Sustainability through procurement – Spotlight on Human Rights

Responsible procurement contributes to a sustainable world.

It can also help your Organisation build a stronger reputation, grow brand recognition, increase revenue and improve consumer confidence.

Last year the International Standard for Sustainable Procurement ISO 20400 was released as a guide to implementing sustainability through the procurement process.

Here we shine a spotlight on another of the core subjects of the Standard to see how it could relate to your organisation.

What are Human Rights?

ISO 20400 refers to internationally recognised human rights which covers:

  • discrimination and vulnerable groups
  • avoidance of complicity and resolving grievances
  • civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights
  • fundamental principles and rights at work

Having an impact…

Many people in modern society might think of slavery and child labour as stories from their history books and no longer exists. However, according to Andrew Forrest, Chairman of Fortescue Mining Group and the Walk Free Foundation, “We are all going to have slavery in our supply chains no matter how good we think our corporate social responsibility is.

report on Modern Slavery in Australian property, construction and infrastructure supply chains estimates more than 40 million people are victims of modern slavery globally. The report discusses examples of Modern Slavery in Australia and highlights that companies may unknowingly be supporting modern day slavery when procuring materials or hiring workers through subcontractors.

Following the UK’s Modern Day Slavery Act established in 2015, Australia aims to release its own Modern Day Slavery Act in mid-2018. The Australian Legislation will require organisations to disclose their actions to identify, mitigate and remedy incidents of Modern Slavery. The aim is to push organisations to take responsibility for human rights abuses in their supply chains.

What to think about

Things to ask yourself:

  • do you know where or how all your suppliers source and engage their goods, services and people?
  • how would the discovery of modern day slavery in your supply chains affect your reputation, brand, share price, market share and employee morale and retention?

Where to start

Why not try one of these as a starting point?

  • ask your suppliers about their supply chains; where they source their goods and services
  • educate yourself on the ways in which modern day slavery can occur and analyse your supply chains to understand where your organisation’s vulnerabilities may be

Get started with sustainable procurement

What you will learn:

  • The applicability of ISO 20400 to your organisation
  • How implementing ISO 20400 has the potential to generate competitive benefits
  • How the adopting of Life Cycle Costing can assist in the decision-making process
  • Five things you can do to get started.