Modern slavery statement
Modern Slavery Statement - No Forced labour
At Sioen, we are fully committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in our operation and supply chain. We have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery. This statement sets out the actions that we have taken to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to our business, and to implement steps to prevent slavery and human trafficking.
At Sioen, our strategic risk management aims to identify, assess, and prepare for potential losses, dangers, hazards, and other harm that may interfere with our operations. We also have “stress tests” in place. By identifying and proactively addressing these risks and opportunities, we protect and at the same time create value for our stakeholders.
In the context of modern slavery and human trafficking, we conduct risk assessments of our supply chain by taking into account:
- The risk profile of individual countries based on the Global Slavery Index
- The business services rendered by the suppliers
- The presence of vulnerable demographic groups
- A news analysis and the insights of labour and human rights groups
This assessment will determine our response and the risk controls that we implement.
In our ESG report, you’ll find a separate section of 6 pages dedicated to Risk Management.
In business dealings, Sioen acts as a responsible citizen would do. As a family business, where high values are held in high esteem, this always has been natural and went without saying. In order to raise awareness and to align every party involved with Sioen, we establish formal business ethics, promoting our values and integrity among all our stakeholders. Formalising our business ethics, drives our employee behaviour.
In our company, identifying and preventing slavery and human trafficking is facilitated through:
- Code of Conduct - Sioen applies a formal ethical code of conduct in all its companies and in all its interactions with third parties, in which honesty and integrity are central. Our Code of Conduct is a set of internal guidelines, standards and behavioural expectations for our employees to follow and also proves our commitment towards our employees, clients, partners and society as a whole. Our Code of Conduct provides guidelines on how all Sioen employees worldwide should act. It is mandatory to keep to this Code. It informs our employees of how they are supposed to behave towards colleagues, external partners, clients, among others. It improves the working situation for employees and promotes our business values, as it shows our ethics and compliance with legislation..
- Whistleblowing facilitation- we encourage all employees, customers and suppliers to report any suspicion of slavery or human trafficking without fear of retaliation.
- Purchasing rules and guidelines - We explicitly ask our suppliers to stick to the values we set out in our ethical code. In addition, we are committed to several international rules, codes and guidelines and ask our suppliers to adhere as well. Making explicit reference to slavery and human trafficking and/or having their own Modern slavery statement is a plus.
- Trade unions: We have constant open and constructive communications with trade unions in our production plants individually and on a European level.
Supplier relationship and due diligence
We establish a relationship of trust and integrity with all our suppliers. Sioen asks for similar efforts in the field of CSR from its suppliers. Standards, certificates and memberships act as guarantees for sustainable business. We’re putting lots of effort into obtaining them and ask the same from our suppliers.
In major supplier selection, we perform a due diligence of the supplier's reputation, respect for the law, compliance with health, safety and environmental standards, and more. Sioen conducts due diligence on all new suppliers during on-boarding and on existing suppliers at regular intervals. This includes:
- Assessing risks in the provision of particular services
- Auditing the suppliers, and their health and safety standards, labour relations and employee contracts
- Requiring improvements to substandard employment practices
- Sanctioning suppliers that fail to improve their performance in line with our requirements
We haven't been made aware of any allegations of human trafficking/slavery activities against any of our suppliers, but if we were, then we would act immediately against the supplier and report it to the authorities
Forced labour is included in the ILO conventions and is verified in BSCI, SMETA/Sedex, STeP by Oeko-Tex, SA8000, WRAP, etc. audits. If the supplier does not have a social audit report from an independent party, we have a declaration that must be signed. In addition, we conduct verification during company visits to Far East suppliers.
- Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87)
- Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98)
- Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)
- Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)
- Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138)
- Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)
- Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) Drag
- Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111)
This is also included in our purchasing procedure '05-OR-006' (Supplier Selection) In other words, we require all suppliers to attest that:
- They don't use any form of forced, compulsory or slave labour
- Their employees work voluntarily and are entitled to leave work
- They provide each employee with an employment contract that contains a reasonable notice period for terminating their employment
- They don't require employees to post a deposit/bond and don't withhold their salaries for any reasons
- They don't require employees to surrender their passports or work permits as a condition of employment
Awareness & training
Sioen raises awareness of CSR (Corporate Social responsibility) / ESG (Environment, social and governance) matters by
- Putting up posters
- Posting on our social media channels
- Displaying on our television screens across the plants
These actions show our commitment in the field of CSR and in the fight against modern slavery in particular.
We’re planning on providing training to employees and suppliers on the subject in dedicated “Lunch & Learn” sessions.