The fight against Modern Slavery in construction

September 5th, 2019 · 49 mins 3 secs

About this Episode

The construction industry is one of four sectors singled out as at risk of discovering slavery in its supply chains due to its many layers of subcontracting. It's less likely if modern slavery is found in supply chains, but when.

Ahead of the Responsible & Ethical Leadership for Global Construction Supply Chains Conference at Aviva HQ in London, three guests passionately explain why responsible sourcing of materials, goods and labour is important in the construction industry. This podcast is recorded in collaboration with BRE and Sustain Worldwide.

Together the panel discusses the importance of walking the supply chain to witness what is really happening on the ground. Actually seeing the conditions and talking to contractors, and workers is one of the best ways to prevent modern slavery cases.

It’s not just a case of policing the issue, fellow workers need to know what the signs are and be able to report it effectively without feeling under threat themselves. “Education is key and empowers people to act” says Alice Hands, strategic procurement manager at the building and civil engineering company, Sir Robert McAlpine.

“Ethics doesn’t actually cost money” says Chris Harrop, director of sustainability at Marshalls plc. This exercise may appear costly in an industry that often feels it needs to cut corners to save money but better working conditions actually increases productivity. As Danny Hobson, head of ethics and sustainability at Arco puts it, “An ethical supply chain gives you good quality as well”

Presenter: Juliet Spare
Music © Tim Stacy
Recorded at The Sound Company Studios