California Transparency in Supply Chain Act
Unilever supports the goals of the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010. Our Code of Business Principles, Human Rights Report and our supplier Responsible Sourcing Policy embody our commitment to the human dignity and labor rights of our employees and suppliers.
1. Code of Business Principles
Unilever’s Code of Business Principles and our Human Rights Report confirm that we conduct our operations with honesty, integrity and openness, and with respect for the human rights and interests of our employees. The section of our Code dealing with employees clearly states our opposition to forced and child labor and sets out our respect for employees’ right to freedom of association.
All reported breaches of the Code of Business Principles are monitored by regional Code Committees and the Global Code and Policy Committee. We expect and encourage employees to bring to our attention any breach of the Code. A 24-hour toll-free ‘ethics hotline’ number is available in all countries for individuals who wish to raise any concerns in relation to the Code (on an anonymous basis if they wish and where local laws allow this).
2. Supplier Code
In Unilever’s Code of Business Principles and Code Policies, Unilever requires responsible practices in our supply chain. Unilever’s Responsible Sourcing Policy (“RSP”), which is accepted by our suppliers, helps to implement this commitment and establishes non-negotiable minimum standards for Unilever suppliers in the areas of fair labor standards, health and safety, sustainability and reducing environmental impact. (https://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/enhancing-livelihoods/fairness-in-the-workplace/advancing-human-rights-with-suppliers-and-business-partners/).
Unilever is also a member of Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange), a not for profit membership organization dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. More information can be found at www.sedexglobal.com.
3. Supplier Audits
Our RSP requires that direct suppliers comply with all the law and regulations in the countries within which the supplier operates. The RSP also contains the benchmarks expected of our suppliers relating to all of the International Labour Organization’s Fundamental Principles. Adherence to the RSP incorporates supplier questionnaires, assessments and audits against the RSP by independent audit houses. We aim to review and update these benchmarks on a regular basis to ensure that they continue to set the benchmark that others in the industry will aspire to.
We expect our suppliers and their employees or contractors to report actual or suspected breaches of our RSP. Unilever will investigate any reported non-conformity made in good faith and discuss the finding with the supplier. If remediation is required, the supplier will be expected to coordinate with Unilever and implement a corrective action plan and timeline to effectively and promptly resolve the RSP non-conformity.
Unilever also reserves the right to terminate an agreement with any supplier who does not comply with Unilever’s RSP.
4. Human Rights in our Business Activities
Unilever bases its Human Rights commitment and policy on the International Bill of Human Rights and the principles concerning fundamental rights set out in the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Unilever’s approach to protect and promote human rights is achieved by upholding our values and standards in our operations and in our relationships with our suppliers and other business, as well as by working through external initiatives, such as the United Nations Global Compact, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and, the United Nations Principles Reporting Framework..
5. Employee Training
Unilever’s Code of Business Principles and Code Polices is provided to our employees and accompanied by learning and training tools. On an annual basis, employees are required to acknowledge that they have received and read Unilever’s Code of Business Principles and Code Policies, and that they agree to follow its principles.
Unilever’s Code of Business Principles and Code Polices will continue to evolve and adapt to a changing world. It will continue to have practical value in our day to day business and Unilever strives to ensure that its employees follow these principles in substance and in spirit.