Beyond Accounting – Sustainability and Accountants: Breaking the cycle of modern slavery

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Modern slavery is a significant issue worldwide and is pervasive in supply chains. In a time of pressure resulting from rising inflation, supply chain issues, and other spiraling costs, businesses are struggling to keep costs low and find the workers they need. In some cases, this means greater bargaining power for workers; in others, it means greater numbers of people being coerced, heightening the risk of modern slavery. Chartered Accountants need to be aware of this risk and know what to look out for. They also need guidance on how to act.

This talk will address the role of Chartered Accountants in combatting this global problem. It will delve into how accounting, auditing and accountability can help business break this cycle. It will describe how gathering data and building internal awareness about the problem of modern slavery in supply chains allows financial professionals to reassess operational risk and invest in modern slavery reduction. It will also touch on stakeholder demand for action and transparency, and the opportunities for businesses to further align their business with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Finally, it will discuss how Chartered Accountants and their clients or businesses can get ahead of compliance requirements and/or avoid fines, reputational damage and other consequences.

Showcasing the experience of large companies with complex supply chains which have implemented processes to address the problem, this talk will feature Adam Schafer, Director of Supply Chain Sustainability at Intel. It was also feature Caroline Haughey OBE QC, barrister, Furnival Chambers, who prosecuted the very first case brought under the Modern Slavery Act in the UK, and Professor Jan Bebbington, who holds the Rubin Chair in Sustainability in Business and is Director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business.


Subject Matter:

Purpose is to inform Finance professionals about ‘modern slavery’ that is pervasive in supply chains globally. What to consider and how to help address.


Learning objectives:

Finance leaders need to be aware of the existence of ‘modern slavery’ in global supply chains and what to consider when working with businesses that source goods and services globally. Today’s presenters will collectively share a cross section of insights.

By the end of today’s session, attendees will be able to answer the following questions:

  • How pervasive is ‘modern slavery’ in global supply chains
  • How Chartered Accountants can help combat this global problem
  • How stakeholders are demanding greater transparency and accountability
  • How to address compliance requirements



Jan Bebbington

Topic: Sustainable Development

Professor Jan Bebbington is Director of Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business at Lancaster University, UK. Jan qualified as a Chartered Accountant in New Zealand where she also held her first academic post before moving to the UK to pursue her academic career. Jan has focused on research that addresses sustainable development problems in professional accounting practice, in a variety of business and industry settings as well as through policy roles. From 2006-2011 she was Vice Chair (Scotland) of the Sustainable Development Commission (an advisory Non-Departmental Public Body that promoted sustainable development across the UK and all sectors of society, particularly within Government). More recently, she has been part of the science team for the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS) initiative, a science-business collaborative project led by the Stockholm Resilience Centre, which considers interactions with endangered species, illegal fishing, forced labour, climate change mitigation, antibiotic use and plastics in the ocean.

Adam Schafer

Topic: Supply Chain Sustainability
Adam Schafer is Director of Supply Chain Sustainability with Intel’s Global Supply Management organization corporation, overseeing Intel’s Supply Chain Sustainability, Chemical Regulations and Policy, Green material selections, and the company’s “Conflict Free” minerals, & Supply Chain Diversity and Inclusion programs. Within this role, Adam oversees Intel’s Supply Line Sustainability, Supplier Code of Conduct, Human Rights/ Labor policies, Chemical Regulations and Policy, Green material selections, Responsible Minerals, and Supplier Diversity & Inclusion programs. A process engineer in research and development, Adam moved to supply chain management in 2005 and shifted from yield and metrology equipment to Supply Chain Sustainability in 2017. Adam holds a B.S. in Chemistry & Philosophy from SUNY Oswego in 1994, and an M.S. & Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Washington.

Caroline Haughey

Topic: Human trafficking and modern slavery
Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2018 Caroline Haughey prosecutes and defends across a wide variety of the most serious and high-profile human trafficking / modern slavery cases. As author of the Firstly Modern Slavery Review – and joint legal adviser on the Second Modern Slavery Act review – she advises and lectures on the implementation of her recommendations on a policing, practitioner, judicial and government level internationally and domestically. She is also a contributor to 2nd edition of “Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Law and Practice. She prosecuted the very first case brought under the Modern Slavery Act in the UK, and was awarded an OBE in 2019 for her public service in the field of modern slavery and human trafficking.

SESSION 2: Panel discussion

Q&A session brings back the speakers from session 1 and introduces our moderator, Claire Iball 
Claire Iball

Claire Iball, an Irish Chartered Accountant and CAW Network USA’s rep with Chartered Accountants Ireland. Claire is based in Portland Oregon and is Strategic Controller / Director, Data Center Group, directing all financial activities to support Intel’s new product lines.