Meridian Corporate Statement on Slavery and Human Trafficking
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and sets out the steps we have taken to ensure that our business as well as our supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking during the financial year ending 31 December 2016.
Introduction from Terry Luo, CEO
Slavery and human trafficking remain a hidden blight on our global society. They are abuses of a person’s freedoms and rights. We all have a responsibility to be alert to the risks, however small, in our businesses around the world. Our employees are expected to report any concerns and our management is expected to act upon them. Meridian is committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking occurring in any of its corporate activities, as well as seeking to ensure that our supply chains are also free from such practices.
Our organisational structure and operations
Meridian Lightweight Technologies Inc. is a world leader in the design, engineering, and manufacturing of high quality magnesium die cast components. Meridian magnesium die casting driven to providing innovative and effective solutions for distinguished automotive clients around the globe. For over 30 years Meridian has been aggressively seeking new and progressive ways to raise the bar in magnesium die casting design and manufacturing. The company supplies its products on a worldwide basis and operates through subsidiaries located in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico and the People’s Republic of China. The company’s products are used by all of the major automobile manufacturers, including Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, Honda and Mercedes-Benz. The company’s website is www.meridian-mag.com.
Meridian is an integral part of Wanfeng Auto Holdings Group Co. Ltd. Wanfeng Auto Holding Group Co., Ltd., through its subsidiaries, manufactures auto parts and equipment. The company researches, develops, manufactures, and markets aluminum wheels for automobiles; and aluminum motorcycle wheels and wheel hubs. Wanfeng Auto Holding Group Co., Ltd. was founded in 1994 and is based in Xinchang County, China.
Wanfeng Auto Holding Group’s principal business is an aluminum alloy wheel supplier serving the global automotive and motorcycle market, and has become a world leader in this market segment with an annual capacity of over 40 million wheels. With more than 7000 employees, Wanfeng Group has several operating facilities throughout China as well as other activities in various countries across the globe including India.
Meridian Lightweight Technologies is a leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of innovative magnesium and aluminum die castings. Meridian is the largest supplier of lightweight magnesium castings in the world, serving most of the global automotive manufacturers on three continents. With more than 1,500 dedicated employees, Meridian operates manufacturing locations in Strathroy, Ontario Canada; Eaton Rapids, Michigan, United States; Ramos Arizpe, Mexico; Sutton-in-Ashfield, United Kingdom and Anting, Shanghai, Peoples Republic of China. For over 25 years Meridian magnesium die casting has been aggressively seeking new and progressive ways to raise the bar on magnesium die casting design and manufacturing. The company's products are used by all of the major automobile manufacturers, including Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
In 2015, Meridian had an annual revenue above $600 million CAD (Canadian Dollars).
Nature of our supply chains
The automotive supply chain is one of the most complicated of any industry. There are often multiple levels of suppliers between an automaker and the source of raw materials that enter the manufacturing process.
The breadth, depth and interconnectedness of the automotive supply chain make it challenging to effectively manage business and sustainability issues. Our key supply chains involve the manufacture and purchasing of raw and recycled magnesium alloy in ingot form from various countries including China, USA, Germany, Israel, Hungary, Austria and the Russian Federation. We report on our supply chains via the automotive industry structure known as Global Materials Management Operations Guidelines Logistics Assessment (MMOG/LA). This is a comprehensive self-assessment required by the automotive industry worldwide, which allow an organizations supply chain to be assessed via a strict criteria benchmarking the organization against industry best practice.
Respecting human rights and environmental issues in the supply chain is ultimately our suppliers’ responsibility. As customers, however, we play an active role in supplier development and have adopted various means to clearly communicate our expectations to our suppliers.
Policies relating to slavery and human trafficking
Our CSR and sustainability policies reflect our commitment implementing and enforcing effective procedures and controls to minimise the risks of human trafficking and other modern slavery practices infiltrating our business operations or supply chains, and to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business activities and relationships.
We ensure that our suppliers are aware of our policies and take appropriate measures to ensure that our suppliers adhere to the same high standards.
Our policies have been developed by working with our management and employees from around the world.
We use the following processes to assess which of our own activities and supply chains represent the highest risks in respect of slavery or human trafficking.
Supplier audits are carried out by our own personnel. We also issue supplier self-assessments prior to engaging any new supplier. Our supply chain is audited and monitored by our Logistics Leaders and Purchasing teams, both globally and locally. We are bound by the automotive Quality Standard TS16949 which requires an annual external audit at all sites.
On the basis of these processes, we have identified the following activities to be at highest risk of infiltration in relation to slavery and human trafficking:
Buying ingot on the open market and purchasing scrap metal if provenance cannot be verified. In our standard production procurement process, we issue purchase orders that incorporate our Global Terms and Conditions (GT&Cs) which outlines our expectations and suppliers’ obligations on specific topics. We also seek to continually review the operations of existing suppliers in relation to the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking [and create an annual risk profile for each of our suppliers with whom we do business.
Due diligence processes in relation to slavery and human trafficking
In order to monitor and mitigate the risks of slavery and human trafficking occurring within our supply chains we undertake the following due diligence processes in relation to all suppliers identified as being high risk according to the risk assessment procedures described above.
Suppliers are required to complete a supplier compliance check, annually which are maintained by our Purchasing Teams. This includes questions on business conduct, environmental management, and labour practices including discrimination, child and forced labour, freedom of association, remuneration, working hours, and health and safety.
We provide training to key staff to ensure that they understand the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking infiltrating our business or supply chains and effectively operate our policies and procedures aimed at mitigating this risk.
Our Supply Chain Corporate Responsibility training is done on line through the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG).
We make specific provision in our whistleblowing policy for the protection of those who whistle-blow in relation to an issue of modern slavery.
Monitoring of our due diligence processes
We intend to regularly conduct audits of our at-risk supplier factories to monitor compliance with Meridian expectations and legal requirements. These audits are independent and generally announced. We choose which facilities to audit based upon our risk assessment as described above. If any issues are identified during an audit, the supplier is required to prepare a corrective action plan and resole all violations within an agreed upon time period.
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Meridian Lightweight Technologies, Inc.