OUR SUPPLY CHAIN
We contract with responsible vendors throughout the world to ensure our products are manufactured in accordance with acceptable environmental, legal, and ethical standards. Our supply chain practices include:
- Monitoring activity regularly through direct audits or through third-party auditors
- Reviewing our vendor base and volumes from source countries
- Seeking alternate source countries and emerging markets and developing contingency plans to react to various economic or geo-political barrier that may arise
- Evaluating our processes and performance and creating solutions to minimize our environmental impact, such as switching from corrugate to recyclable totes for internal movement of product and other items inside our distribution centers
- Exploring new technologies to maximize our storage and processing capacity without adding additional footprint or expending non-essential resources
- Building reliability and strategic redundancy through regionalization of our distribution network operations to ensure that, in the event of emergency, significant parts of the business could be shifted to other locations in order to provide business continuity - as an example, many of our buildings have been constructed using some of the highest standards to reduce potential damage from natural forces and significant weather events
We were honored to receive the 2018 Circle of Excellence Award by the Distribution Business Management (DBM) Association in recognition of our sustainable supply chain management, commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship.
IMPROVING FACTORY WORKING CONDITIONS
We recognize that our responsibility as a company extends beyond our four walls and into our supply chain and have developed our Supplier Code of Conduct to set the compliance requirements that all our suppliers should attain. These standards are communicated by each of our suppliers to their workers and posted prominently in the supplier sites. We implement the standards by auditing our supplier sites. We use the services of independent third party, Underwriters Laboratory (UL), to audit the factories in which we do business to assess compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct. In addition, we accept a certification from WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) in lieu of an inspection. Our new suppliers must pass an audit or show WRAP certification before they are able to manufacture for us and legacy suppliers are audited at least once a year or have a current WRAP certification. We do this to ensure a consistent standard for working conditions throughout the world that are often above and beyond local regulation.
We believe in continuous improvement and remediation over termination. If a supplier does not fully meet our requirements under our Supplier Code of Conduct, we will work with them to develop a corrective action plan (CAP). The CAP provides next steps to remediate the findings found in an audit, and there will be a subsequent follow up audit to assess the progress made.
SOCIAL AND LABOR AUDITS
We audit all our manufacturing facilities and our largest mills on an annual basis. Our top four audited countries are China, Indonesia, India and Vietnam.
SUPPLIER CODE OF CONDUCT
The key elements of our Supplier Code of Conduct are:
COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW
Suppliers must comply with all laws, rules and regulations of the country where they operate.
MINIMUM WAGE AND BENEFITS
Suppliers must pay workers the minimum wage prescribed by local law or the prevailing local industry wage (whichever is higher), pay workers overtime compensation in compliance with all applicable laws, and provide to workers benefits that conform to the better of applicable local law or prevailing local industry standards.
MAXIMUM WORKING HOURS
Overtime must be limited to a level consistent with humane and productive working conditions. Workers shall not be required, on a regularly scheduled basis, to work in excess of 60 hours per week (or lower if prescribed by local laws or local industry standards), and, generally, workers shall be provided with at least one day off in seven.
NO FORCED LABOR
Prison, indentured, bonded, and involuntary or slave labor or labor obtained through human trafficking must not be used.
CHILD LABOR, YOUNG WORKERS, APPRENTICES AND TRAINEES
Facilities must not employ individuals under the age of 15 or under the legal working age, whichever stricter. Working conditions (including labor and health and safety practices) of employees under the age of 18 shall be in compliance with law and not jeopardize the health, safety or morals of these employees. Employment of trainees, apprentices and individuals under the age of 18 shall be conducted in compliance with the law, including medical testing, applicable documentation maintenance, such as licenses and permits, and terms of employment, such as hours and pay.
Workers must be selected only on the basis of their ability to do the job and not on the basis of other personal characteristics or beliefs.
NO CORPORAL PUNISHMENT
Neither corporal punishment nor any other form of physical or psychological coercion may be used against workers.
FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
The lawful exercise of workers’ rights of free association must be respected and not restricted or interfered with, and workers lawfully exercising those rights shall not be threatened or penalized.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
The work environment must be safe and healthy.
Suppliers must comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations.
Projects undertaken in partnership with community groups, or local or international non-government organizations (NGOs), particularly those that address educational opportunities for younger people employed in production facilities, shall be encouraged and supported.
Suppliers, and their subcontractors and agents, must give our auditors and our employees unrestricted access to all production facilities and dormitories and to all relevant records, whether or not notice is provided in advance.