Rolling out our supply chain standards
Our success in the marketplace relies on responsible behaviour and good corporate citizenship. One of these responsibilities is the maintenance of high environmental and social standards within the supply chain. We continually review our approach to ethical and sustainable supply chain management since it is vital that our relationships with business partners and suppliers are aligned with our approach to CR. We have developed a detailed supplier code of practice, which we initially piloted across our sites in Bangladesh. We have rolled out the code as part of a broader global implementation strategy and this work was completed by the end of 2016. We carried out over 30 face-to-face supplier engagement workshops across 15 countries,targeting over 80% of our key suppliers. Have a look at our case study for more detail.
We uphold the aims of the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 and the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and have recently published an updated Modern Slavery statement on our websites.
Furthermore, we uphold the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights throughout all our operations. Our global policies support the requirements of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the core ILO Conventions, and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Supply chain audits
Our manufacturing plants are regularly audited by our clients and global branded customers and we continue to meet their ethical trade and environmental standards. In China we have staff who have been trained and certified as Corporate Responsibility Auditors. They are now equipped with the skills to carry out their own social compliance audits. Using international CR guidelines, the accredited Lead Auditors have also developed our own Internal Auditor Training Programme which is being rolled out at our factories.
Working in partnership
We are also committed to working with others across the industry to develop new products and services and to ensure high standards are maintained across our sector. We have worked in partnership with several of our customers to develop a tool called StockMatch. StockMatch helps our customers minimise waste by using a hand-held device to keep track of thread volumes held in storage. See our case studies for more information on both of these initiatives.
We are members of GAFTI, the Global Apparel, Footwear and Textile Initiative. This initiative aims to bring together retailers, brands, and manufacturers to improve efficiencies and implement global standards for ethical trade. The group is focusing on three areas: product safety, sustainability and compliance. GAFTI is also working in collaboration with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, to develop a common approach to measuring and evaluating apparel and footwear product sustainability performance.
In 2016, we signed up to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme, originally launched in 2011 by six leading brands. Through our commitment to ZDHC, we will be working with the industry to eliminate hazardous chemicals not only from our own operations but also the rest of the supply chain.