Date posted: 19/03/2020 2 min read

How business can create a positive impact through the supply chain

Business has the opportunity to significantly improve the lives of many people.

In brief

  • Businesses need to take a proactive approach to adapt in current and future environments
  • Modern slavery statements will be due for lodgement in the second half of 2020
  • The UN Global Compact has a library of resources to assist businesses in their sustainability journey

The world is currently focused on the impacts of COVID-19, a pandemic that has affected nearly every single person and business around the globe. Businesses are adapting the way they operate, from entire workforces shifting to remote working to supply chains of major supermarkets being placed into overdrive with increased demand. The unprecedented events have highlighted the need for businesses to be proactive, rather than reactive, in order to adapt to what now seems like an environment that is changing on a day by day basis. 

During this time, as businesses revaluate their plans, it’s an opportunity to think about operations and supply chains holistically, from those individuals involved in day to day decision-making to those that are further down the supply chain outside of this decision-making process. The UN Global compact estimates that 80% of global trade passes through business supply chains meaning businesses have the opportunity to significantly improve the lives of many people, lifting millions out of poverty, through sustainable procurement. 

In Australia, The Modern Slavery Act 2018 aims to get businesses with an annual turnover of $100m to look deeper into their supply chains to gain a better understanding of what poor labour practices look like and if there are any within their own supply chains. Although the reporting requirement is only for large businesses, small businesses that supply to captured organisations will also need to look into their own supply chains as a part of the overall process. 

As businesses regroup to plan for the future, it’s a timely reminder to keep supply chain assessment and the modern slavery statement in mind (and incorporated into the business plan) as in the second half of 2020 modern slavery reports will be due for lodgement with Department (Australian Border Force). 

The UN Global Compact (in which CA ANZ is an active member in Australia) has a library of resources to assist businesses in taking steps in their sustainability journey. We encourage our members to refer to these documents as well as their recent publication on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains.   

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