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One of the UK’s leading building and civil engineering companies, Sir Robert McAlpine, has become the first contractor to be verified under BRE’s Ethical Labour Sourcing (ELS) Standard. BRE, an international, multi-disciplinary, building science organisation, developed the Standard BES 6002 in February this year, in response to the 2015 Modern Slavery Act.
Earlier this year, the Global Slavery Index revealed that modern slavery and enforced labour now affects 48 million people worldwide. Human rights due diligence and overall ethical approaches to organisational and supply chain management are essential to help modern-day businesses combat these shocking statistics. The ELS was created to recognise those who wish to seek third-party assurance of their practices and provide a “maturity pathway” to make continuous improvements. The Standard is primarily intended for those organisations that work in the UK, whilst recognising these connected supply chains are often global.
Participant organisations are assessed on 12 issue areas: Organisational Structure, Management Structure, HR, Procurement, Bribery & Corruption, Forums, Management Policies, Immigration, Supply Chain Management, Learning & Development, Reporting and Assurance & Compliance. Marshalls were the first company, earlier this year, verified to the ELS.
Sir Robert McAlpine, whose noteworthy projects include the 2012 Olympic Stadium, Bloomberg’s new London headquarters and Victoria Gate retail development in Leeds among others, are already leading the sector in its approach to sustainability and ethical sourcing.
Paul Hamer, Chief Executive of Sir Robert McAlpine, comments; “Forced labour can have no place on Britain’s construction projects; it is an unseen and evil practice that must be stopped. Our business is working incredibly hard to demonstrate that Sir Robert McAlpine will not tolerate it and this ELS accreditation is testament to our commitment. I congratulate BRE for shining a light on this important subject and look forward to seeing other contractors follow our lead.”
Dr Shamir Ghumra, Director of Sustainable Products at BRE comments; “We would like to congratulate Sir Robert McAlpine in becoming the first ELS-verified contractor. We hope this will spur on more organisations into identifying opportunities to improve their ethical practices and help eradicate the evils of enforced labour and modern slavery, and help the industry as a whole raise its operating standards.”
For more information, visit www.bre.co.uk/ethical-sourcing