Slavery statement

This statement is ZSL's second slavery and human trafficking statement and applies to the financial year ended 31st March 2018. 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 over 1000 employees and 500 volunteers. Whilst most of our workforce is based in the UK, we also operate in over 50 countries. ZSL comprises of seven directorates, led by the Director General. Overseeing our work is a Council of 15 individual Fellows who 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. As a result, ZSL has implemented a number of measures over the last 12 months to build on those we already have in place and we continue to support processes of due diligence to help combat modern slavery in our supply chain. 


Due Diligence

Over the last 12 months, ZSL has implemented the following:

  • Training: Our Procurement team have created a bespoke online training course for key staff across the organisation. This course, entitled Modern Slavery Awareness, is designed to make staff aware of the different forms of slavery, how to recognise modern slavery in the supply chain and what to do if they think it is occurring in ZSL's supply chain.
  • Tendering: We have amended our standard tender template to now request modern slavery policies from prospective suppliers. This not only helps ZSL decide if a supplier is suitable, it also raises awareness of the issue and encourages suppliers to consider their approach to how they combat modern slavery.
  • Workshops: ZSL's Procurement Manager, who leads on supply chain issues, has attended
  • workshops and joined webinars this year including a one-day modern slavery conference in London and a one-to-one session with an audit specialist.

ZSL already has in place a number of processes to combat the risk of modern slavery:
Procurement Team: ZSL has a procurement team in place which has significant control over the supply chain and is able to implement due diligence during tender processes. The team are also able to offer advice around ethical issues and the evaluation of suppliers.
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:

  • Expanding the online training programme to staff working overseas;
  • Implementing an anti-slavery policy or anti-slavery guidance, as appropriate;
  • Communicating these changes to ZSL staff in the UK and overseas;
  • Identifying high-risk areas in our supply chain; and
  • Working with our suppliers, and taking action to strengthen supply chains.

 Sir John Beddington
President, Zoological Society of London 

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

PDF icon ZSL Modern Slavery Act Statement 2017 (806.68 KB)