Cambridge University Press & Assessment is committed to acting ethically and with integrity, and does not tolerate any form of modern slavery or human trafficking. As part of our commitment, we uphold the standards set out in the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 legislation, by implementing systems and controls to ensure that modern slavery is not taking place anywhere within our organisation, or in any of our supply chains. This statement, made in accordance with section 54 of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015, summarises our current approach and sets out the further action we plan to take in the coming year in our business and our supply chains.
This, our seventh modern slavery statement, is made in accordance with section 54 of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015, for the financial year from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022.
We help millions of people worldwide unlock their potential. Our qualifications, assessments, learning and educational materials, academic publications and original research spread knowledge, spark curiosity and aid understanding around the world. We exist to further the mission of the University of Cambridge: to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.
We became Cambridge University Press & Assessment on 1 August 2021, bringing Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press together as one organisation. Our two founding organisations have a long-entwined history, starting when the Press first printed exam papers for Cambridge Assessment in the 19th Century to today’s world-spanning collaboration supporting the future of teaching, learning, assessment, and research.
Our global team is made up of 6100 colleagues in 50 offices worldwide, over 3000 of whom are based in our Cambridge campus in the United Kingdom; over 300 in our wider UK offices and operational facilities and over 2000 colleagues internationally. To find out more about what we do and our mission, please visit www.cambridge.org/what-we-do
We are committed to carrying out our business sustainably, lawfully, ethically and with integrity – no matter where in the world we operate. This philosophy of fairness and integrity runs through everything we do, and as an active United Nations Global Compact participant, we are committed to the delivery of our goals in alignment with the ten compact principles on human rights, environment, labour and anti-corruption. We integrate our values of responsibility, collaboration, innovation and empowerment in the way we work together, both in teams and as individuals.
We have a number of policies in place to further our commitment to combat modern slavery and human trafficking. This includes:
- Our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy which outlines our zero-tolerance to all modern forms of slavery and human trafficking, and reflects our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all of our business relationships.
- Our Code of Ethics, which is updated annually, provides guidance on the standards of behaviour to which all our employees must adhere. The Code of Ethics reflects our commitment to implement systems and controls that ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere within our organisation or in any of our supply chains. It also states our requirement for relevant third parties to hold themselves and their own relevant suppliers to the same high standards. Cambridge employees are required to certify that they have read and understood the Code of Ethics on an annual basis.
- Our Third Party Code of Conduct outlines the minimum standard of behaviour we expect from all our third parties (including agents, assessment specialists, contractors, distributors, joint venture partners, and suppliers), and is available online as well as being provided to third parties prior to conducting business with them. The Third Party Code of Conduct strictly prohibits the use of modern slavery and human trafficking and reconfirms our Code of Ethics requirement for relevant third parties to hold themselves and their own relevant suppliers to the same high standards.
- Our Speak Up Policy outlines our commitment to making it possible for employees with serious concerns regarding any aspect of their work, the conduct of others, or the running of our organisation, to report such concerns in confidence. It includes specific reference to concerns relating to modern slavery and human trafficking.
- Our Speak Up Portal builds further on the commitment contained within the Speak Up Policy by providing not only our employees, but our authors, customers and other third parties with a clear procedure for addressing any concerns, including those relating to modern slavery and human trafficking.
- Our Global Procurement Policy is designed to work with our supply partners and their extended supply chains to minimise negative impacts from trading activities on the environment and local communities. To further the commitments made within the Global Procurement Policy, we have signed up to the most widely recognised industry standards for labour conditions, environmental impact and chemical safety. We also recognise the importance of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Our supply chain
Our product supply chains are extensive and global, with suppliers in over 80 countries. We currently operate 14 warehouses worldwide, which are managed either directly by Cambridge or by third party logistics providers. The principal activities included in our supply chain are as follows:
- Procurement of goods and services related to production of printed learning and educational materials
- Procurement of goods and services related to the production of printed assessment materials
- Procurement of goods and services not related to the production of learning and educational materials and/or assessment materials
- Production of items ancillary to the production of printed materials including, in particular, toys and textiles accompanying certain educational resources
- Production of digital materials and platforms
Assessment of modern slavery risk within our supply chain
Following review of the principal activities included in our supply chain, we have determined that there are six main activities our third parties undertake which could pose a potential risk from a modern slavery and human trafficking perspective:
- Digital editing and typesetting
- Production of items ancillary to the production of printed materials (toys and textiles)
- Production of printed materials
- Supply of electronic devices to the Press
- Production of printed materials
Assessment of modern slavery risk within our supply chain
In 2016 Cambridge University Press completed a detailed analysis of the global third party community which was made up of many thousands of suppliers and distributors. Work is currently underway to complete a similar analysis of the global third party community that supports our newly merged organisation.
This financial year we have systematically mapped our supply chain to better understand areas of risk for modern slavery. We have audited 25 percent of our top spend organisations to the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) standard using the Sedex mapping tool. Sedex is an ethical trade membership organisation that provides an online platform for businesses to manage and improve working conditions within global supply chains. Data on where child labour, modern slavery, human rights and working hours violations are at risk of occurring now directly contribute to how we source, negotiate, and contract our suppliers. In the next 12 months, we aim to map a further 25 percent of our top spend supply chain.
Due diligence processes
We have a comprehensive due diligence programme designed to help us understand if there is evidence of modern slavery and human trafficking within our supply chain; part of this programme also includes ensuring there are sufficient controls in place to prevent it. The steps we currently take to assess modern slavery risk are completed as part of our third party due diligence process. All new third party relationships and any existing third party relationships being reviewed are subject to the following:
- Questioning around compliance with international labour law to include specific questions about modern forms of slavery and trafficked labour to help us understand:
- The processes our third parties have in place to ensure modern slavery and human trafficking does not exist within their own operations as well as in their supply chain
- If they have training programmes in place to ensure their employees are trained to understand ethical concerns and risks in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking
- If they have discovered instances of modern slavery or human trafficking within their own organisation, or their supply chain, and, if so, what steps they have taken to ensure the concerns were addressed
- Contractual terms to include anti-modern slavery provisions
- Signing up to our Third Party Code of Conduct thereby requiring them to agree to act in accordance with it, including the modern slavery provisions
As an active participant in the Book Chain Project, a collaborative effort in the publishing industry to promote a responsible supply chain, we have access to additional information that we use in our due diligence review processes. The Book Chain Project consists of three modules; forest sourcing, chemicals and materials, and labour and environment. The labour and environment module allows us to ensure that our suppliers who have signed up to the project meet recognised standards for labour and environmental practice. Engaging with the Book Chain Project allows suppliers to share their audit findings with multiple publishers easily; we regularly monitor information uploaded into the labour and environment database to ensure any new information is reviewed and acted upon where necessary. Additionally in 2021, we became a member of Sedex. By utilising the Sedex online platform, we have further enhanced our ability to source responsibly by mapping our supply chain, and gaining access to ethical and social performance audits and metrics that guide our decision making.
To raise awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking risks in our supply chain and our business we provide training to all our employees. Our anti-trafficked labour training programme combines online training for all employees, with face-to-face training for those in senior or front-line roles, such as procurement specialists, and employees within our operations and supply chain teams. Our online training course helps to ensure that all employees are aware of our regulatory obligations, and are able to identify any issues relating to modern slavery and human trafficking and raise them appropriately so that any concerns can be addressed.
All new employees are required to complete the online anti-trafficked labour training course within one month of starting work, as part of their on-boarding process. This process also includes annually certifying that they agree to abide by the Code of Ethics and provides employees with information about how they can ask questions and raise any concerns.
Measuring effectiveness - key performance indicators
We have committed to reviewing our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy annually and more frequently if circumstances require it. To help measure compliance and the effectiveness of the policy and, through that, our progress in preventing modern slavery and human trafficking from taking place in our business and supply chains, we use a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor the numbers of:
- Employees signed up to or re-signed up to our Code of Ethics
- Employees and third parties who have completed training
- Risk assessments of third parties carried out
- Due diligence processes completed
This statement is made by Cambridge University Press & Assessment, a department of the University of Cambridge, and has been approved by the organisation’s Executive Board. It is a statement made in accordance with section 54 of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and covers the financial year from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022.
This statement, which is updated annually, is also available as a PDF: statement on anti-slavery and human trafficking