mission to end modern slavery in our generation by mobilising a global activist movement, generating the highest quality research, enlisting business and raising unprecedented levels of capital to drive change in those countries and industries bearing the greatest responsibility for modern slavery today. 

The Walk Free Foundation will do this by:

  • Identifying countries and industries most responsible for modern slavery;
  • Identify and implement with partners the interventions in those countries and industries that will have the greatest impact on modern slavery; and
  • Critically assess our impact.

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