Leading asset managers Schroders, Aberdeen Standard Investments and Fidelity International as well as the Church of England's investment arms have called for companies to do more to properly examine their supply chains. Having spent the last year scrutinizing the hospitality sector, they will turn their focus from Q3 2021 to the construction industry, ranked by KnowTheChain as the second-highest risk sector for forced labour.
The pressure from the finance sector coincides with recent remarks made by the UK's Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner calling for businesses to "do more to root out the causes of exploitation and protect the most vulnerable workers in their supply chains". It also follows the March report from a UK parliamentary committee calling for tougher enforcement of the UK Modern Slavery Act in light of findings that many companies are "failing to undertake the necessary and basic due diligence procedures to know that their supply chains are not implicated in slave labour".
All of which creates the perfect storm for businesses as the trifecta of investors, regulator and government call for change. For the construction industry (and a range of others) it's time to put on the hard hats and do some digging...
A group of 56 big investors with £7tn in assets is calling on UK-listed companies in the construction and materials industry to check for modern slavery in their supply chains, following a year-long campaign at hospitality groups where instances of forced labour were unearthed.