We undertake due-diligence assessments currently from an ethical trade and responsible sourcing perspective and these are being extended to encompass human rights impacts of our business and set ambitious targets to mitigate negative impacts and improve performance.
Our suppliers must comply with the standards set out in our Global Sourcing Principles
and where appropriate specific technical sourcing standards and aspire to adopting higher standards or more stringent processes.
It is our suppliers’ responsibility to enforce our requirements within their own supply chain. They must be aware of vulnerable groups like women, smallholders, homeworkers and subcontractors, and have adequate monitoring in place to ensure the rights of these groups are upheld.
We work on the principle of continuous improvement and in close partnership with our suppliers, moving away from a solely compliance-based approach to one that is focussed on improved outcomes for workers and with open dialogue.
We are determined to do everything we can to bring fair sourcing principles to all stages of our supply chain. However, it is simply not possible for us to monitor or control the working conditions of each individual who contributes to what ultimately becomes a product we sell or use. We will not under any circumstances accept production from non-approved sites or goods supplied from sites that differ from our contracts system for each specific contract.
We use the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex)
system to monitor our suppliers’ progress towards our requirements. All product suppliers are required to be registered on Sedex. We are in the process of extending this requirement to our major non-merchandise suppliers. We currently have over 3,000 suppliers registered on the Sedex.
Our specialist Regional Office teams located in the UK, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Cambodia and Vietnam support our local buying offices to monitor social compliance and encourage good practice. Sites are audited by independent specialist third parties at a frequency determined by risk. For the majority of suppliers this is on an annual basis. In addition, M&S personnel will be visiting each site on a regular basis
We work with a number of collaborative partners and multi-stakeholder initiatives and as part of the work together we travel to manufacturing locations and for some we produce annual reports. We submit an annual report to the ETI Board setting out the steps we have taken during the year to tackle working conditions in our supply chain.
We summarise the results of our social compliance activities in our annual Plan A Report and we disclose additional information on our approach to auditing and audit results.