Marks & Spencer Group tops inaugural Global Governance FTSE 100 League Table

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Marks & Spencer Group tops inaugural Global Governance FTSE 100 League Table, amidst results showing the average combined score achieved is less than 50%

MARKS & SPENCER GROUP PLC has topped the inaugural Global Governance FTSE 100 League Table. The new index ranks Britain’s largest publicly listed organisations’ compliance and conformance with the UK Modern Slavery Act (MSA) (2015) and good practice in human rights. The index is compiled from analysis undertaken of the statements the organisations have filed pursuant to the MSA requirements.

The Global Governance FTSE 100 League Table Top 10 companies (October 2018) are:


The average combined score of the 100 was 46.8%, indicating that there is still more work ahead. Those in places 1-10 averaged a combined score of 76.1%, outperforming the whole by 29.3%. Almost all (97) organisations of the FTSE 100 assessed in the study, have filed reports detailing their actions and intent to be compliant with the MSA Transparency in Supply Chains (TISC) Section 54.

The Global Governance FTSE 100 League Table and the stand-alone Global Governance Real Estate 100 (RE 100) League Table (London’s largest commercial landlords by square foot) are facilitated by Sustain Worldwide, and funded through the Global Governance Research Fund (GGRF). Early contributors to the GGRF notably include BRE and Marshalls.

The League Tables, with analysis undertaken by Development International, are publicly available along with the study’s full report. Summary ‘Scorecards’ and the underpinning data sets of the individual organisations analysed are also available.

Dr Shamir Ghumra, BREEAM Director at BRE, which has developed the Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard (ELS) BES 6002 that supports companies to understand the profile of their social/ethical governance, including their human rights challenges, said: “The Index provokes the largest UK organisations by market capitalisation, to continuously improve their governance performance.

“Modern slavery and human rights abuses are iniquitous and all too rife in the UK and globally. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates it’s a $150 billion industry with human beings targeted by criminals for financial gain. However unwittingly, through their global supply chains, businesses are complicit. The Global Governance FTSE100 and RE100 League Tables shine a light on the issue, to bring about its earliest eradication.”

Modern Slavery is an ‘umbrella’ term for labour exploitation, forced labour, child labour and human trafficking. In 2017, 5,145 potential victims were referred to Britain’s National Referral Mechanism, a 35 per cent increase on the previous year. The UK Government has estimated that there are between 10,000-13,000 people held in modern slavery in Britain today. The Global Slavery Index has estimated there are 45.8 million people across 167 countries in modern day slavery.

The FTSE 100’s combined market capitalisation is £1.9 trillion (September 2018), employing 6.8 million people worldwide. They own circa 30,000 subsidiaries worldwide, and more than 70% of revenues are derived from international markets. While most of the companies on the Global Governance FTSE 100 League Table are largely compliant with the ‘Modern Slavery’ disclosure requirements of the law, only 25 companies are 100% compliant.

Another matter is the spirit of the MSA statements, proxied through the application of industry good practice in anti-slavery supply chain measures. The average good practice score of the cohort was only 25.5%. Only two companies, Marks and Spencer Group Plc and Tesco Plc, achieved a score above 70% in the 24 good practice indicators analysed. These include adherence to principles such as ‘employer pays’, and having established ‘whistle-blowing’ channels.

Over time, as evidenced in the published League Tables and Scorecards, it is expected organisations’ percentage scores will improve as their understanding, maturity and ability to manage the challenges are met, and subsequently reported. The Global Governance FTSE 100 League Table, and Global Governance RE 100 League Table are published biannually, in October and April.

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For press information or additional comment, please contact BRE’s press office on [email protected] or +44 (0)1923 664455.

Notes to editors

BRE is a world leading building science centre. Our clients use our sustainability, safety and security services, the BRE Academy and our Innovation Centres, to deliver on their social, environmental and economic goals. We are committed to developing knowledge on every aspect of the built environment and we set the standards for the way buildings, homes and communities are made to keep people safe, protect the environment, make buildings affordable and to create places where people want to live, work and play.

Our standards include the Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard (ELS) BES 6002 that supports companies to understand the profile of their social/ethical governance, including their human rights challenges. The ELS provides a framework for verifying ethical labour sourcing, and a route for companies working across all sectors and geographies to verify their systems and processes, including the reporting requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, Section 54 Transparency in Supply Chains (TISC).

Sustain Worldwide is a strategic communications business that works with purpose-driven clients and partners to deliver stakeholder engagement through Press/PR, social media and aligned events. It has a particular interest, knowledge and expertise in responsible and ethical sourcing in global supply chains and their inter-relationship with human rights and modern slavery. The Global Governance FTSE 100 and Real Estate 100 League Tables are facilitated by Sustain Worldwide, and funded through the Global Governance Research Fund.

Development International e.V. (DI) is a not-for-profit organization specialized in areas where law, business and development intersect. DI’s point of departure is to bring independent scientific scrutiny, clarity, and accuracy to bear on issues with an empirical deficit, thus enabling constructive discussions. It also develops and implements evidence-based intervention strategies and solutions to achieve sustainable development outcomes, and it builds capacity to transfer knowledge and competencies to other stakeholders along the process.