LUPC has undertaken its first audit of a factory involved in manufacturing nitrile gloves purchased by Members, both in the UK university sector and beyond.
The audit took place on Monday 1st October at a factory contracted by Shield Scientific in Port Klang Malaysia. LUPC’s Senior Contracts Manager, Darran Whatley, category manager for Laboratories purchasing, shadowed the Asia Inspection audit company on site, to review and risk assess factory working conditions for labour violations or human rights abuses. The standard employed was SMETA version 6.0 pillar 2 .
LUPC conducted the audit with full access and support from factory management, gloves manufacturer SHIELD Scientific and gloves suppliers to the UK market, including Appleton Woods and Scientific Laboratory Suppliers on the consortia framework. All partners see the importance of understanding and auditing conditions of workers involved in the manufacture of gloves destined for the UK public sector’s research and healthcare supply chains.
LUPC will be working collaboratively to review the final auditor’s report, and implement any necessary actions.
The social factory audit is the first to be conducted by LUPC and its partners; following publication of the final report, LUPC will share findings and best practice learnt with Members, with the aim of applying this to other commodities in the future.
LUPC’s Darran Whatley said: “It was vitally important to experience this activity, to see a snapshot of time in the life of a production worker and their environment. It is also an essential due diligence activity.”
LUPC’s Acting Director Don Bowman said: “For several years, LUPC has committed to purchasing goods and services at best value for Members, without causing harm to others. Our recent factory audit takes this one step further; as a public service consortium we think it’s vital to dig deeper into the perceived risk, inherent in so many of our supply chains, and to work with our suppliers to identify, assess and respond to any labour abuses or human rights violations we find.”
Further information and best practice will be shared with Members in December 2018. For further information contact Darran Whatley, t: 020 7307 2764.