Due diligence and supplier performance
Our centrally-controlled suppliers go through a due diligence process, which includes two stages. Firstly, a contractual commitment to our ethical requirements through reference to our Supplier Commitments in the standard trading agreement. Secondly, an assessment of compliance with the commitments through our Online Risk Assessment (ORA) questionnaire. The ORA includes but is not limited to Business Ethics, Labour and Human Rights, Environment, Health & Safety and Product Quality. On completion of the ORA, the supplier receives a bespoke risk assessment for their company in the 3 key areas of Environmental Responsibility, Social Responsibility, and Quality & Product. Based on the results, our QA team may contact them to request further documentary evidence or undertake additional tasks to demonstrate compliance or mitigate risk. There are cases where a supplier account has been closed based on their ORA results although this has not been for reasons relating to modern slavery.
A third stage of assessment is in place for manufacturers of our own-brand (or no-brand, i.e. commodity) products; an audit programme. For a factory to be approved to manufacture on our behalf they need to pass an audit (which contains both technical and ethical components), conducted either by our QA team or our nominated 3rd party, Intertek. We work with our manufacturers to ensure that any major non-compliances are addressed before any further activity is undertaken with them.
These three stages of assessment form our minimum expectation around supplier due diligence and work is ongoing to bring all Group businesses and all suppliers under this framework.
Additionally, over 97% of timber and timber fibre products purchased by the Group in 2018 were certified as responsibly sourced (76% FSC and 21% PEFC). Both the FSC and PEFC certification schemes require compliance with the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, 1998, prohibiting the use of forced or child labour.