Industry News

BIFFA partners with Ride for Freedom as part of the campaign against Modern Day Slavery

A cyclist on the Ride for Freedom rides past a row of large Biffa bins.

Biffa  Ride for Freedom, the social enterprise that undertakes inspiring cycling challenges to raise awareness of Modern Slavery.

Biffa is fully committed to stamping out Modern Slavery and has set itself the target to become the acknowledged industry leader in anti-slavery practices with a zero-tolerance policy.

The podium partnership for Ride to Freedom 2021 will enable Biffa to continue raising awareness of human trafficking as well as sharing the psychological and physical benefits that cycling can have in supporting people who have previously been victims of modern slavery.

As one of the largest businesses in the waste management sector, Biffa is a proud, founding member of the Hope for Justice’s Slave-Free Alliance, a group that brings businesses together to tackle exploitation in supply chains.

Biffa has been recognised by the SFA for making significant strides year on year and adopting a proactive stance to mitigate risks.

Biffa also works closely with Hope for Justice, the international anti-human trafficking charity, promoting awareness of this important global issue across the business, supply chains and wider industry.

Within the business, Biffa has extensive policies, procedures and training aimed at combatting Modern Slavery in the workforce and runs external campaigns such as the rebranding of several waste trucks with anti-slavery messaging last year.

More can be read about Biffa’s work on the issue in its latest Modern Slavery Statement.

The appalling impact of Modern Slavery practices on its victims is fully appreciated and all Biffa plc group companies take a zero-tolerance approach to Modern Slavery of any kind.

Commenting on becoming a Ride For Freedom podium partner, Mel Flogdell, Divisional HR Director, said: “Modern Slavery is a heinous crime and as a leading business in the waste sector employing more than 8,000 people, we want to be at the forefront of tackling the issue in our industry.

“Along with embedding anti-slavery policies and procedures across our business, part of our responsibility is to raise awareness of the presence of Modern Slavery. Ride for Freedom is a fantastic initiative that helps us do just that. It also has the added benefit of supporting the health of our employees who take part in the cycling event.”

About Ride for Freedom

Ride for Freedom, whose mission is ‘to utilise the universal appeal and power of cycling to deliver positive social impacts and specifically to raise awareness of Modern Slavery’, is led by the human rights advocate Gordon Miller.

The initiative has been running since 2019 when Miller cycled around England to shine a light on Modern Slavery and fundraise for Hope for Justice and Unseen.

Last year, during Ride for Freedom 2020, Miller again cycled across England to set a Guinness World Record for the “Largest GPS Drawing by Bicycle”. He cycled 620.5 miles to spell “end Modern Slavery’.

The Ride for Freedom 2021 cycling challenges include a ride, starting on 1 October, to shine a light on a documented human trafficking route, of approximately 2,900km from Cadiz, Spain, to finish in London on 18 October, Anti-Slavery Day.

The epic ride, that Miller has named “El Gordo” (which translates from Spanish as “the fat/big one”), will include an attempt to break the current Guinness World Record of 1,662km for the “greatest distance covered by an electric bicycle in one week”.

His aim is to cycle ~1,720kms (1,068 miles) in 7 consecutive days (245 km/152 miles a day). Biffa team members will join the final two legs of the ride that will take place in the UK.

Ride for Freedom is also developing the Freewheel pilot programme, in partnership with the charity  Unseen, that empowers survivors of exploitation to cycle.

Biffa is proud to partner with Ride for Freedom during 2021.

The collaboration extends to the co-ordination of a Biffa intracompany bike ride that will conclude on Cycle to Work Day, 5 August 2021.

The event will shine a light on Biffa’s zero tolerance to Modern Slavery and highlight the company’s support for their employees’ physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Martin is a journalist and PR executive of Commercial Waste Magazine. He has worked in the commercial waste and recycling industry for over a decade and is dedicated to raising public awareness in the amount of recyclable waste being sent to landfill every year.

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