Verisk is a company that I had the pleasure to chat with at the recent IRMI Energy Risk and Insurance Conference, held in Houston this year. Verisk is a company that provides insurance and risk analysis for the energy industry.
The following is a quote (Wikipedia) from the State Department: “‘modern slavery’, ‘trafficking in persons’, and ‘human trafficking’ have been used as umbrella terms for the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, or coercion”. I think this position statement by Verisk is great; but it seems to imply that the problem is with foreign countries engaging in this practice. In my opinion, I feel we need to be looking at this problem in our own backyards. Please read the below statement by Verisk.
Verisk Analytics is a leading data analytics provider serving customers in insurance,
energy and specialized markets, and financial services. Using advanced technologies to
collect and analyze billions of records, we draw on unique data assets and deep domain
expertise to provide first-to-market innovations that are integrated into business workflows. Customers rely on our predictive analytics and decision support solutions in
a variety of fields, including rating, underwriting, claims, catastrophe and weather risk, global risk analytics, natural resources intelligence, and economic forecasting. For more information about the Company, please visit http://www.verisk.com and http://www.verisk.com/csr.
As a knowledge-based business, Verisk carefully integrates the skills and talents of more
than 7,100 employees in areas including predictive analytics, statistical modeling,
chemistry, engineering, economics, information technology, data management, and
insurance. The employee population was determined as of December 31, 2017, and
represents an increase of approximately 700 positions over the prior calendar year. The
increase is due largely to acquisitions completed in India and the United States.
Many Verisk employees hold doctorates, other advanced degrees, and professional
certifications. Approximately 97 percent are full-time, and 3 percent are part-time.
Approximately 85 percent of Verisk’s employees are based in the United States, Canada,
and the United Kingdom. Another 6 percent are based in India, with the remainder
serving in 27 countries across the globe.
Verisk does not engage in manufacturing operations, and none of our Tier 1 procurement spending is directed at agricultural or extractive businesses frequently associated with a higher risk of modern slavery. Procurement expenses continue to be generally proportionate to the geographic dispersion of employees and the nature of our operations. As in our prior Statement, the largest procurement spending categories include the aggregate cost of office leases, utilities, furnishings, building services, and office supplies; IT-related hardware, software, and services; professional services and consulting fees; data purchased from public and nonpublic entities; business air travel and associated lodging and meals; and insurance.
Without significant changes affecting Verisk’s business, employee, and procurement
parameters, the Company’s direct exposure to modern slavery risk is likely to be limited.
Nevertheless, we remain conscious of the possibility of indirect risk through our supplychain, including providers of goods and services using lower-skilled and lower-paid workers.
Modern Slavery Risk Assessment
Before adopting our initial Statement and action plan in June 2017, we carried out a
country-by-country analysis of the risk of exposure to modern slavery using research
and information prepared by Verisk Maplecroft—a Verisk Analytics business and
recognized leader in analyzing, quantifying, and enabling global organizations to identify and mitigate extra-financial risk to operations and supply chains. Nothing in our subsequent review of the risk assessment, the current circumstances of our business, the geographic distribution of employees, or the type and distribution of our procurement spending alters the conclusions we reached at that time:
• In terms of Verisk’s workforce, we do not believe that we are at risk of modern
slavery. Even so, as a proactive measure, our action plan emphasizes employee
awareness and responsibility through the development of training programs.
• We recognize the need to address the subject of modern slavery with Verisk’s Tier 1 suppliers. This is necessitated by Verisk’s procurement spending in countries with higher risk of modern slavery, however small in absolute terms, as well as the possibility of adverse activity involving suppliers or subcontractors further down the supply chain.
Commitment and Action Plan
We are pleased to report progress consistent with the steps outlined in our initial Statement and action plan, published June 2017:
•We have amended our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics to specifically prohibit modern slavery.
Verisk’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics has been amended to reaffirm the
Company’s support for international efforts prohibiting modern slavery. Employees, suppliers, or business partners who aid, abet, or are complicit in acts of modern slavery may be subject to sanction, including termination of employment or contract. The Code further encourages all parties to report incidents that may involve modern slavery to Company management or through Verisk’s confidential Whistleblower Hotline.
• We have developed a training program to raise awareness about modern slavery among our employees.
We acknowledge the positive impact that educated and engaged employees have in recognizing, avoiding, or addressing incidents of modern slavery. We have developed a mandatory modern slavery training program to be implemented beginning July 2018 for all staff serving in countries with a higher risk of modern slavery and all procurement-related and human resource–related staff regardless of location. We are also making a voluntary training program available worldwide for all Verisk employees regardless of position.
• We are now monitoring current and prospective Tier 1 suppliers.
We have implemented a new credentialing process, contracting with a leading risk and compliance organization to determine whether our Tier 1 suppliers are subject to sanctions and to scan content daily from news sources in approximately 200 countries to identify instances where such suppliers have been implicated in unlawful activity, including modern slavery or other human rights abuses.
Suppliers are screened at the onset of their relationship with Verisk and subsequently monitored continually. By year-end 2017, approximately 7,000 of Verisk’s legacy suppliers had been analyzed, with about 2 percent designated for additional research before being cleared.
•We have implemented a Supplier Code of Conduct, specifically addressing modern slavery within supply chains.
A Supplier Code of Conduct has been developed, and distribution is being made to all Verisk suppliers.
Suppliers are expected to reject any form of slave, forced, bonded, indentured, or involuntary labor or human trafficking. They are further obligated to communicate the provisions of the Supplier Code of Conduct to their employees, agents, and subcontractors assigned to service the Verisk account. For its part, Verisk reserves the right to conduct announced and unannounced on-site audits of the supplier’s facilities and conduct confidential worker interviews in conjunction with such audits.
Verisk will address all violations, pursuing the appropriate remedial action, including contract termination, depending on the circumstances of the violation and subject to the terms and conditions of the underlying contract.
We will continue to monitor Verisk’s exposure to modern slavery and update this Statement annually. For more information about Verisk Analytics or our Statement on
Modern Slavery, please contact:
Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility
This Statement on Modern Slavery has been adopted by Verisk’s Board of Directors as of June 27, 2018, and is to be published on the Company’s main website, http://www.verisk.com.
Scott G. Stephenson
Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer