Business and Human Rights: Hardscape Ethical Trade Practice

 

Human rights are fundamental principles which allow an individual to lead a dignified & independent life, free from abuse or violations.

As a business we will not tolerate, nor will we condone, abuse of human rights within any part of our business or our supply chains, and we will take seriously any allegations that human rights are not properly respected.

Worker rights are a group of legal rights and claimed human rights having to do with labour rights between a workforce and their employers, usually obtained under labour and employment law to ensure a worker can labour free from exploitation & discrimination, in conditions of freedom, equity and security.

As a business we respect workers and we will not condone abuse of workers within any part of our business or our supply chains, and we will take seriously any allegations that worker rights are not properly respected.

Globally, the model for Corporate Companies to demonstrate the practice of Business and Human Rights is outlined within the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.

Throughout Hardscape’s entire supply chain we have adapted the Protect-Respect-Remedy framework.

In the UK specifically, HM Government recognises certain process models as good practice, for example membership of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), Anti-Slavery-International (ASI) and Gangmasters Liscensing Labour Authority (GLLA) as modus-operandi for a UK Corporate Company to demonstrate that they trade ethically.

In addition, the UN also recognises the processes of these oversight bodies / NGOs for Business and Human Rights evolution.

Hardscape have graduated to Achiever Status ranking within the ETI.

There are 3 internal graduation categories within the full membership category of ETI and these are Improver, Achiever and Leader. Being at achiever ranking means that a 3rd party ethical audit for the purpose of Business and Human Rights compliance has taken place by our supplier. In addition 2nd party and subsequent semi-announced or announced audits have further taken place over the years of Trade with any non-compliance documented and on-going due diligence taking place regularly when Hardscape staff are on site. It is a reality that representatives of FCO Human Rights along with representatives of the Directorate of ETI have previously visited sites within our supply chain.

Hardscape are deemed to be achieving, within our remit against Country issues, what is necessary to deliver the recognised processes of ETI which are outlined in the Base Code here.

The Modern Slavery Act became UK Corporate Law in October 2015, Hardscape meet the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act and our public statement is lodged with the Modern Slavery Registrar here.

In the specific of China, Hardscape work within the guidelines set for a UK Company trading overseas, and within the established parameters for foreign Corporates in China. As such, Hardscape follow the direction given by UK FCO in Beijing, and this involves collective collaborative work with DFID, FCO Human Rights and the ETI in that country.

Our Manager in China has completed the ETI Training course and is working under direction to roll out the Base Code principles in a programmed way.

You can also read further on the collaborative work Hardscape have participated within China here:

  1. Awareness raising training: Click
  2. Research and development of guidance materials on different prioritised topics: Click
  3. Capacity-building of Chinese suppliers in partnership with ILO: Click / Click

In addition Hardscape work via the FCO Human Rights programme in the Rajasthan Sandstone Working Group of ETI. More information is here.

Hardscape, are wholly working within the recognised processes of the UN and the UK Government to trade ethically, and are recognised by Government, Trade Unions, NGOs and other Corporates for doing same. Hardscape are considered an Ethical Brand.

Our Head of Global Supply Chain, Glenn Bradley, is recognised as an Ethical Trade Pioneer in the field of Business and Human Rights. Glenn  is presently the Chair of the Irish Business and Human Rights Forum. The Business and Human Rights Forum was established in 2015 to explain how labour and human rights are relevant to business, share information & promote good practice.

The mission of the Forum is to ensure that the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights is translated to business-easy language accessible to all. In addition the Forum provides input and direction to the National Action Plans of both the UK and Irish Governments regarding Business and Human Rights.

Queens University School of Business Management recently completed and interview with Louise Nicholls Corporate Head of Marks & Spencer Supply Chain and our Glenn Bradley and the podcast can be found here.

To diligent Landscape Architects, Architects, Contractors, Engineers and other interested parties to our stone, we affirm that Hardscape are a family heritage company who believe in being a trusted brand. In essence we are your Business and Human Rights diligence and we are your Ethical Trade Pioneers.

Ethical Trade Policy     Modern Slavery Act Statement

Hardscape are committed to: 

  • Ensuring employment is freely chosen
  • Ensuring Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining by our work force is respected
  • Ensuring that working conditions are safe and hygienic
  • Ensuring that Child labour will not be used in our production process
  • Ensuring that living wages are paid
  • Ensuring that working hours are not excessive
  • Ensuring that no discrimination on any grounds is practiced in the workforce
  • Ensuring that regular employment is provided
  • Ensuring that no harsh or inhuman treatment is allowed
  • Working with our supply chain partners to ensure a process of continuous, incremental improvement

 

Verification of Ethical Trade projects & implementation may be secured by contacting ETI Head of Membership or the Dalit Solidarity Network UK or Glenn Bradley, our Head of Global Supply Chain.