Arco, the UK’s leading safety company, makes a call to businesses today, urging them to ask the suppliers within their supply chain about their ethical assurance measures, in particular about due diligence processes in relation to slavery and human trafficking in their business and supply chains.
Continually increasing, latest figures show that there are more than 45.8 million people in a form of modern slavery* across 167 countries today. Slavery continues to exist in the 21st century, perpetuating millions into a life of poverty, vulnerability and alienation.
Arco takes its ethical responsibility seriously and was the first distributor within the industry to become a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). Arco joined the ETI in 2007, forming part of an alliance of leading companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations that work in partnership to improve the lives of workers around the globe.
Arco continues to work on its ethical strategy, which first started over a decade ago, and was pleased to see amendments to company disclosure requirements under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This motivated the company to launch its own ‘Start Yours’ campaign. Arco is making a number of recommendations to businesses who buy safety equipment to raise awareness and guide businesses to ensure ethical compliance:
- Ask suppliers about their supply chain and the factories manufacturing their products and services.
- Ask suppliers about their ethical policy and due diligence processes.
- Ask to see and have explained a supplier’s public statement any company that has a UK turnover greater than £36m and falls under the Modern Slavery Act is obliged to publish a statement,
- Be sure about your own supply chain by using suppliers that are members of the Ethical Trading Initiative or equivalent organisations.
Danny Hobson, Ethical and Quality Improvement Manager at Arco, says: “Arco takes its responsibilities very seriously and that is why we continue to develop and improve our ethical sourcing strategy. We welcome the introduction of the Modern Slavery act and the emphasis that this will put on transparency in the supply chains throughout the safety industry. Through collaboration and with each business taking responsibility then we can make a real difference in protecting the most vulnerable workers and improving worker welfare.”
By working with suppliers with a robust ethical strategy, such as Arco, the task of risk assessing the supply chain is simplified and provides assurance that you are working with businesses that you can trust to do the utmost they can to address this issue. Hobson concludes: “It’s important that companies have detailed awareness of their supply chain and continue to drive improvements where necessary.”