Over the last few years, we’ve developed a close relationship with the team at INFORMED 365. This culminated in us working together to deliver the Property Council of Australia’s supplier platform for modern slavery reporting. We spoke to INFORMED 365 CEO, Nicholas Bernhardt, about the the project, the partnership, and what the future looks like for modern slavery action in Australia.
What does Informed365 do, in a nutshell?
Informed 365 has one simple mission: we want to help users see and understand their ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) data. If we can help our clients – from non-profits to global enterprises and governments – to visualise critical data in a meaningful way, we believe it will help them make more informed decisions, and ultimately drive better outcomes.
How did the PCA project come about?
During conversations with some of Australia’s largest property groups, it quickly became apparent that there were huge synergies to be gained, and duplication to be avoided, if companies worked together. A few key partners took the bull by the horns and defined a shared approach, and managed to get others on board with the idea. We were lucky enough to be selected – along with Edge! – as the ones to help them put that vision into practice.
Why did you partner with Edge?
We’re, first and foremost, a technology company. We’re not modern slavery experts! As such, we needed a partner we could work whose skills and knowledge could complement our tech solutions. We had already been in discussion with the Edge team about their work on sustainable procurement and modern slavery for a while when the PCA opportunity came up, and it was the ideal chance to put our ideas into practice. We focussed on designing the IT solution, while Edge led the risk assessment and supplier questionnaire development. It was the perfect match!
What other industries do you see as having potential for collaboration on modern slavery?
It’s an approach that, frankly, could benefit everyone. Whether it’s with us or another company, there’s no doubt that there are benefits to businesses working together. By doing so, they can reduce the cost and administration burdens on suppliers, reduce risk, share knowledge and, perhaps most importantly in the context of Modern Slavery, increase impact.
We’re about to launch two more industry shared applications: one in the health care insurance space, and another covering energy/utilities. But hopefully that’s just the tip of the iceberg. People are increasingly realising that Modern Slavery isn’t about gaining a competitive edge, and that there’s everything to gain by collaborating.
What does Informed365 see as the big focus for year 2 of the Modern Slavery Act?
This year most organisations are focusing on the basics such as data collection, visualisation, and initial staff and supplier engagement. But we’re already seeing progressive organisations moving onto the next step – i.e. delving deeper into risk hotspots that they find and putting in place processes to eliminate modern slavery if and when it is identified in supply chains.
We’re constantly building out and enriching our platform to help clients monitor progress against key metrics, and with so many clients in place we’re in a position to rapidly roll out innovations across our network. It’s a pretty fast-moving space to be working in, so we’re all learning from each other as we go.