Australia: Property cos survey suppliers on modern slavery risks to meet reporting requirements
Author: Liz Main, Financial Review, Published on: 11 October 2019
"Property industry rolls out anti-slavery questionnaire to suppliers", 4 October 2019
Vicinity, Dexus, Mirvac and some of the country's other large property companies have begun questioning suppliers over their exposure to modern slavery risks, as all large Australian companies prepare to meet new reporting requirements next year.
Under a Property Council of Australia initiative, the 15 companies...started contacting suppliers online through a platform designed to quiz them in an approachable way about their understanding of the issues. The platform will allow their responses to be made available to all companies dealing with them them, reducing the reporting burden.
"The responses suppliers give to the first iteration of our questionnaire will provide our members an important baseline of information – do our suppliers understand what 'modern slavery' means, where it might be occurring in their supply chains, and what are they doing about it currently?" a Property Council spokeswoman said.
The questionnaire, managed by tech platform Informed 365, was an "important first step" in identifying and addressing the use of slave labour and will help develop responses where slavery is identified, as well as providing training for suppliers and companies and audit regime reviews, the spokeswoman said.
Identifying modern slavery risks increasingly would become an issue for companies, fund manager Ethical Partners said earlier this year, highlighting Dexus, Vicinity and Mirvac as three early movers on the issue.
Other companies running the survey are AMP Capital, Stockland, Charter Hall, Frasers Property Australia, GPT, ISPT, Cromwell, Vicinity Centres, Brookfield, Investa, Landcom, Abacus and Goodman.