Last updated July 2019
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes the Royal Society of Chemistry's anti-slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2018.
Introduction from Robert Parker, Chief Executive Officer
Forced, bonded or compulsory labour, human trafficking and other kinds of slavery and servitude are grave violations of fundamental human rights. The Royal Society of Chemistry, under the direction of its Council, will not tolerate such activity and is committed to acting ethically and with integrity at all times, including implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to combat slavery and human trafficking both within our organisation and by working with our business supply chains.
Organisation's structure and business
The Royal Society of Chemistry is a UK registered charity with three core objectives: a professional body, setting the standards for the practice of chemistry and supporting those who practise and teach chemistry; a publisher, promoting and supporting world-class research by delivering high-quality content in the way that our community wants to access it; and a voice for chemistry, committed to supporting the longevity of chemistry as a discipline, changing behaviours and influencing decision makers.
As a group, The Royal Society of Chemistry has a permanent presence in the United Kingdom, India, China, Germany, Japan and the United States of America. The Royal Society of Chemistry maintains, in its supply chains, relationships with many different organisations across several countries, as well as directly employing large numbers of people.
Due diligence processes for slavery and human trafficking
Modern slavery takes many forms, the most prevalent being;
Human trafficking - The movement of a person from one place to another, within a country or across borders, into conditions of exploitation against their will
Forced labour - All work or service that is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily
Debt Bondage - Victims of forced labour may also be victims of debt bondage, where they are tricked into working for little or no money to repay a debt they are told they owe
Analysis by global organisations such as the ILO indicates that from a supply chain perspective, modern slavery is most likely to occur in the following expenditure categories:
Garments and Textiles; Cleaning; Security; Food Processing; Electronics – including ICT hardware
In 2018, to identify and mitigate these risks we:
- Created a risk assessment tool for staff to help determine the level of risk concerning our commercial and financial dealings;
- Incorporated appropriate terms in contractual arrangements including: (i) warranties that no slavery is used anywhere in the supplier’s business and is mitigated so far as possible in their own supply chains, (ii) an obligation to comply with our policy, (iii) indemnities and a right for The Royal Society of Chemistry to terminate agreements in the event of breach of our Policy; and (iv) contractual rights to request compliance-related information and independently audit suppliers at our discretion;
- Revised our Associates’ Code of Conduct for our business partners to highlight our expectations.
During the forthcoming year, we intend to:
- Undertake an appropriate risk assessment to identify which areas of our business and suppliers are most at risk of modern slavery and create an action plan to enable us to better focus our efforts in this area
- Join the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC) to allow us to collaborate and share information with like-minded academic and research organisations. This also gives us affiliation to Electronics Watch which works to eliminate modern slavery and human rights abuses in the supply chain;
- Ensure that our contractual arrangements with our suppliers for other higher risk expenditure categories are robust and transparent;
- Provide more information and updates on emerging issues and information sources on modern slavery to our commissioners and contract managers;
- Protect whistle blowers who highlight to us any risk or evidence of slavery or human trafficking practices within our business and supply chains.
Supplier adherence to our values
We will continue to carry out reviews of existing commercial relationships to ensure that suppliers and partners comply with our values, and that our obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. These will include:
- Engaging with our suppliers, contractors, associates and business partners via our contract management meetings and communications to convey our Policy and to gain undertakings to ensure modern slavery is not occurring within their business;
- Encouraging self-reporting by our suppliers;
- Where high risk areas are identified, taking these into consideration in any future contract renewals.
Communication and Training
We will communicate this Statement and our Policy to all our employees, members and volunteers to ensure a clear understanding of the risks of slavery and human trafficking within our own business.
We will aim to develop and implement appropriate training for relevant teams across the organisation.
We intend to continually review how effective we have been to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not occurring in any part of our business or supply chains and to improve our business relationships to work collectively to tackle slavery and human trafficking.
We will review and update this Statement and our Policy on an annual basis to ensure they reflect our ongoing commitment.
Any questions or comments regarding this Statement are welcomed and should be addressed to the RSC Legal Services.