Modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking affect each and every sector, and Ardea International, as a niche sustainability, business and human rights business consultancy, have an innate commitment and passion to the fight against human rights abuses. To practice what we preach, it is especially important that from within our own business practices we are acting professionally and ethically in every instance. Ardea International is committed, both internally and working with external business partnerships to help reduce negative human rights impacts, particularly modern slavery, through our services and training. We aspire to make a significant contribution to the development and application of the law and good practice in modern slavery, business and human rights to contribute towards the fight against modern slavery. This statement covers the financial year ended August 2021 and is made voluntarily, in support of the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
As part of our work, Ardea International educates and engages with businesses, often where there is a high risk of human exploitation and modern slavery incidences, with the specific goal of reducing or eliminating their negative human rights impacts through best practice. This includes developing policy commitments, risk assessments, meaningful reporting, developing due diligence frameworks and capacity building through training. We use our legal and commercial expertise to help businesses become compliant in the latter areas and develop best practice procedures, driven by the vision of preserving the environment and fostering a just society. Through comprehensive, educational and authoritative online learning and policy overviews, Ardea International is not only working to reduce the modern slavery incidents within their own business, but also that of other business across global supply chains. As part of our growing understanding of the issues of Covid-19 and environmental impacts on modern slavery, we are striving to adapt our work to ensure that businesses are working transparently throughout their operations, including their supply chains and especially reaching out to at-risk sectors and nations. During 2020 we developed a free COVID 19 guide to help businesses address their reporting requirements in response to the UK and Australian Government guidance.
Internally, Ardea International communicates openly and transparently and seeks to ensure that our work respects others. We treat people fairly and ensure employees are earning a living wage, working safely, as well as encouraging constant ethical and personal development amongst staff, including in our intern programme. In line with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, we are committed to the consistent training and education of our staff and making company ethos and practice visible. Our code of conduct states our ethical principles and values which directly adhere to the Modern Slavery Act 2015. New employees are encouraged to take our modern slavery e-learning course and are encouraged to develop their knowledge and awareness to perform best practice at all times. Bespoke training for team members depending on their role is given, with administrators taking at minimum our Business and Human Rights training programme. We aim to have a consistent understanding of human rights across the business.
Ardea International is a small business, with an extremely manageable employee structure. A benefit of this is that within our business we can be sure that modern slavery and human trafficking are not taking place. And as a primarily online business, Ardea International has a limited supply chain.
However, care is still taken in order to reduce risk in this area, as it is where there would be greatest risk of human rights impacts. Employees are encouraged through conversation to shop ethically and locally on a personal level, moving away from large suppliers with complicated supply chains, and are readily prepared to source second hand materials where possible. Fairtrade brand coffee, tea and chocolate are frequently bought for our at home offices, and fairtrade wine and flowers for after work to reduce our contribution to unethical or immature businesses. Office supplies such as paper are sourced from a large retailer who have a mature stance on modern slavery, and printing, when required, is sourced from a local printing shop to reduce both environmental footprint and human rights impacts. With this approach Ardea International can carefully manage supply chain impacts in a business and a personal manner.
Ardea International strives to ensure there are no adverse human rights impacts within its business practice and actively reduces impacts in other businesses through our webinars, training and consultancy support services.
|Steps we are taking in the next 12 months
While Ardea International is continuing to build on good practice from the last year, specific goals for the upcoming year are:
This statement has been approved by the board of directors on 16th of August 2021.