Transparency – pros & cons, impacts and issues

15/12/2016 -
08:30 to 10:00
8 Coldbath Square
United Kingdom

Hear reflections from our speakers in the interview below.

Greater transparency is the direction of travel.

The call by civil society organisations and other stakeholders for companies to disclose their lists of suppliers has gained significant momentum of late. A growing number of consumer-facing companies have started to publish their lists of suppliers and include transparency in their human rights and modern slavery reporting. At the same time, investors, consumers and legislators are putting greater pressure on companies to become more transparent. 

But how far should companies go in disclosing potentially sensitive information? What are the challenges or limitations for companies related to greater transparency and disclosure? And does greater transparency actually have a positive impact on workers' rights? 

Our speakers are experts in the field and they will explore current issues, illustrate dilemmas and discuss best practice. Come ready for a challenging debate and discussion over breakfast.

Our speakers

Helen McTaggart, Ethical Trade Manager, Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer (M&S) is a long-standing ETI member with a serious commitment to ethical trade. A major international retailer, it has recently published a Human Rights Report as well as an interactive supplier map, detailing its clothing and food suppliers. Helen will speak about the M&S journey in ethical trade and highlight potential dilemmas and wider questions around transparency from a corporate perspective.

Anne Lindsay, Lead Analyst - Private Sector, CAFOD

Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) is an international development charity and the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. An ETI NGO-member with long-standing experience, they help people directly within their own communities and campaign for global justice, so that everyone can reach their full potential. Anne will examine the concept of transparency and offer a nuanced understanding of the issues at hand.

Stephen Russell, International Policy Officer, TUC

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is a national trade union centre, representing the majority of trade unions in England and Wales, with the objective of raising the quality of working life and promoting equality for all. They represent more than 5.8 million workers in 51 unions. Stephen will talk about TUC's perspective and transparency and will set out some of the challenges involved.

Clive Baldwin, Senior Legal Advisor, Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an international NGO, conducting research and advocacy on human rights. Established in 1978, HRW is known for accurate fact-finding, impartial reporting, effective use of media and targeted advocacy, in partnership with local human rights groups, pressing for changes in policy and practice that promote human rights and justice around the world. HRW has been very active in calling for greater transparency and will share some of their findings.

About Ethical Insights

ETI's Ethical Insights Series create a safe, open space where we can air challenges, share ideas and learn from one another. We want to generate a spirit of knowledge collaboration, to improve the impact of all our efforts.

At the end of each session, we'll have a 10-minute 'open mike' for you to share news and propose ideas for future topics.

"A full room of like-minded people and good speakers: an opportunity to brainstorm new solutions for ethical trading."

"The format worked really well in encouraging an open dialogue for all participants"

Attendees from a previous Ethical Insights event

Join us over coffee and croissants at the ETI office in Farringdon, London, UK.

This event is part of our Ethical Insights series.