Global GreenTag International has partnered with BRE Building to roll out an Ethical Labour Sourcing (ELS) Standard for Australia.

To support Australia’s first ever Modern Slavery Act, the partnership is working on the development of a new company assessment tool to eliminate any possibility of trafficking or slavery in product supply chains and aid tracking and reporting.

In partnership with BRE, which is a UK-based, international, multi-disciplinary building science centre, Global GreenTag International is developing a localised version of BRE’s pioneering Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard (ELS) and associated product assessment process - ahead of the anticipated enactment of the Federal Government’s Modern Slavery laws and the NSW Modern Slavery Act 2018.

CEO and program director for Global GreenTag, David Baggs, said Australia will have access to a mature ELS tool which is timely as the NSW legislation has already been introduced and federal laws are likely to be introduced later this year or early next year.

"We have been engaging with BRE from the time that we formally supported the Australian Human Rights Commission’s call for Modern Slavery legislation in late 2017," Baggs said.

"It is already something Global GreenTag does at a product level and we want to be able to support companies, verifiers and the industry in general to engage with the new legislation in as cost efficient a manner possible.

"This collaboration will certainly do that.”

BRE's team leader for sustainable products, Nigel Jones, said the Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard for Australia will enable any organisation to demonstrate to customers, partners and other stakeholders, their commitment to eliminating any possibility of trafficking or slavery in their supply chain.

He said it will enable companies to go beyond compliance with the outlined reporting requirements of the Modern Slavery Bill 2018 which was introduced to the Australian Parliament at the end of June.

"The Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard has been created to recognise those who wish to seek third party assurance of their responsible and ethical business practices and provide a pathway for continuous improvement," Jones said.

The Standard specifies the requirements for organisational management to demonstrate an on-going commitment to the principles of ethical labour sourcing as part of a holistic framework. The framework comprises criteria for evaluating the maturity of the performance of the organisation under twelve issues.

The overall verification is not based on an aggregation of the levels of maturity in these issues, but is based on a commitment to improve through an agreed set of objectives.

Participation in the standard can be achieved through self-assessment or to a more robust level using third party verification through the easy-to-use online ELS platform.

Global GreenTag International Pty Ltd is an internationally recognised, multi-award-winning Type 1 (Third Party) Ecolabelling, Product Certification, Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and Product health Declaration (PhD) program operator based in Australia.

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