Vesuvius plc is a public limited company, listed on the London Stock Exchange, and a constituent of the FTSE 250 index. Vesuvius develops and manufactures high-technology products and solutions for supply to the steel and casting industries under the brand names Vesuvius and Foseco. Vesuvius has a global presence with operations in 37 countries delivering cost competitive products and time efficient service. Vesuvius has 88 sales offices, 66 production sites and places industry experts at many customer locations. Vesuvius’ business is operated through 2 divisions – Steel and Foundry – with the Steel Division organised around three product lines – Steel Flow Control, Advanced Refractories and Digital Services.
Vesuvius is committed to protecting the health and safety of our employees, customers, suppliers, contractors, visitors and others affected by our operations. We do not condone Slavery or Human Trafficking. We will never knowingly engage in these activities in our own business, and will not tolerate them if we find them within our supply chain. Vesuvius’ Code of Conduct expressly prohibits forced or child labour in our operations. This is supported by our Human Rights Policy which reflects the principles contained within the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organisation’s Fundamental Conventions on Labour Standards and the United Nations Global Compact.
Vesuvius sources raw materials, other tradeable goods and ancillary supplies for our manufacturing processes on a global, regional and site-specific basis. Vesuvius’ Group Vice President Procurement is responsible for purchasing identified groups of major raw materials used across the Group, together with the procurement of logistics. Individuals within the Group Purchasing organisation are also responsible for supplier quality and development, procurement intelligence and standardisation of purchasing processes. Raw materials purchasing (predominantly in the form of high quality technical grade treated minerals and chemicals) is our largest purchasing spend, the majority of which is organised, monitored and controlled by Global Category Directors. All purchasing of goods and services not undertaken at the Group level is undertaken in the Business Units, being sourced from global and local suppliers.
Our supplier assessment programme is under constant development, and we engage with suppliers on their business practices to ensure security of supply to Vesuvius. This process is evolving, and is being integrated with the work we are doing to develop competencies to recognise the identifiers of modern slavery. The Supplier requirements manual has been updated to integrate modern slavery and human rights requirements. At present we do not integrate human rights due diligence into our supplier assessment. However, we are focusing our existing supplier qualification process, currently used for quality and safety reviews, to integrate a process that targets modern slavery concerns.
We continue to encourage our staff members to remain vigilant to potential modern slavery and human trafficking abuses and escalate any concerns they may have with respect to these issues. Employees can report their concerns to management or through the independent ‘Speak up’ helpline, where reports are reviewed and investigated independently. We will continue to seek improvements in our knowledge and remain vigilant to potential areas of heightened risk and investigate concerns raised. Where issues are highlighted through business channels these are required to be escalated to senior management for review and resolution. As with all incident reporting, individuals who raise concerns on modern slavery in good faith will never be the target of retaliation.
We have conducted a risk assessment of our purchasing activities seeking to identify, by location and industry, where the potential risks of modern slavery are highest. This increased our understanding of the likelihood for potential risks within the supply chains for our business, and assisted us in strengthening our oversight and procedures during the past financial year. Our risk assessment identified 4 industries that pose a higher risk of Modern Slavery for Vesuvius;
- Mining and Extractive industries (raw materials)
- Textiles (PPE & work clothing)
- Transport and packaging
- Maintenance, cleaning, agricultural work and food preparation
Our modern slavery risk assessment is revisited annually to update for business changes and include input from across our business.
A modern slavery training programme was previously launched to raise our senior purchasing staff members’ awareness of the issues, brief them on the different types of human rights abuses, higher risk industries for Vesuvius and providing them with information to assist them in identifying the warning signs of slavery and human trafficking. During 2017 an online training course was developed and rolled out to supplement the previous modern slavery awareness training. Supplier facing staff were enrolled into the online training which covered Vesuvius’ policies on human rights, industry sector risks, key warning signs, ‘red flags’, supplier on-boarding protocols and instructions on how to escalate concerns.
In 2017, as we continued to develop our approach to the management of this risk, we identified various further actions to be undertaken by the company. These include a review of our standard supplier contracting terms and the inclusion of MSA and other ethical standards in our supplier accreditation scheme. We will also continue to review, refine and assess the effectiveness of our Modern Slavery risk assessment. We are commencing work in 2018 on these issues.
This statement was reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors of Vesuvius plc on 9 May 2018 and signed on its behalf by:
John McDonough CBE (Chairman)