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A pledge for fair treatment within construction

21st July 2015

A new UK Manifesto for Ethical Sourcing in Construction is due to be published later this month.

A selection of leading construction firms have come together to set up an initiative aimed at encouraging fair treatment of staff and subcontractors within the construction industry.

The 35 co-creators for the Manifesto are made up of clients, contractors, designers, manufacturers, suppliers and industry organisations.

The co-authors include representatives of British Land, Crossrail, Skanska, Morgan Sindall, Willmott Dixon, Marks & Spencer, Simons Group, BBM Sustainable Design, Marshalls, Saint-Gobain, BRE and CIRIA.

The authors and supporters claim that the manifesto signifies the beginning of a long-term campaign to align industry values with those of corporates and activist communities worldwide.

Industry expert and TV personality Oliver Heath was amongst the professionals sharing his knowledge and experience, as well as leaders from the Ethical Trading Initiative and Fairtrade International.

The goal of the manifesto is to help the construction industry increase its commitment to responsible sourcing and procurement to include fair treatment of workers.

Professor Jacqueline Glass, who is a key driver behind the campaign, said: “The challenge is simply too large for any one organisation to tackle alone. Construction must learn from others, plus share knowledge and best practice. Collaboration is key.”

She believes that the construction industry is ready to embrace the manifesto’s message. “Ethical sourcing is on the radar for construction clients, plus recent damaging and tragic events in other sectors, such as food production and fashion, have really raised the alarm. The industry simply must wake up to the ethical risks that it faces.”

Writing the manifesto has brought together leading construction industry figures with experts in business transparency, supply chain and ethics. They communicated their ideas and visions online, prior to meeting at Royal Academy of Engineering in London to agree on the official draft.

It has emerged from the findings that it has become standard practice for the construction industry to manage environmental risks and sustainability, however employment and payment concerns are yet to see similar commitment.

Here at Simian Risk Group we value our people above all else – we know that the happier they are, the better our work will be. We make sure that everyone feels supported, challenged and inspired, so we are delighted to hear about this manifesto, it certainly gets our backing.