Our approach

Our goal is to minimise negative impacts and make a positive contribution to the businesses, people and communities that make up our supply chain. As a global company with many thousands of suppliers around the world, we have an obligation and an opportunity to promote responsible sourcing.

​​​A strategic priority

Responsible sourcing is one of three strategic objectives for our supply chain operations. It has its own assurance system, integrated into our Corporate Governance Framework and underpinned by our vision, mission and values. We have also signed up to the CE100, an Ellen MacArthur Foundation initiative to support a circular economy.

Our expectations

All new suppliers must commit to our Code of Business Conduct for Suppliers (the Supplier Code) before we start any business relationship with them. In the Supplier Code, we set out the expectations of our suppliers, based on the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact, encouraging them to invest in their own sustainability agenda to meet or exceed global best practice. A control framework enables us to evaluate compliance.

In recent years we have focused on implementing our Supplier Code with existing suppliers. In 2016, 97 percent of suppliers (by spend) had signed the Code, including direct and indirect suppliers. For packaging raw material suppliers, the rate is 100 percent.

100 percent of packaging raw material suppliers have signed our Supplier Code

Supplier engagement

We have teamed up with Sedex, the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, to invite suppliers to participate in an annual supplier assessment questionnaire. The 2016 feedback from 1,000 suppliers is currently being reviewed to evaluate potential risks and further priorities. In 2017, we will continue working with those where we have found potential risks. Moreover, in 2016, we selected strategic suppliers for on-site audits, working closely with third-party auditing firms to support performance improvement in line with the Supplier Code. 


In 2016, we launched an e-learning module on responsible sourcing, which will become mandatory for colleagues in supplier sourcing during 2017. We also established a Forum of Expertise for Responsible Sourcing made up of central and local supplier management teams to ensure that sustainability is integrated into day-to-day activities. The forum will also support global supplier management teams to develop their skills.

Charles Brand shares his thoughts on our pledge to support the EU plastics strategy

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