Last edited 21 Jul 2018

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Australian ethical labour sourcing standard

On 18 July 2018, BRE announced it is partnering with Global GreenTag International to develop a localised, Australian version of the pioneering Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard (ELS).

Global GreenTag International Pty Ltd is a third party ecolabelling, product certification, environmental product declaration (EPD) and product health declaration (PhD) program operator based in Australia. Its programs are recognised in WELL™, BREEAM International, EarthCheck®, Green Star®, LOTUS® and the Malaysian Government’s MyHIJAU program and are compliant with credit requirements in LEED® (PhDs and EPDs), and BREEAM® (EPDs).

The new standard will be developed in advance of the enactment of the Commonwealth of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act and follows enactment of the New South Wales Government’s Modern Slavery Act 2018. It has been created to recognise organisations seeking third party assurance of their responsible and ethical business practices and to provide a pathway for continuous improvement.

The Standard sets out a series of requirements for organisational management to demonstrate commitment to the principles of ethical labour sourcing as part of a holistic framework that includes criteria for evaluating the maturity of the organisation’s performance in relation to twelve issues. However, verification is based on a commitment to improve through an agreed set of objectives rather than an aggregation of the levels of maturity in the 12 issues.

Self-assessment is permitted, but a higher level can be achieved by third party verification through the online ELS platform.

David Baggs, CEO and Program Director at Global GreenTag said; “Global GreenTag is partnering with BRE to bring a mature ELS tool to Australia at a time when Modern Slavery legislation has been enacted in NSW and is likely to be introduced federally later this year or next year... 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.”

Nigel Jones, Team Leader – Sustainable Products at BRE 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. 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”.

--BRE Group

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