STATEMENT UNDER S.54 OF THE MODERN SLAVERY ACT 2015
Cubico Sustainable Investments Holdings Limited (“CSIHL”) wholly owns Cubico Sustainable Investments Limited (“CSIL”) and they are referred to collectively hereafter as “Cubico”. This is a statement made by Cubico in accordance with section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and covers the financial year from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016.
Cubico is one of the world’s leaders in providing renewable energy, the fastest-growth energy source, across the Americas and Europe. Our portfolio includes onshore wind, solar photovoltaic and solar thermal assets.
We are fully committed to playing a significant role in the transition towards a clean energy world optimizing the use of natural resources while respecting the environment and the social development of the communities in which we are present.
Our organisation is split broadly between corporate activities and operational activities.
Our corporate activities are performed at the following offices: London (where we are headquartered), Stamford (USA), Milan (Italy), Mexico City (Mexico) and São Paulo (Brazil). Employees in these offices undertake skilled activities including project origination and execution and corporate services (finance, tax, legal, HR). We also have an office in Fortaleza (Brazil) where both corporate activities (providing legal, technical and finance/accounting support to the Brazilian projects) and operational activities (providing day-to-day operational support to the Brazilian projects) are undertaken.
Our corporate activities have only an occasional dependence on temporary workers and contractors and the nature of that work is mainly of a professional service nature.
Our operational activities constitute the building and management of our renewable energy assets ‘on the ground’. We predominantly outsource the construction of new assets to contractor(s) experienced in these areas. Once our assets are in service, we predominantly outsource the operation and maintenance work. Our asset management services, which include providing support and resources to the relevant project companies to enable effective supervision and monitoring of the assets and oversight of contractors, and to provide certain corporate, legal and other back-office services are partially outsourced.
All outsourced construction, operation and maintenance and asset management activities are managed through contracts with the various third parties in commercially agreed forms and are generally on a medium or long term basis.
3. Slavery and trafficking policies
Operating to high ethical standards is central to our organisation. Both our General Code of Conduct and our Anti-bribery and Corruption Policy make clear that good corporate governance and the professional ethics of our employees are the pillars upon which Cubico’s activity is based.
We welcome the increased focus brought to bear by the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 and have tasked the Legal and Compliance team with implementing controls to address the risks of modern slavery occurring in our operations and supply chains.
To further our organisation’s commitment to combating slavery and trafficking, we have updated certain policies to be more explicit about modern slavery as follows:
- we have added specific reference in our General Code of Conduct requiring our employees to ensure that neither Cubico, nor the third parties it engages, are complicit or involved (directly or indirectly) in any practice which amounts to modern slavery;
- we have revised our Business Partner Vetting Guidelines to place increased focus on the need to assess whether suppliers, joint venture partners, sellers, developers, acquisition targets and other stakeholders with whom we engage (together referred to as “Third Parties”) maintain appropriate standards with respect to the prevention of modern slavery in their own operations and supply chains; and
- we have increased the focus in our Procurement Policy on the importance of ensuring that our business is truly sustainable and does not engage in or benefit from (directly or indirectly through our supply chain) modern slavery and the need for those engaged in procurement to be vigilant to the risks. We have also provided those engaged in procurement with provisions to be included in contracts with Third Parties which give contractual force to our zero tolerance of modern slavery.
At certain key points in its relationships with Third Parties that are categorised as medium or high risk, Cubico commissions KYC Reports which incorporate an assessment of the risks of modern slavery.
4. Risk assessment
We have assessed that, given our internal operating standards, the risk of modern slavery occurring in our corporate activities is relatively low. However, we remain vigilant to the risks particularly with respect to the limited low skilled outsourced labour that we engage at our offices (e.g. cleaning services).
We have also assessed the risks of modern slavery occurring in our operational activities and identified key areas of focus to be:
- Our high risk jurisdictions: Cubico has a global footprint and operates in a number of jurisdictions. Some of those jurisdiction pose a higher risk than others and are monitored more closely as a result.
- The high levels of outsourcing of operational activities (as described above): Whilst Cubico predominantly contracts with large, well established suppliers we acknowledge that even they do not always have their own directly employed local work forces in the remote locations of some of our projects.
- The nature of the work undertaken, including:
- construction of assets and the infrastructure that supports them
- outsourcing of operation and management activities associated with finished assets
- outsourcing of low skilled maintenance work at assets, particularly in higher risk jurisdictions
Slavery and trafficking risks are already taken into account in the assessments made when Cubico is deciding whether to acquire or develop assets in a new country. The Legal and Compliance team have a central role in advising the organisation on those risks.
5. Due diligence and actions to address risks
Our procurement practices and controls (which include insisting on a contractual right to audit a supplier where appropriate) have mitigated the risks of modern slavery in our organisation and supply chains. However, the increased focus that we have placed on modern slavery (as described above), particularly with respect to our procurement practices, will further enhance our risk management.
6. Our proposals for 2017 and beyond
We are committed to combating the risks of modern slavery occurring within our organisation and supply chains. Cubico’s Internal Auditor and Procurement Manager has specific remit to further address the risks and will lead initiatives to:
- better map our supply chain so that additional initiatives can be developed in the areas of highest risk;
- use slavery and trafficking questionnaires to develop our risk analysis and selection of suppliers;
- carry out due diligence and audits on suppliers and our own assets which include an increased focus on modern slavery risks;
- enforce the requirements of the Supplier Code of Conduct which we are proposing to introduce during the course of 2017;
- make recommendations to Cubico’s Legal and Compliance team which can then be assessed at risk management meetings.
We acknowledge that our employees are our ‘eyes and ears’ when it comes to vigilance on the risks of modern slavery. We are therefore planning a programme of training focused on modern slavery which is appropriate to the tasks that our employees undertake for us.
This statement is made by Cubico Sustainable Investments Holdings Limited for itself and on behalf of Cubico Sustainable Investments Limited and the board of directors of both companies have approved it and will update it annually.