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Modern Slavery Statement

SAGE Publishing

Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for the 2016-2017 financial year

This statement is a response to Section 54, Part 6 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and sets out the steps SAGE Publishing is taking to ensure that slavery is not taking place in our supply chains or in any part of our business.

Our commitment

SAGE is committed to maintaining and developing our processes to tackle slavery and human trafficking violations related to our own operations, our supply chain, and our products. We have zero tolerance towards slavery and require our supply chain to comply with our values.

About us, our operations and supply chain

SAGE is one of the world's leading independent academic and professional publishers. We publish more than 1,000 journals, more than 800 books a year, reference works and electronic products covering business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine.

Most of our suppliers are based in the UK, the US and India. The bulk of our supply chain consists of:

  • Print services
  • Web services
  • Couriers
  • Financial intermediation

This statement covers SAGE UK, India and USA.

SAGE's slavery and human trafficking risks

In collaboration with sustainability consultancy Carbon Smart we carried out an independent modern slavery risk assessment of our supply chain for SAGE UK, US and India. They reviewed the level of risk based on spend, sector and supplier location and covered 90% of our tier one suppliers.

Due to the majority of our supply chain being based in the UK, US and in lower risk sectors such as web based services our exposure to risk is low. We found that our greatest potential exposure to the risk of modern slavery is the part of our supply chain which deals with print media, in particular when it comes to the handling of paper-based materials. Our key areas of focus are:

Direct risk: print suppliers based in India, a country with a high level of modern slavery risk

Indirect risk: paper mills, ink manufacturers and the sourcing of timber

Our policies and contractual controls

We have introduced the following policies to set the direction and manage modern slavery in our supplier base: 

  • Supplier code of conduct – our code of conduct outlines the minimum requirements in relation to modern slavery and wider decent work practices
  • Supplier agreement terms and conditions - our standard terms and conditions now includes modern slavery clauses  and decent work provisions which our suppliers are expected to adopt

Due diligence approach

To manage the risk of modern slavery in our supply chain we have started to carry out the following steps: 

  • All of our existing suppliers are being notified of our new code of conduct and updated terms and conditions
  • We have introduced modern slavery weighted questions in our tenders, to ensure that any new suppliers we onboard have their own modern slavery controls in place
  • In cases where we do not use tenders to appoint new suppliers, we have introduced new supplier checklists which our managers will use when reviewing new suppliers
  • All our print suppliers and any handling paper based products are required to complete Sage’s modern slavery questionnaire, which will be assessed by our procurement teams to ensure minimum requirements are met
  • For SAGE India where the risks of modern slavery are greater suppliers are required to sign up to our code of conduct and they too are required to complete Sage’s modern slavery questionnaire
  • SAGE India carries out site visits with all of its key suppliers
  • In addition, we have developed an approach to develop and manage corrective action plans if any issues should arise


To assess the effectiveness of our approach we will review our processes and the results from our checks on annual basis with external support.

Training and capacity building

Key members of the organisation who oversee sourcing and manage our supply chain received training from Carbon Smart. This training covered an introduction to modern slavery in the publishing industry, upskilling them on our approach and new policies as well as how to carry out a supplier risk screening. 

Looking ahead

Our focus this year is to ensure that our newly introduced checks are working effectively and have been embedded into our current practices. We will review our approach towards the end of our financial year to understand whether our procedures can be refined or improved.

Richard Fidczuk, Production Director, SAGE Publishing UK
29th June 2017