BRE Global, the certification arm of BRE, has announced Marshalls plc as the first organisation to be verified against its new Ethical Labour Sourcing (ELS) standard.
The ELS standard provides organisations with a framework to verify their systems and processes in relation to the Modern Slavery Act and continuously improve their ethical labour sourcing practices.
Commenting on Marshall’s achievement, Dr Shamir Ghumra, BRE’s Director of Sustainable Products, said: “The requirements of the Modern Slavery Act are underscored by the findings of the 2016 Global Slavery Index, which estimates that some 46 million people are in some form of slavery world-wide. This puts the onus on businesses to demonstrate exactly how they are taking positive action to eliminate modern slavery within their operations and global supply chains. Whilst the number of people affected in the UK is a relatively low 13,000, the figure doesn’t reflect the complex supply chains of most sectors, and none more so than the construction sector. It is a credit to Marshalls that the organisation is leading the field in terms of ethical labour standards.”
The ELS standard certificate was presented to Marshalls at Ecobuild 2017. Chris Harrop, the organisation’s Marketing Director with responsibility for sustainability, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have not only achieved BRE Global’s ELS standard but also to be the first to do so. This is a prestigious external validation of our ongoing commitment to ethical labour standards and our day-to-day actions on the ground in pursuit of this.”
ELS was developed with a 150-strong stakeholder group including clients, manufacturers, non-governmental organisations and contractors with complex international supply chains to ensure that it would be relevant and drive positive change within industry. The verification approach allows organisations to develop their ethical labour sourcing practices in a manner that is risk-based and pertinent to them in enabling them to demonstrate continual improvement against a set of benchmarks.