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Environmental risks and social inequality are making the world more complicated and unpredictable.
Customers are increasingly aware of their personal impact on the world and businesses must work hard to build and maintain their trust.
This applies regardless of whether we are sourcing items to sell or use within our business.
Our Human Rights Policy and Code of Ethics and Behaviours reinforces our commitment and responsibility to respect internationally-recognised human rights and the principles and guidance contained in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
We undertake due-diligence assessments currently from an ethical trade and responsible sourcing perspective and these are being extended to encompass human rights impacts of our business and set ambitious targets to mitigate negative impacts and improve performance.
Our suppliers must comply with the standards set out in our Global Sourcing Principles and where appropriate specific technical sourcing standards and aspire to adopting higher standards or more stringent processes.
Our customers benefit too – from better quality, better value products and peace of mind.
They must be able to demonstrate that they are doing so.
We introduced our ethical trading programme, including ethical audits of our supply chain, during the 1990s, and we’ve worked hard to make sure supply chain workers enjoy decent working conditions.
In many countries, jobs at factories or farms that produce for the international market are highly sought after - and we know from experience that the companies running them benefit from increased commitment and productivity when their employees are treated with respect, work in decent conditions, and earn fair rates of pay.
We aim to achieve our objectives by developing clear and agreed standards with our suppliers, supported by regular visits and a policy of continual improvement.
We apply strict sanctions when our standards are not met, or where there is no commitment to improve standards.
Suppliers must agree with us in advance the production site or workplaces to be used and no subcontracting of our orders from these agreed locations is allowed.