Sourcing responsibly

Why it's material

As a responsible corporate citizen, sourcing ethically is not only the right thing to do, it's an important differentiator for value creation. Visibility into the supply chain helps identify issues and risks early and address consumer concerns about issues like child labour.

How this issue links to other aspects of our business

Our global priority SDGs


Our top ten risks

  • 3 Evolving technologies and consumer preferences
  • 4 Sustainability expectations

Our strategic fundamentals

  • Grow our business
  • Drive operational excellence
  • Build trust

The global forces shaping our Thrive25 strategy

  • Resource scarcity and growing concern for natural capital
  • Continued erosion of trust in business, coupled with increasing social activism



This broad goal aligns with our focus on being a responsible corporate citizen and providing a safe working environment in which our employees can reach their full potential.

Our approach

As a thriving global business, we use our scale to positively impact stakeholders and industries around the world. We achieve this through ongoing engagement with our suppliers to help familiarise them with our Supplier Code of Conduct (Code). The Code outlines the commitments to economic, social and environmental responsibility that we expect our suppliers to uphold – commitments that, we believe, will strengthen their own businesses.

Key developments in 2020

We continued to move forward with the implementation of the Code, embedding compliance thereof into new contracts as they were issued, as well as obtaining signed Declarations of Compliance from suppliers. In SEU especially, we made significant strides forward in ensuring supplier compliance with the Code. Through concerted effort of our procurement teams and responsiveness of our suppliers, during 2020 we managed to ensure 61% of our procurement spend was with suppliers who have signed a declaration of compliance. A tool was also established to enable tracking of progress and to ensure we have oversight at all times on coverage according to different procurement categories and suppliers. In SNA, 10% of procurement spend in compliance with the Code, while in SSA we are still in the early phases of rolling out the programme and have only achieved 1% of compliance.

Going beyond self-declarations of compliance, we are now working to initiate a supplier evaluation programme to actively solicit sustainability-related information from priority suppliers to enable further evaluation and mitigation of risk. Using Ecovadis as our selected tool will enable us to gain insights into our suppliers' sustainability performance, and further improve our ability to collaborate with our suppliers so that together we can make a greater positive impact on People, Planet and Prosperity.

Our approach to Modern Slavery

Read about Our approach to Modern Slavery.

Monitoring fundamental rights

UNGC Principle 1:

Business should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.

The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index® measures rule-of-law adherence in 126 countries and jurisdictions worldwide based on eight factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.

The fourth factor, fundamental rights, encompasses adherence to the following: effective enforcement of laws that ensure equal protection, the right to life and security of the person, due process of law and the rights of the accused, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of belief and religion, the right to privacy, freedom of assembly and association, and fundamental labour rights, including the right to collective bargaining, prohibition of forced and child labour, and elimination of discrimination.

Under this index, the countries in which we have manufacturing operations are classified as set out in the table below. This confirms our understanding that human rights violations in these countries are limited. Scores range from 0 to 1, with 1 indicating the strongest adherence to the rule of law:

2020 scores and global rankings

    Country   Score   Global
(out of 128
  Austria   0.82   8
  Belgium   0.79   14
  Canada   0.81   9
  Finland   0.87   3
  Germany   0.84   6
  Italy   0.66   27
  Netherlands   0.84   5
  South Africa   0.59   45
  United States of America   0.72   21
  United Kingdom   0.79   13

We have identified no operations or significant suppliers where the right to exercise freedom of association and collective bargaining has been violated or is at significant risk, nor have we identified operations and significant suppliers as having any significant risk for incidents of child labour. Similarly, we have identified no operations and significant suppliers as having significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labour, and measures to contribute to the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour.