Last updated 31 January 2022
This statement constitutes the Royal Society of Chemistry's anti-slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2021 and is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Introduction from Helen Pain, CEO
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 Board of Trustees, 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.
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 - involves transporting, recruiting or harbouring people for the purpose of exploitation, using violence, threats or coercion;
Forced labour - any work or services that people are forced to do against their will under the threat of some form of punishment;
Debt Bondage or bonded labour- the world’s most widespread form of slavery, when people borrow money they cannot repay and are required to work to pay off the debt.
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.
Since 2018, to identify and mitigate these risks we:
- 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
- (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
- Undertaken a risk assessment to identify which areas of our business and suppliers are most at risk of modern slavery and created an action plan to enable us to better focus our efforts in this area
- Joined the Charities Sector Procurement Group managed by Crown Commercial Services to share and receives information updates on modern slavery policy from the Cabinet Office
During the forthcoming year, we intend to:
- Continue to ensure that our contractual arrangements with our suppliers for other higher risk expenditure categories are robust and transparent
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 we have identified high-risk areas, we will ensure that we consider potential modern slavery risks 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 review and update this Statement and our Policy on an annual basis to ensure it reflects our ongoing commitment.