The mission of Quadram Institute Bioscience is to understand how food and the gut microbiota are linked to the promotion of health and the prevention of disease, with an emphasis on diet- and age-associated diseases. We use this knowledge to develop evidence-based strategies to maximise positive impacts of food on health, from early life to the extension of a healthy lifespan in old age, and reduce the economic and societal costs of chronic diseases.
As a world-class research institute, it is our responsibility to ensure that our research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards. We provide a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers.
QIB staff recruitment policies ensure that employees are legally entitled to work in UK with the necessary and appropriate checks undertaken. Staff undertake mandatory training in equality and diversity to safeguard employees from abuse. QIB also maintains a whistleblowing policy which is clear and easily accessible to staff.
As a registered charity, QIB has a responsibility to ensure that the funds it disperses are properly spent, in accordance with the law, funder requirements and in the public interest. We support the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and we are committed to carrying out procurement activities in an environmentally, socially, ethically and economically responsible manner.
Our supply chains fall mainly under five ‘super-categories’, which are:
Laboratory Consumables and Equipment
ICT Equipment and Services
Estates Goods and Services
The principal categories deemed as carrying material risks with respect to Modern Slavery are laboratory consumables, ICT equipment and some estates services, such as cleaning and security services. A significant amount of our procurement is undertaken through our membership of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC), a non-profit professional buying organisation owned by its Members. LUPC is a leader in promoting respect for human rights in public supply chains and is committed to supporting the UK Government’s National Action Plan, to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. LUPC has focused on these highest risk categories by running pilot due diligence projects in laboratory gloves, cleaning services and security services, and by maintaining its affiliation to monitoring organisation Electronics Watch.
In line with Home Office guidance, we aim to make progress over a period of time across a broad range of potential exposures. During the financial year ended 31 March 2020 we have:
Added ‘Responsible Procurement’ award criteria in our tender documents which includes identifying, preventing and mitigating the risks of human rights abuse in the supply chain;
Amended our Supplier Approval form for any new suppliers to include compliance to the Modern Slavery Act;
Contacted our top 100 suppliers to ensure their compliance with the Modern Slavery Act statement which will be reviewed on an annual basis;
Revised our processes for identifying potential suppliers to the institute and ensured that there is clear guidance to all those who engage suppliers regarding modern slavery.
During the financial year ended 31 March 2021 we will:
Continue to improve awareness of staff of the Modern Slavery Act and its impact on businesses, supported by an eLearning suite from LUPC, available on our Intranet’s purchasing pages:
Ensure that any new suppliers are compliant with the Modern Slavery Act and where applicable collate this information for reference;
Continue to monitor existing suppliers to ensure their compliance;
Continue to review our agreements to ensure that obligations to comply with the Modern Slavery Act are included where appropriate and to ensure that due-diligence is in place to mitigate any risk.
This statement has been approved and published by the Chair of the Board of Trustees and will be reviewed at least annually.
Chair of the Board of Trustees, 14 May 2020.
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