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New programme launched to combat modern slavery and unethical sourcing

The APRES (Action Programme on Responsible and Ethical Sourcing) Eight Pathways Model, launched yesterday via a White Paper aims to combat global human rights abuses amidst calls for updated cultural approaches and demands for different working practices.

Produced by world-leading building science centre, BRE, and academic partner, Loughborough University, the model provides a professional approach to the responsible and ethical sourcing of materials, products and people working in property and construction markets worldwide.

It presents eight pathways to best practice that takes organisations and individuals from the level of ‘Baseline’ to ‘Best in Class’ performance.

The eight pathways are as follows: 1 Organisation Strategy and Policies; 2 Management Systems; 3 Assurance: Compliance & Auditing; 4 Assurance: Reporting; 5 Procurement; 6 Financial Management; 7 HR, Recruitment, Staff Training & Development; 8 Communications, External Relations & PR.

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The pathways are designed to be implemented over time, via four stages – preparation (Plan), action (Do), review (Check) and refinement (Improve).

Not all eight pathways’ elements need to operate concurrently – a staggered progression is envisaged.

“The APRES Eight Pathways Model is an important new contribution to knowledge,” said Professor Jacqui Glass, Chair of Architecture and Sustainable Construction at Loughborough University and APRES Programme Leader.

“It builds on academic research, market intelligence, co-created insights, plus sound management systems and practices from some of the leaders in the field.

“It answers the fundamental question – how do I embed the right practices in my business?”

The need for the pathway is more relevant than ever with the Global Slavery Index estimating that there are 45.8mn people in modern slavery, across 167 countries worldwide.

Within this, the International Labour Organization estimates that there are 21mn people in forced labour around the world, generating profits in the private economy of US$150bn.

Interpol estimates that only 5 to 10% of cases are ever reported.

Clearly there are major social issues that some businesses must address in the way they operate and more must be done to hold them accountable.

Dr Shamir Ghumra, Director Sustainable Products at BRE, the home of APRES, said: “Accountability is an absolute must for supply-chain excellence and sustainable procurement in the 21st century – the pressure from both public and commercial parties to demonstrate transparency and traceability is not going to go away.

“The APRES Eight Pathways Model holds the keys to progress and success.”

The APRES Eight Pathways Model will be presented at the 7th annual APRES Conference to be held on 22 November 2017.

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