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Abt’s mission—to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide—extends to our relationships with our suppliers and to each other, as colleagues across the organization and around the world. To drive meaningful change, our systems must align with and foster the culture we strive for at Abt.

Ensuring the Highest Levels of Ethics & Governance Across All of Abt

As the locations and fields of expertise where Abt works expand, we continue to refine and standardize our policies, procedures, and practices. Recent efforts—from our first-ever global Supplier Code of Conduct to our new Global Safety and Security Policy—set forth important commitments for Abt. They reinforce compliance with national laws where we operate, set new and updated standards and expectations for ourselves, and ensure consistency across our global operations.

As a global professional services firm, we must ensure the quality of our suppliers’ performance and their adherence to high ethical standards so that we can deliver on our mission. Abt’s new global Supplier Code of Conduct improves transparency and establishes the standards of business conduct required of all suppliers in the delivery of goods or services to Abt and our clients worldwide. As a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), Abt’s new code reflects our commitment to the Ten Principles and to building a diverse and sustainable supply chain. Our Tier 1 suppliers must now demonstrate compliance through internal mechanisms, which Abt will use to satisfy legal, ethical, and business obligations related to our supply chains.

While Abt operates under different national legal obligations, we share values that allow us to apply consistent safety and security commitments, principles, and standards globally. Our new Global Safety and Security Policy reflects this unified approach, providing a framework for all Abt entities to align and collaborate in managing the complex safety and security challenges we face around the world. The policy helps Abt’s global offices eliminate threats to workplace safety and staff well-being, ensuring secure environments where employees can do their best work.

Representation at Abt

Effective governance ensures Abt leadership hears and reflects the voices of our staff in how we operate. In Australia, six employee-led Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Working Groups represent those voices.

All six D&I working groups share the same core goal: to make our workplace an inclusive and safe environment for employees by 1) ensuring Abt’s policies and procedures include and protect each group; 2) bringing about cultural change to ensure employees are accepted, included, and valued for who they are; and 3) addressing underrepresentation of employees within Abt at all levels.

The D&I groups provide awareness training, including self-reflection on personal biases and prejudices in our day-to-day work life and decision-making. They create opportunities to sift through evidence and analyze how to use Abt’s own data to improve corporate practices and our workplace culture. And the groups identify best practices for overcoming institutionalized prejudice in recruitment and retention across all job levels. Representation matters, and these groups show that we use the same important practices externally, in our work, internally.

ESG—Managing Risk; Pushing Transparency & Operations Leadership

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks are among the top concerns organizations must manage today. For example, companies must align with the Ten Principles of the UNGC to even bid on government contracts with the United Kingdom. Compiling, complying with, and calculating metrics for the wide variety of ESG reporting requirements for different organizations demands a significant investment of time and resources. But doing it correctly and aligning across global frameworks enables organizations like Abt to advance our credibility and sustainability, which is well worth it.

Abt has been a proud signatory of the UNGC and its Ten Principles since 2017. In an effort to add value and streamline the Communication on Progress (CoP), the UNGC is launching an enhanced digital platform and standardized questionnaire, the use of which will be required of all signatories by 2023. Abt stepped forward as an early adopter of this new platform in 2022, enabling us to provide feedback to improve the platform and questionnaire before its full release.

We are also committed to complying with the first ever sustainability standard for professional services firms facilitated by NSF and accredited by the American National Standards Institute—NSF/ANSI 391.1. The purpose of this Standard is to establish uniform ESG and supply chain performance indicators for professional services organizations that exemplify sustainability leadership in the market. Abt has submitted our intent to be part of the first cohort of firms to undertake this certification process—as soon it becomes available. We look forward to this exciting endeavor as it will serve as an important testament of Abt’s efforts in this critical management area.

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