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Developing a complaints mechanism for the London Olympics 2012

Ergon devised and then managed an innovative complaints and grievance mechanism for London 2012 to address complaints related to labour, human rights and sustainability issues in the Olympic supply chain. London 2012 had adopted sustainability commitments including supply chain labour standards based on the ETI Base Code. These applied to all contractors and suppliers. However, in recognition of the likelihood of complaints about breaches of these standards by workers or NGOs, the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) wanted a process to deal with complaints and disputes both fairly and quickly.

Ergon analysed LOCOG’s supply chain and risk profile and engaged commercial and civil society stakeholders to assess their views on a process that would satisfy their expectations. Using the then draft Ruggie Principles (now the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights), we developed a process based on seeking a mediated and agreed solution between parties that would address the root cause of the complaint.

Prior to Games-time various complaints were received - all related to labour issues - from a variety of sourcing countries and involving both individual workers, trade unions and NGOs. Ergon worked with all parties to reach solutions, where possible Our case study explaining the process and outcomes is available here.

The process represented the first time an Olympics or any major sporting event has sought to operate such an approach.

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Policy development and implementation

Developing a complaints mechanism for the London Olympics 2012

Ergon developed a process to deal with complaints about potential breaches of London 2012’s Sustainable Sourcing Code by contractors and suppliers. This is based on the Ruggie Principles and followed extensive stakeholder engagement. Click here for more information

Ethical trade benchmarking

Ergon is commissioned by a major brands and retailers to review their responsible sourcing programmes in order to help them identify labour risks, their strength and, weaknesses and areas for improvement, including comparison with peer companies and best practice standards. Click here for more information

Strategy implementation within development finance

We have worked closely with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to help develop new labour standards requirements for its clients, and we continue to support project risk assessment and policy implementation. Click here for more information

Ergon Associates Ltd