Modern slavery statement

This page sets out ZSL's slavery and human trafficking statement and applies to the financial year ended April 2020. It covers the activities of ZSL (Zoological Society of London) and its wholly owned subsidiary; Zoo Enterprises Limited (ZEL).

Statement from ZSL Director General, Dominic Jermey

"Having travelled extensively throughout my career, I have seen first-hand how modern slavery is one of the worst challenges people face around the world. Whether in the UK or overseas, modern slavery is a terrible violation of human rights; it takes many forms and affects millions of people. I am determined to ensure that ZSL is playing its part in combatting this blight on our society."

Our Organisation

Founded in 1826, ZSL is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity. Our vision is a world where wildlife thrives, and our purpose is to inspire, inform and empower people to stop wild animals going extinct. Our priorities include Wildlife and People, Wildlife Health and Wildlife Back from the Brink. We aim to promote these through engagement, science and innovation and field conservation work.

Our Structure

ZSL is a charity which has just under 1000 employees and over 500 volunteers. Whilst most of our workforce is based in the UK, we also operate in over 50 countries. ZSL’s senior management team is led by the Director General. Overseeing our work is a Council of 15 individual Fellows who are elected as Trustees and collectively act as ZSL's governing body.

Our Supply Chain

As a charity which runs two zoos, delivers global conservation work, and conducts scientific research, ZSL uses an extensive range of suppliers. Whilst we expect our suppliers to uphold the rights of their workers, ZSL recognises that as a customer we can play a part in influencing the supply chain. Our supply chain includes retail products, recruitment, equipment, animal feed, outsourced services such as catering, cleaning and site maintenance, clothing, electronics, marketing, construction, consultancy, and other professional services. The range of products we purchase and the number of countries in which we operate make for a challenging procurement landscape. ZSL will continue to support processes of due diligence to help combat modern slavery in our supply chain.

Due Diligence Approaches

  • Tendering: ZSL’s standard tender template requests modern slavery policies from prospective suppliers. This not only helps ZSL decide if a supplier is suitable, but it also raises awareness of the issue and encourages suppliers to consider their approach to how they combat modern slavery.
  • Quality Assurance Provider: ZSL has worked closely with a global quality assurance provider who specialise in product testing. They have helped us develop a bespoke set of protocols, against which we benchmark all our retail products to ensure they are legally compliant will all relevant UK and European laws.
  • Procurement Function: ZSL has a procurement function in place which supports the organisation on due diligence during tender processes. Procurement offers advice around ethical issues and the evaluation of suppliers that support the operational services of ZSL.
  • Buying and Merchandising Team: ZSL has a buying and merchandising team that purchases all products for its retail outlets. The products are subject to a due diligence review for both the UK and International markets before they consider stocking them. The team requires that all suppliers undergo and provide the results of factory audits, to ensure that the factory conditions are safe, and that labour laws and practices are adhered too.
  • Supplier Code of Conduct: First introduced in 2014, this code is based on the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code and reflects the high ethical standards we expect of our suppliers. The code is available for viewing here
  • Standard Terms and Conditions: Our standard terms for goods and services state that suppliers must comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and will notify ZSL if the act has been breached or if they have been subject to any investigations concerning modern slavery. These terms are available for viewing here.
  • Procurement Policy: An overarching procurement policy provides guidance on risk mitigation, with further supporting documents available around ethical procurement.
  • Recruitment Policy: Our recruitment policy is designed to ensure compliance with UK employment law and encourages staff to report any concerns related to the activities of the organisation or its supply chain. Our internal recruitment team manage all recruitment activities and/or only use reputable employment agencies and job boards to source labour: both ZSL and its agencies carry out appropriate background checks.
  • Whistleblowing Policy: Our whistleblowing policy encourages staff to report any concerns, and our management team are expected to act upon these.

Mitigation Plans

We will continue to mitigate risks by:

  • Implementing an anti-slavery policy or anti-slavery guidance, as appropriate.
  • Ensuring staff awareness of these issues and the guidance and policy on how to manage them.
  • Identifying high-risk areas in our supply chain and ensuring mitigations are in place.
  • Working with our suppliers and taking action to strengthen supply chains.
Sir John Beddington
President
Zoological Society of London

Updated 18/01/2021

PDF icon ZSL Modern Slavery Statement 2020.pdf (124.22 KB) (124.22 KB)

 ZSL Modern Slavery Act Statement 2019 (732.05 KB)

 ZSL Modern Slavery Act Statement 2018.pdf (864.24 KB)

 ZSL Modern Slavery Act Statement 2017 (806.68 KB)