The ICE is a professional membership body and registered charity for civil engineers. At 31 December 2020 membership stood at just under 93,000. 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 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, it has a trading subsidiary Thomas Telford Ltd which operates in the fields of publishing, training, recruitment and venue management and hospitality. 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 300 employees in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Dubai.
Our supply chains
Our supply chains include IT services, publishing and printing services, catering staff and supplies, travel and accommodation, training providers and consultants, building maintenance, professional services, and marketing and PR services.
What we have done
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 were considered, with the www.globalslaveryindex.org ratings being used to classify the country risk as low, medium or high. Most of our overseas engagements were with legal and professional firms and deemed to be low risk. Other services based abroad included long standing relationships for IT support and office rentals. It is acknowledged that these may present higher risk which are considered when managing the supplier relationship.
A “new supplier form” was implemented in 2020 which requires new suppliers to supply copies of their modern slavery policy along with policies for other areas including anti bribery and corruption. We also sent this form to approximately 300 of our largest suppliers, representing some 80% of our supplier turnover in 2020. Suppliers are required to return the completed form in order to continue providing goods or services to the ICE or TTL.
In a year without COVID restrictions the group spends a significant amount of travel and accommodation in support of its global activities. 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 encourage all staff to report any unethical practices without fear of reprisal.
What we will do
As activity resumes post COVID lockdown we will keep the supply chains under review. We will draft an initial supplier code of conduct incorporating issues including bribery and corruption, modern slavery and data protection and seek to embed this throughout our supply chain in addition to our new supplier form.
Alongside this process we will ensure that staff are briefed as to the importance of ensuring that new suppliers are operating to the highest standards in this regard. We will consider what would be the appropriate method of training for staff involved in procurement.
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.
- This statement constitutes the second annual statement of the ICE in relation to the Modern Slavery Act and relates to the financial year ending 31 December 2020. It was approved by the Trustee Board on 23 March 2021