Kate Nicholl Skattang

Director - Climate Change and Sustainability Services, EY

I began my career as a procurement and supply chain specialist first working as a buyer at Ford and then a global supply specialist at Rio Tinto. When Rio Tinto bought Alcan in 2007 I worked on a global change project to integrate the new operations and it steered me in the direction of management consulting where I have worked for Accenture, KPMG, boutique consulting firm State of Flux and now EY. I also lectured in supply chain strategy at the university of Melbourne for 5 years.

I began consulting with a traditional supply chain focus in my work and over time I expanded my focus towards modern slavery and supply chain sustainability. The spark was lit in me on a trip to India and China in 2007 when working for Rio Tinto I was looking to expand our supply base for the refactory materials – I now know that brick kilns is an industry high risk for modern slavery, but at the time it was a huge eye opener. During a career break in 2015 I explored this further travelling to India with an NGO called ‘be slavery free’, and working on an academic research project with Melbourne university colleagues on slavery in the seafood industry which resulted in an academic paper, ‘Private governance of human and labour rights in seafood supply chains – The case of modern slavery crisis in Thailand’ in marine policy journal and an article in the conversation. With this research team I made a submission and was asked to give evidence at the inquiry to introduce modern slavery legislation in 2017.

In my role now as a director at EY, I focus solely on helping clients tackle sustainability issues in supply chains and supplier management. Beginning with a focus on modern slavery, I now also help clients conduct risk assessments on broader ESG issues such as working with suppliers to reduce scope 3 emissions and having a positive impact on the community through supplier diversity. I talked about my point of view on this in a recent LinkedIn article