Sustainable Development Goals


Taking action to combat modern day slavery and exploitation

UCL is monitoring and addressing the risks of slavery and exploitation in its supply chains.

SDG Case study G8.7-modern slavery

8 October 2020

UCL procures a wide range of goods and services through numerous and diverse supply chains, from across the world, ranging from local small- and medium-sized enterprises to large multi-national or global companies.  

“Due to their variety, number and spread around the world, many of our supply chains are at risk of exploitation and modern slavery,” says Alex Jones (Sustainable UCL). “To tackle this, we have taken a holistic approach to managing these risks.” 

UCL’s Sustainability Strategy challenges the university to procure and buy products and services that are good for people and the planet, and to train staff on slavery and conduct supply chain audits by 2022.  

To deliver this challenge, Sustainable UCL is working with teams across the university, including Procurement. UCL’s Human Resources policies, Procurement Strategy and Fairtrade Policy all support its work on to address slavery and exploitation.  

The university is also engaging directly with its supply chain. “More than 1,200 suppliers have signed up to Netpositive, an online platform that creates bespoke sustainability action plans for our suppliers, based on their business operations,” explains Alex. “These action plans now include actions for suppliers to address slavery and exploitation in their own operations.” 
UCL produces an annual Modern Day Slavery Statement, which details the full actions it has taken.