We are committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards amongst our suppliers.
We are strongly opposed to the exploitation of workers and we will not tolerate forced labour (including the most recent Modern Slavery Act), or labour which involves physical, verbal or psychological harassment or intimidation. For further information, please see our Modern Slavery Statement on page 82.
We will not accept human trafficking or the exploitation of children and young people in our business and we undertake all possible steps to ensure that these high standards are maintained. We regularly review related policies to ensure that they remain up to date and fit for purpose.
Our Supplier Code of Conduct and its principles are based on international standards, including the International Labour Organisation (“ILO”) conventions and recommendations, which in turn are based on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Convention on Rights of the Child.
We carry out a rolling programme of Code of Conduct audits and assessments with our suppliers across social, ethical and ESG issues.
This rolling programme and regular review ensures continued compliance with our Sourcing Code of Conduct across our supply-chain.
A risk-based (or tiered) approach is used to devote most attention to the areas of greatest risk. For Tier 1 suppliers, which are those operating in higher risk countries, we conduct in-depth audits, including inperson factory visits, confirming compliance every two years as standard, and every year for bike suppliers.
Tier 2 suppliers are generally own-brand manufacturers operating in low-risk countries. For these, we may accept an alternative audit report as a means of validating compliance, and we will accept a reduced frequency of audit.
Tier 3 suppliers are proprietary branded goods for resale. Our standard terms include conditions to explicitly reference our Suppliers Code of Conduct which they must sign up to.
During FY21, despite fewer visits due to COVID-19 limiting global travel, we have maintained our high standards of compliance and no concerns of unacceptable conduct were raised or reported. As soon as restrictions allow, we will ensure supplier compliance according to our usual governance.
In FY22, we will engage further with our supply chain in the following ways:
- Present, as usual, our Supplier Code of Conduct at the Annual Supplier Conference.
- Review our supplier Terms and Conditions and update them for enhancements to our ESG Strategy.
- Start to work with our suppliers to understand their ESG and Ethical Sourcing commitments in further depth.