50 GOVERNANCE | LEGAL SECTOR SUSTAINABILITY INSIGHT 2018 SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT A significant portion of an organisation’s sustainability impact is often hidden in the goods and services that are inputs to its business. Examining the social and environmental impacts of the associated goods and services that law firms use to provide their own services helps to determine their true impacts. It also allows sourcing and purchasing considerations to be made that improve these impacts and signal to suppliers the need to drive changes in their own businesses. The sustainability aspects of a law firm’s inputs are sometimes very visible and relatively simple to record, for example electricity or paper use but in other cases, these impacts are much less transparent, for example illegal or unfair labour practices or the impacts of raw materials extraction. Sustainable Supply Chain Management A sustainable supply chain management program involves setting standards to improve the sustainability impacts related to the products we use. Procurement Managers then actively seek information from new and existing suppliers to assess if these standards are being met. Improving the impacts from procurement can require the identification of alternative products such as changing to renewable electricity from coal fired generation or selecting organic fair-trade coffee, paper produced without using materials from native forests and cleaning products which are not tested on animals. Standards and certifications In Australia information to address the impacts of our different procurement options is available through a series of standards and certifications in many product categories. Generally, these certifications are established and administered by self-governing industry groups or NGOs with representatives from a range of stakeholder groups. Many of these started as environmental certifications but have expanded to include other social and governance issues that also impact on the sustainability impacts of their products. This role is increasingly being assisted by the emergence and improvement of a range of certifications and products. There are hundreds of Eco style certifications in Australia most of which are listed here. Examples that are relevant to law firms include • Forest Products certifications (paper) • Renewable energy certification (electricity) • Carbon offsets certifications (greenhouse mitigation) • Food and drink certifications (catering and client floor services) • Cleaning and building maintained products • Energy efficiency certifications (fleet, ICT equipment office fitouts). Information on sustainable procurement is also becoming more widely available, with the emergence of a range of resources and tools being compiled by NGO’s and business. One example is the Supply Nation, a government endorsed program providing information and a directory to assist organisations to locate indigenous service providers. Modern Slavery According to the Global Modern Slavery Index an estimated 40.3 million men, women, and children were victims of modern slavery on any given day in 2016. Of these, 24.9 million people were in forced labour and 15.4 million people were living in a forced marriage. Women and girls are vastly over-represented, making up seventy-one percent of victims. In the past five years, 89 million people experienced some form of modern slavery for periods of time and collectively approximately US$150 billion per year is generated in the global private FORMAL PROGRAM STANDARDS APPLY TO 50% 40% 10% Yes No Not Reported 7% 93% New suppliers only New & existing suppliers