After making a formal public commitment to respect human rights in 2019, KPMG Australia has submitted its inaugural Modern Slavery Statement for FY20.
The Statement takes an honest look at the firm’s current approach and forward commitments to understanding, identifying and addressing the risk of modern slavery in its operations and supply chains.
KPMG Australia CEO, Gary Wingrove said: “Grappling meaningfully with human rights risk is not a straightforward matter for any organisation. Risks tend to reside in value chains, perhaps far away from the day-to-day eyes and control of management.”
“If an organisation like ours wishes to take this challenge seriously it requires rigour, earnestness, and time. It also requires expertise and for that we are grateful for our experienced, dedicated business and human rights consultancy, KPMG Banarra.”
“When KPMG Australia acquired Banarra almost five years ago to the day, it was because we understood the legal, commercial, and ethical risks associated with human rights breaches and social impact. We understood that while the mainstream understanding of human rights risk was rapidly becoming more sophisticated, organisational responses were still largely embryonic. We wanted to help our clients with managing their evolution while simultaneously managing our own.”
Richard Boele, the head of KPMG’s Global Business and Human Rights Network and Partner in Charge of KPMG Banarra, is quietly confident that KPMG’s own journey mirrors a trend sweeping Australia. “What we are seeing here is the mainstreaming of human rights. The Modern Slavery Act has provided the necessary compliance kick to help directors and executives across the country talk and reflect more deeply about the risk of harm to people – some for the first time.”
“We know that over 3000 entities this year will have to report on their risks via a Modern Slavery Statement. That in and of itself is not enough to create change – but KPMG wants to set a positive standard for transparent reporting in this space, and encourage others to think about their impact.”
“While KPMG has not identified any specific instances of modern slavery harm, we have applied a careful methodology to identifying areas in our operations and supply chain where the risk factors of modern slavery may potentially exist. Our Statement reports our foundational work this past year, and sets a baseline for us to mature our response,” said Richard Boele.
KPMG Australia’s Modern Slavery Statement FY20 reports:
- No specific instances of modern slavery harm have been identified.
- The identification of potential risk areas in its operations and supply chain including offshore vendors, contigent workforce and managed services, overseas operations, clients, facilities management and hospitality services.
- Appropriate systems and controls are being put into place to assess modern slavery risks and integrate those findings to manage them effectively. In FY20 these measures included conducting a baseline diagnostic assessment, making a human rights commitment, implementing modern slavery risk management systems and controls across its operations and supply chain, and improving avenues for receiving grievances.
- A cross-functional human rights working group has been established, co-chaired by the firm’s Chief Operations Officer and Chief Risk Officer.
KPMG Australia Chairman, Alison Kitchen added: “KPMG Australia will continue to recognise respecting human rights as a core element of doing business. We are practically implementing respect for human rights and are committed to the long-term change we can all make if we prevent modern slavery.”