Getty images 530289239 modern slavery
This statement is made pursuant to Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending July 2023. 


Modern slavery takes many forms including slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour, child exploitation and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person's liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain. 
This is now our sixth successive annual statement and the University of Plymouth remains committed to continually improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking, protecting and respecting human rights.

Our structure

The University of Plymouth is renowned for high quality, internationally leading education, research and innovation. We make a positive difference to people’s lives. With a truly global outlook, we are an inclusive and inspiring university community. 
The University's structure includes six subsidiary companies. The Group is made up of; Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC (PDSE), PDSE Limited (PDSEL), PMS (Facilities) Plymouth Limited, (PMSF), University Commercial Services Plymouth Limited (UCSP), University of Plymouth Enterprise Limited (UPEL) and University of Plymouth Services Limited (UPSL)

Our policy on slavery and human trafficking

In pursuit of Our Mission the University procures a truly diverse range of goods, services and works. 
We recognise that it is possible for instances of modern slavery to occur in any supply chain, therefore we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity and will not tolerate modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains.
We evidence this our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity through a number of policies including;
The tendering undertaken by the University uses our terms and conditions and the supplier on-boarding processes, both of which support our anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking values, to ensure the potential for Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking are duly considered at the early stages of the contracting cycle.  


We promote resources and increase awareness to our staff through our internal Procurement SharePoint pages. This includes access to e-learning modules on the following topics;
  • Guide to Modern Slavery
  • Protecting Human Rights in the Supply Chain.
We also promote externally available resources to staff such as the UK Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline (Unseen).

Our supply chains 

The University of Plymouth's supply chains are truly diverse, with over 2,000 suppliers (domestic and international) supporting our delivery of high-quality teaching and research.  
All suppliers are assigned a commodity code helping to identify those who trade in commodities where potential for Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking is a higher risk. This insight is used to inform our sourcing activity. 
The highest risk commodities areas have been identified as;
  • Audio-Visual, IT & Multimedia Supplies; 
  • Catering Supplies & Services; 
  • Furniture, Furnishings & textiles; 
  • Janitorial & Domestic Supplies & Services;
  • Professional & Bought-in Services including consultancy;
  • Travel & Transport (incl. Vehicle hire & Subsistence);
  • Estates & Buildings.

What have we done in 2022/23

In October 2022 we raised awareness of Anti-Slavery Week, culminating with Anti-Slavery day on the 18 October. Internal communications to staff were used to increase awareness and visibility along with a dedicated SharePoint site that was published with a thought-provoking quiz.
In order to make clear our commitment to responsible sourcing the Procurement team renewed the CIPS Corporate Ethics Mark, honing their skills and knowledge of ethical procurement and sustainable supply chains.
A review of the guidance set out in British Standard (BS) 25700:2022 (Organizational responses to modern slavery) has been completed. This has resulted in the development of a framework, which establishes a 24-month rolling action plan. The action plan will be used to bring together areas across the University through a dedicated working group, expanding upon and further embedding a culture of continuous improvement in the eradication of modern slavery.
A gap analysis of the University’s adherence to ISO 20400 guidance (Sustainable Procurement) highlighted a requirement to review and learn from contracts. One example of this has been evidenced by our response to plans to increase our solar PV provisions across the campus. In recognition of the risk of forced labour being present in some associated supply chains, a joint piece of due diligence work between members of the Sustainability and Procurement Teams resulted in a published statement of preference for certain manufacturers. The statement makes clear that the manufacturers do not represent an exhaustive list, however other proposed manufacturers not listed that are surfaced during associated bidding activity by suppliers, will require the same analysis and due diligence prior to consideration by the University on solar PV projects. Due to technology changes the statement will be reviewed annually in line with the University's Financial Year.
University Commercial Services Plymouth Limited (UCSP) are on track for achieving Fairtrade re-accreditation during 2023/24. In 2022/23 engagement across the University community has been a major area of focus. By promoting Fairtrade we support producers in achieving better prices, improving working conditions, championing sustainability, and ensuring fair terms of trade for farmers and workers around the world, but particularly in lower income countries. Follow our progress at Fairtrade at the University of Plymouth.
We continue to recognise those supply chains that represent a risk of modern slavery, human trafficking, forced and bonded labour, and labour rights violations. We have not identified any such activity, however if the University does identify instances of modern slavery in its supply chain, relevant action will be taken, including informing the police. Pending a full review, if we were unable to influence a positive change, this will result in terminating the associated contract.

What we are going to do in the future

The challenge of modern slavery and human trafficking is one that is best addressed through the ongoing and proactive engagement with suppliers, members of the UK Universities Purchasing Consortia (UKUPC) and wider professional networks such as HEPA (Higher Education Procurement Association), through which the sharing of experience will establish and maintain best practice.
During the Financial year ending 31 July 2024 we are;
  • Progressing the actions that follow on from the review of British Standard (BS) 25700:2022 (Organizational responses to modern slavery). 
  • Continuing the journey of increasing internal awareness of modern slavery risks by supporting and promoting Anti Slavery Week. Activity will include sharing with staff statistics on the scale of the issue and running internal communication campaigns up to and beyond Anti Slavery Day.