"Social audit programme
Finished goods suppliers are required to comply with our ethical sourcing on-boarding process which includes compliance with our policy suite (see below), audit and corrective action remediation programme. Suppliers are required to complete a pre-audit questionnaire and undergo either an annual internal audit conducted by our in-country compliance teams or provide a third party audit conducted in the past 12 months.
Our in-country compliance teams conduct physical site visits of facilities in China, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bangladesh and India before they can be approved for production during which conditions are reviewed against the standards in our Supplier Code of Conduct. Audits must cover our Supplier Code of Conduct which is based on the ETI Base Code, all relevant laws and include criteria such as working hours, wages, freedom of association, subcontracting, freely chosen employment and health and safety.
Suppliers found to have zero tolerance findings will not be on-boarded into our order platform until these issues are confirmed as remedied.
To ensure continuous improvement of workplace conditions and drive progress on issues identified in audits, suppliers are required to engage in time bound corrective action remediation plans which are overseen and managed by our in-country compliance managers. Findings are graded according to their severity with resolution time-frames ranging from immediate to 90 days accordingly.
During the reporting period, we conducted 70 audits (internal and third party), on an unannounced and semi announced basis. A total of 60 compliance site visits including non-compliance verification visits also took place. Whilst this number is usually higher, the impacts of COVID-19 meant that fewer new suppliers were on-boarded and physical visits limited due to travel limitations and safety restrictions."