The Institution of Civil Engineers supports the Modern Slavery Act and opposes modern slavery and human trafficking. It is committed to ensuring that such practices have no place within its supply chain or other activities.
The ICE Group is a professional membership body and registered charity for civil engineers. At 31 December 2022 membership stood at 95,460. The ICE was established by Royal Charter and is a registered charity in England and Wales and in Scotland. It supports its members and its charitable activities through an extensive network of regional offices, branches, partnerships and agreements of co-operation.
The purpose of the ICE Group is to promote and advance civil engineering around the world. It seeks to lead the global infrastructure debate as well as to provide professionally qualified civil engineers who are then supported in their lifelong learning.
In common with many charities, the ICE Group has a trading subsidiary Thomas Telford Ltd which operates in the fields of publishing, NEC, venue commercial events management/hospitality, training and recruitment. ICE also owns the entire share capital of The Institution of Civil Engineers (Hong Kong) Ltd. ICE has a branch in Dubai and Thomas Telford Limited has a branch in Hong Kong.
Across our group we have over 330 employees, based in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Dubai.
Our supply chains include IT services, publishing and printing services, catering staff and supplies, travel and accommodation, training providers and consultants, building maintenance & cleaning, professional services, marketing and PR services.
We have reviewed and keep under review the risks our supply chains may present with a particular focus on those suppliers with which ICE has had the largest expenditure. Many of the UK based suppliers are small consultancies or owner managed businesses within the publishing field and suppliers deemed to have a low risk with regard to modern slavery.
Overseas based suppliers have been considered, with the www.globalslaveryindex.org ratings being used to classify the country risk as low, medium or high. Most of our overseas engagements are with legal and professional firms and deemed to be low risk. Other services based abroad include longstanding relationships for IT support and office rentals. It is acknowledged that these may present higher risk, which are considered when managing the supplier relationship.
We introduced a supplier code of conduct in 2021. The code of conduct sets out expected standards of policy and behavior in respect of forced and child labour, fair treatment of employees and adherence to local wage and employment practice regulations. The code also sets out additional standards in respect of any bribery and corruption, data protection, avoidance of tax evasion and other ethical standards. All new suppliers are expected to sign up to the code of conduct as a prerequisite of being accepted as a supplier of the group or provide evidence that they have their own policies in place, that are at least equivalent to the ICE standards.
The form has also been rolled out across existing suppliers, as contracts are renewed. During each payment run, we check that suppliers who are being paid, have confirmed to us their adherence to our standards on modern slavery and we aim to reach around 98% coverage of our supply chain by the end of 2023. At the end of 2022, coverage was 93% of supplier turnover.
Travel and Accommodation
Post-Covid lockdown restrictions, board, committee and staff members continue to work on a hybrid/flexible basis. Travel and accommodation costs are kept at modest levels, by running various meetings and events on a virtual basis. We have a travel portal from one consolidator, through which most of the travel is booked. We have obtained and reviewed their modern slavery policy and sought reassurance around their procedures, to ensure that hotels offered through the site were held accountable for their practices around staffing and their supply chain.
ICE operates processes to ensure that all employees are eligible to work in the jurisdiction in which they are employed, thereby helping to safeguard against human trafficking, or individuals being forced to work against their will.
Our whistleblowing policies also encourage all staff to report any unethical practices, without fear of reprisal.
We will keep our supply chains under review, ensuring that all new suppliers and any suppliers not used since the start of pandemic restrictions, are provided with, and sign up to, our supplier code of conduct. As stated above we hope to have 98% coverage by the end of 2023.
We will undertake a modern slavery risk assessment of any significant new markets in which the group seeks to operate, or engage with suppliers. Growth of the NEC division within TTL is likely to be the prime concern in this regard.
We will continue to embed awareness of the Modern Slavery Act through the use of appropriate staff training courses, which also form a specific part of our onboarding process for new starters.
The ICE recognises the need to continually review and assess the risks of slavery or human trafficking. We accept that there may be gaps in the visibility of supply chains and limitations in the tools used to identify risks and that addressing these is a complex task.
ICE will retain focus on the issue of modern slavery and continue its journey to develop and maintain an effective framework to eliminate such practices from our supply chain.
The above statement constitutes the fourth annual statement of the ICE in relation to the Modern Slavery Act and relates to the financial year ending 31 December 2022.
The statement was approved by the ICE Trustee Board on 28 March 2023.