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Case studies

We are committed to our CR programme and around the world our business units are undertaking initiatives and projects that support this.

The case studies below explain some of the activities under way and demonstrate how we are meeting our corporate responsibilities and developing best practice that we can share across our global operations.

Our Standards

Coats operates to the highest business and employment standards wherever we operate.  We maintain a working environment that we can be proud of and this is a shared responsibility.

It is vitally important that everyone who works for Coats (or acts on our behalf) understands their role in upholding our responsible approach to business and abiding by our Ethics Code. Everyone in the business needs to take responsibility for setting, and living by, the highest standards in terms of ethical behaviour, and the laws relating to anti-corruption and fair competition.

Our ethics training programme was originally developed in 2011 and consists of three online courses, covering:

1. Ethics in general including:

- Fraud

- Conflict of interest

- Environmental

- Health and safety

- Employment

2. Bribery and corruption

3. Competition law

On an annual basis, between 2011 and 2014, all 4,500+ senior employees and those with externally facing roles successfully completed the online training by passing a test on each subject.  This confirms that they have read and understood the relevant company policies.  The courses have been translated into the 18 most common languages across Coats, and have been included in the onboarding process for new recruits.

During 2016, we have updated and re-issued our global code of conduct and ethics code to reflect changes in policy and legislation. All 4,500+ senior employees and those with external facing roles received refresher training during 2016 in ethics, anti-bribery and corruption, and competition policies and laws.

During 2016, we have also developed a new ‘data protection’ training module to reflect our global cyber security programme and upcoming legislation changes. 1,775 employees had completed the ‘data protection’ training module by the end of 2016 and 4,374 by the end of January 2017.

We believe that this approach is an effective way to ensure that Coats senior employees, and those engaged in sales and procurement roles, have a clear understanding of our expectations.

Coats operates to the highest ethical, social and environmental standards at all of our manufacturing sites across the world. Our internal code of business conduct states our commitment to good business practice and to meeting recognised international human rights and labour standards, including:

  • The United Nations (UN) Declaration of Human Rights
  • The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Eight Fundamental Conventions
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. 

Our efforts to uphold these high standards have been recognised by the ‘Garments Without Guilt’ campaign in Sri Lanka. This campaign, set up by the Sri Lankan apparel industry, aims to boost the reputation of the sector and make the 'Made in Sri Lanka' label synonymous with quality, reliability and social and environmental accountability.

Garments without guiltIn 2014, Coats Sri Lanka was presented with the ‘Garments Without Guilt’ certificate in recognition of being:

  • Free of child labour
  • Free of forced labour
  • Free of discrimination
  • Free of ‘sweatshop’ practices, including limits on working hours
  • Guaranteeing workers the right to freedom of association
  • Requiring that workers receive all legally required pay and benefits
  • Ensuring that workplaces are safe, with specific requirement for the management of these issues
  • Observing responsible environmental practices

The certification process is conducted by an independent third party, under the auspices of SGS, one of the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification companies, and Coats is the only thread company in Sri Lanka to have been awarded the certificate. 

Find out more about the Garments Without Guilt movement on its website by clicking on the link above.


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