This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 July 2022. The statement describes the steps taken by Cranfield University Group (“Cranfield”) to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place within our supply chains or in any part of our business.

Our organisational structure

The Cranfield University group specialises in delivering education and research in technology and management. Cranfield University, a postgraduate University, is an exempt charity, registration no: RC000151.

Cranfield employs approximately 1,700 staff members, teaches in the region of 5,000 registered students and provides professional development to 20,000 individuals annually. We have a global annual turnover of £180M. Cranfield has centralised procurement and contracting functions with devolved purchasing for operating expenses to individual departments.

Our policy on slavery and human trafficking

We are committed to improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking and support the UK Government’s approach to implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

In implementing this approach Cranfield supports the Base Code of the Ethical Trading Initiative. This Base Code is an internationally recognised code of labour practice requiring that:

  • Employment is freely chosen.
  • Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected.
  • Working conditions are safe and hygienic.
  • Child labour shall not be used.
  • Living wages are paid.
  • Working hours are not excessive.
  • No discrimination is practiced.
  • Regular employment is provided.
  • No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed.

Our supply chains

Cranfield’s supply chains are predominantly identified against five broad categories of supply:

  • Facilities (Estates) Goods and Services.
  • ICT Equipment and Services.
  • Laboratory Consumables and Equipment.
  • Library Resources.
  • Professional Services.

Cranfield is committed to procuring goods and services in an environmentally, socially, ethically, and economically responsible manner and to entering into agreements and contracts with suppliers that share and adhere to this commitment. Cranfield’s procurement has two main pathways; collaborative through purchasing consortia or in-house tendering and contracting, as an example Cranfield’s IT equipment is predominantly procured through use of SUPC frameworks, who are members of the Electronics Watch, an organisation that seeks to protect labour rights for workers of electronic manufacturers. Cranfield’s standard terms and conditions of procurement have clauses covering modern slavery and human trafficking.

Collaborative procurement is through SUPC (Southern University Purchasing Consortium) whose slavery statement can be found by following the below link. SUPC is an operating division of Southern Universities Management Services Ltd.

SUPC Modern Slavery Statement

The university is also a member of and purchases through The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) whose Modern Slavery statement is available at:

TUCO Modern Slavery Statement

Cranfield University has developed an Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy which reflects its commitment to acting ethically, with implementation of effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place with its supply chains.

Our progress and plans for the coming year

During 2021/22 Cranfield continued analysing its supply chain risk, identifying those supply chains which represent a medium to high risk of modern slavery, human trafficking, forced and bonded labour, and labour rights violations. Continual analysis enables Cranfield to embed its commitment to compliance with the Modern Slavery Act within its Sustainable Procurement Strategy. Furthermore, throughout the period the University engaged in the process of seeking to acquire Real Living Wage Employer status. This aspiration resulted in further supply chain analysis being undertaken, identifying suppliers where real living wages were being/not being paid and working with those suppliers who were not presently paying a real living wage to enable changes in pay to be made. In support of Real Living Wage Employer aspirations, University terms and conditions of purchase were reviewed and amended; placing emphasis upon suppliers, subcontracts and third parties engaged on provision of goods and services to the University to comply with the aspiration and ensure all persons over the age of 18 are paid not less than the real living wage. All centrally based Procurement staff involved in purchasing of high-risk categories receive advance training on identifying and assessing Modern Day Slavery risks within the supply chain.

Our plans for the future

Cranfield University will pursue use of suitable tools to assist with the monitoring of suppliers identified as high risk, as well as to continue to train Procurement staff involved in such purchases; thereby continuing with its commitment to better understanding its supply chains and work towards a greater transparency and demonstrate responsibility towards those people working within them.

Professor Karen Holford

Professor Karen Holford, Chief Executive & Vice-Chancellor
Cranfield University


Document title: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement
Originator name/document owner: Director of Finance
Professional Service Unit/Department: Finance
Implementation/effective date: 13 September 2022 v6.0
Approval by and date: University Executive, 13 September 2022
Date of last review and version number: 1 September 2021; v5.0
Date of next review: September 2023

Updated September 2022