Seventy-one percent of sustainable procurement leaders consider addressing modern slavery risk a key priority, but just half report making effective progress on the issue, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc.
“Modern slavery is a risk to almost all supply chains,” says Laura Rainier, senior director analyst in Gartner’s Supply Chain Practice. “It’s also one of the most challenging risks CPOs have to address; rooting out the practice requires visibility into multiple tiers of suppliers and a willingness to address issues in areas of the supply chain that traditional due diligence processes often fail to reach.”
- Chief procurement officers (CPOs) cannot rely on achieving supply chain visibility alone to address modern slavery risks where adults and/or children are victims of forced labor. However, CPOs must take a series of ongoing, proactive actions to mitigate and remediate forced labor being used within their organizations’ supply chains.
- Additional client conversations have indicated that procurement leaders often struggle after investing in supplier visibility and related technology initiatives, constrained from making further progress on the issue due a lack of resources, strategy or capability.
- Achieving data visibility among these suppliers requires a mix of incentives and contractual obligations, and technology will play a critical role in enabling the ability to map supply chain visibility.
“Procurement leaders who have made progress on multitier supplier visibility should feel encouraged as accomplishing this step alone can be an overwhelming task,” says Rainier. “Once a baseline of visibility is achieved, however, procurement leaders need to embrace the ongoing work that is required to accurately monitor and mitigate the risks associated with the use of forced labor in global supply chains.”