“SESCA: cutting-edge technology for ethical responsibility throughout the entire supply chain and human rights for all“
Orixe AS in cooperation with the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) and T&G Elektro funded by RFF Viken.
The purpose of the project is to develop an AI engine that can ensure ethical business processes throughout entire supply chains. With new legislation, like the Norwegian Transparency Law (Åpenhetsloven), German Supply Chain Act, the currently drafted EU due diligence directive and similar laws in other countries across Europe, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to prove that the goods and services they deliver have been produced through ethically responsible business processes and trustworthy supply chains.
To make it easier for businesses to ensure these ethical standards, we seek to develop an AI solution based on language analysis and randomized questions.
The AI solution will indicate if a business fulfils standards for ethical Due Diligence, in relation to the UN Global Compact Principles. The OECD guidelines for responsible business conduct informs the baseline for defining best practice when it comes to business ethics, and to identify relevant risk factors.
Define risk indicators and a best practice framework
Design and develop an AI application for ethical responsible supply chains
Test and pilot the AI application in real supply chains
Modern complex supply chains hide many problems. According to antislavery.org, 16 million people caught in modern slavery can be linked to international supply chains. Moreover, McKinsey reports that supply chains can be responsible for up to 90 % of the total environmental impact of a company. Ensuring ethical supply chains is thus critical for businesses to comply to the UN’s Global Compact Principles for Human Rights, Labor, Environment and Anti-Corruption.
Creating transparency and ensuring ethical conduct in supply chains as a whole is an important step forwardin combating these issues. By putting companies in better control of their supply chains, we can ensure that individuals, societies, and businesses, are able to demand progressively stricter ethical standards from both private and public sector with the knowledge that businesses can access the appropriate tools needed to uphold such standards and ensure human rights for all workers within supply chains.
SESCA aims at contributing to democratise and make available a process where also small and medium enterprises can prove and ensure ethical conduct throughout the supply chain, at a low cost.The lack of highly advanced technology within the field of sustainability verification has been holding SME’s back, and been giving large companies a competitive advantage when it comes to proving compliance with ethical standards, since former solutions have been based on man hours put in from highly educated staff. SESCA aims at harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and build a platform that will democratise business life for all size of companies and make everyday life for workers in all parts of the supply chain safe and liveable.
The goal of this pilot-project is to develop a proof-of-concept model based on a few UN Global Compact principles aimed towards human rights. The model will be scalable to all the UN Global Compact principles. By doing this, we hope to gain insights into how to proceed with language analysis to ensure corporate sustainability, and in how the use of AI might impact the field of business ethics as a whole.
The idea is to ensure transparency of ethical standards in every part of the supply chain, in order to indicate the total ethical and sustainable performance of the business processes of a company.
To define the risk indicators that our AI engine will search for, we have planned workshops involving various experts within relevant topics such as ethics, sustainability, AI, supply chain management, and so forth. These workshops are conducted early in 2022.
In this manner we will attain further understanding of which risk indicators are relevant for the AI to recognise, and what would need to be included in an ethical framework that aims at ensuring that human rights are respected throughout supply chains.
The next step will be to scale up the application to also include the rest of the Global Compacts principlesconcerning sustainable business life and to make this new tool available to all businesses all over the world.
ESCA aims at harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence to build a platform that will democratize business life for all size of companies and making everyday life for workers in all parts of the supply chain safe and liveable.
The project team is carefully selected to hold both expertise and boldness in order to ensure that this cutting-edge technology becomes reality.
Project Manager Gunilla F. Grimsgaard has over 25 years of experience from managing innovation projects and holds expertise within cyber security. She is also the founder of Orixe AS.
The AI development and design will be led by associate professor Rania El-Gazzar from USN. Rania has 3 years of experience within AI research and holds a PhD in information systems.
Harald is a part of the Orixe team and has been from one of the corner stones in developing the sustainability platform. He has an BSc in Business Administration & Philosophy from Copenhagen Business School, BA in Philosophy from the University of Oslo and an Honours in Environmental Humanities and Sciences from UiO.
Julie Nitsche Kvalvik, Chief Quality Officer of T&G Elektro AS, will give insights on the requirements from quality management system point of view and conduct practical tests of the AI engine. Julie holds a PhD within green energy from UiO.
332894 – RFFVIKEN