Posted by Stuart Bell

Ergon Update: September 2017

Human rights due diligence training
We have developed and are running a new three day training course for the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) that offers a deep-dive into how to adopt a human rights due diligence approach to managing risk in supply chains. This will run in London on 21 September, 19 October and 30 November. If you want to attend, we can offer members of our network a 20% discount on the non-ETI member price. Please use the code Ergon when booking. The training is led by Steve Gibbons and Laura Curtze.

Conferences and workshops
Steve Gibbons is currently in Tokyo speaking at two conferences. The first is organised by the multi-stakeholder Mega Sporting Events Platform for Human Rights. Steve is sharing Ergon’s experience of devising and running the operational grievance mechanism for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. At the second conference, organised by the Caux Roundtable in Japan, Steve will be talking about methodologies and challenges on human rights due diligence.

This week, Pins Brown will be leading two break-out sessions at the Co-op Food supplier conference, one on priority due diligence actions and a second on meaningful stakeholder engagement.

In recent months we have also facilitated workshops or led trainings for organisations including: the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), IFC, John Lewis, ETI, Skytop Strategies, EBRD and EIB.

Support for gender equality in Vietnam and Kosovo
We are working with Electricity Vietnam (EVN), Vietnam’s state-owned electricity company, to support the promotion of gender equality in its workforce, on behalf of the World Bank. The work includes designing and piloting a women’s leadership programme with training and mentoring components, and strengthening recruitment and promotion procedures. Kirsten Newitt will travel to Hanoi in October to launch the programme and co-ordinate a workshop for EVN’s senior leadership.

We have also just completed a project for the Kosovan railway company, Infrakos, on behalf of EBRD. In July Anne-Marie Lévesque led a roundtable in Pristina which brought together key national stakeholders to discuss women’s employment and equal opportunity in the sector.

Core labour standards in EU trade deals
We are developing a survey methodology for the European Commission to gather information on the application of core labour standards in selected trade partner countries. After a successful pilot in Colombia in 2016, in May 2017 we held multiple stakeholder engagement workshops in Georgia, Guatemala and Pakistan to gather up-to-date information on national law and practice in this area. The work is led by Sarah McLeish and Anne-Marie Lévesque.

From banking to baobab:  recent human rights assessments
In recent months, we have been busy with several large-scale human rights and modern slavery assessments in sectors ranging from banking to speciality food ingredients, timber, garments and leather. These have involved identification of key risks in different business activities and supply chains, ranking these risks by country of operation or sourcing and working with in-house teams to develop priority actions. Contact Stuart Bell for more information.

Modern Slavery reporting round 2
Many companies are now in the process of developing their second Modern Slavery Statements, amid escalating criticism about the coverage and quality of many statements made so far. We are helping many clients consolidate their internal due diligence processes and extend them to new business areas and operations. Additionally, we are benchmarking existing and draft statements against peer groups using our internal assessment methodology which identifies gaps or areas where additional work should be done to meet good practice. Contact Matthew Waller for more details on this service.

Better Cotton in Greece
Over the summer, we undertook a scoping study for the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) Growth and Innovation Fund, exploring the potential to source Better Cotton from Greece. The research included a multi-stakeholder workshop in Greece led by Brett Dodge.

New office and website
We have moved to a new office with more space. We are still in Clerkenwell, London and our new address is: Unit 1, 9a Dallington Street, London EC1V 0BQ. We look forward to welcoming you to the new office. We have also taken the opportunity to freshen up our website and brand. We hope you like the new look.