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How Asaleo Care uses Sedex to assess procurement risk and comply with the Modern Slavery Act

Asaleo Care is a leading personal care and hygiene company that manufactures, markets, distributes and sells personal care and hygiene products including market-leading brands Libra, TENA and Tork.

The origins of many of Asaleo Care’s products begin in a forest. They rely on sustainable sources of pulp and pulp-based products, and place a high priority on the fibre supply chain as this is where they expect to have the greatest influence and impact.

Asaleo Care works to reduce potential human rights and modern slavery risks in their fibre supply chain through their Responsible Forestry Program, and by making certified products available to customers. Asaleo Care uses Sedex to embed support for human rights in its procurement processes and supply chains and to enable focus on identifying and addressing modern slavery risks.

Why Asaleo Care joined Sedex

Asaleo Care has been a member of Sedex since listing on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2014. Asaleo Care has a long association with supporting ethical forestry and felt this was the natural next step to address ethical sourcing across their entire supply chain.

The challenges Asaleo Care were facing

Asaleo Care wanted to be able to identify and target the sections of their supply chain that embodied the highest sustainability risk and where it had greatest influence. It was looking for a solution that was intelligent and resource efficient, both for the organisation and its suppliers. Sedex’s already established tools and systems meant it could begin immediately.

The 2018 Modern Slavery Act is now effective in Australia, requiring businesses with an annual revenue of more than $100 million AUD to produce a statement about how they are addressing modern slavery in their supply chain. Beginning its responsible sourcing program in 2014 has given Asaleo Care a good foundation to develop its first preliminary modern slavery statement (for 2019) ahead of the legislated reporting period in Australia.

Being a Sedex member helps Asaleo Care increase visibility of its supply chains and refine its risk assessment process to have a greater focus on potential modern slavery risk indicators. Sedex’s supplier SAQs and SMETA Audits have helped Asaleo Care screen suppliers’ management systems, employment conditions and other criteria to help ensure ethical and sustainable fibre supply chains.

Using risk assessment tools have helped to analyse Asaleo Care’s supplier chain more efficiently

The risk assessment tool and reports have evolved significantly since 2014, and Asaleo Care has built its responsible sourcing program around them. Asaleo Care set its own assessment protocols and tolerances for risk and audit validity, but the tools help to sort through the large quantities of data, so its  team was able to focus on working with the suppliers with the greatest need for improvement. Sedex’s operational guidance on forced labour and modern slavery indicators, in particular, has assisted Asaleo Care in preparing its preliminary modern slavery report.

Strengthening Asaleo Care’s relationships with its customers through membership

With the commencement of the first Modern Slavery regulatory reporting period in Australia, Asaleo Care has been speaking with customers about their own challenges in this area.

Since 2015, the coverage of Asaleo Care’s responsible sourcing program has increased from 89 active suppliers, which represented 46% of their total procurement spend, to 121 active suppliers, representing 58% of the total procurement spend.