This statement has been published in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The statement sets out the steps taken by Evolution Power Tools to ensure the prevention of modern slavery and human trafficking within the business and its supply chain. This is the first statement produced on tackling the threat of Modern Slavery, however, as an organisation we have always taken the necessary steps to ensure all Evolution Power Tools employees and supply chain employees are treated fairly. As an organisation, we are fully aware of the issue of Modern Slavery across the world, as the Global Slavery Index estimates that there are 40.3 million people in Modern Slavery in 2016, we acknowledge that there is always more work to be done to eliminate the issue. We also recognise that the term Modern Slavery encompasses many different forms and therefore we have taken the necessary steps to ensure we are targeting all types.
1. Organisational Structure
With over 20 years in the industrial power tool market Evolution Power Tools has established a well-earned reputation and are recognised worldwide as a market leader within the steel and fabrication industry. Evolution Power Tools comprises of a head office in Sheffield, (UK) with adjacent offices and distribution centres in Davenport, (US), Bordeaux, (France), Shanghai, (China) and a distribution network spanning a further 30 countries worldwide. Our innovative tools are designed in the UK and are manufactured with our strategic partners in China.
2. Slavery & Human Trafficking Policies
Although Evolution Power Tools does not hold a single Modern Slavery policy, our other corporate policies do encompass aspects of ensuring all employees and supply chain colleagues are treated fairly. Our Ethical Trading and Human Resources Rights policy outlines the responsibilities of the organisation, our colleagues and supply chain. This policy, as well as our Whistleblowing policy states the necessary steps that anyone within the organisation can take to raise awareness to any unlawful acts or forms of modern slavery. These policies are reviewed annually, signed by the Board of Directors and are issued to all current and future employees.
The Global Index Report 2018, highlights Asia and the Pacific as the second highest risk area for acts of modern slavery across the world. They estimate, that in 2016, over 24.9 million people were living in some form of modern slavery, in this region. Although, in terms of prevalence per population, China is ranked reasonably low amongst other countries in the region, it is clear that this is where we should focus our attention as an organisation.
4. Due Diligence
Having established the higher areas of risk, it is important that we conduct due diligence within our supply chain and operations to understand any instances of modern slavery, and whether there are sufficient controls in place. It is a requirement that all of our current and future suppliers, undertake due diligence checks prior to agreeing a contract and on a biennial basis. This is in the form of ethical audits conducted by recognised third parties on the behalf of Evolution Power Tools. Through vendor assessment questionnaire, site visits and individual and group employee interviews, these audits measure the manufacturer based on certain ethical principles. These include but are not limited to, fair remuneration, decent working hours, occupational health & safety, child labour and business ethics. If any Modern Slavery practices are identified, appropriate investigative and remedial actions are taken, with audits conducted on a more regular occurrence to ensure improvements have been instated.
From the results of our research, it has become clear that training and raising awareness of Modern Slavery amongst our colleagues should become a key focus in 2020 and beyond. Therefore, we have decided to include a training module on this subject to our annual, mandatory employee training programme. This will have the benefit of not only raising awareness of the issue but also ensuring our colleagues are equipped with the knowledge of how to identify and inform the relevant people of any instances of modern slavery.
We understand that Modern Slavery is an ongoing issue, therefore we will be measuring our effectiveness in reducing the risk within our organisation and supply chain on a regular basis. This will be via, ensuring all employees have completed their Modern Slavery training, and ethical audits are completed in our manufacturing partners factories, then working with them to implement necessary control measures.
The Chief Executive Officer has lead responsibility for the implementation of our ethical standards within Evolution, but it is the responsibility of all Evolution employees to adhere to and uphold our stated ethical standards, policies and procedures.
Signed for and on behalf of the Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer
Evolution Power Tools Ltd.