A major field of action for us are the social standards at our suppliers and their sub-contractors worldwide, and therefore the working conditions for the employees at production sites. With our Code of Conduct and our Social Programme, with which we audit and educate our suppliers, we are engaged in supporting socially acceptable production conditions.
The Otto Group buys over a million different articles from more than 70 sourcing countries and works with several thousand suppliers, who in turn place orders with various factories. We want to offer our customers goods produced in compliance with social standards. Therefore, in 1996 we developed the Code of Conduct governing our supply chain and, building on this, introduced a Social Programme in 1999.
With the Social Programme we want to create good working conditions for factory workers and provide transparency about where and how goods for the Otto Group are produced. As a first step, suppliers are required to disclose their factory structure and demonstrate valid social standards for each factory in which they produce goods for the Otto Group. Suppliers who fulfil these requirements are considered to be ‘integrated’. Our objective is to integrate all suppliers into the Social Programme by the end of 2015 whose factories are in countries in which compliance with minimum social standards is not ensured, or only partially so. These countries include for example China, India, Turkey, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam.
In the long term we want to educate and qualify suppliers to a level where they not only possess recognised certificates but also systematically and permanently ensure better working conditions on their own initiative.
For our own employees, too, as well as for employees of our business partners and service providers -such as external cleaning services at own locations - we have developed specific social standards. They are consistent with internationally applicable standards, such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and applicable Conventions of the ILO, as well as legislation in the respective country. In Germany, as well as in all other countries, we comply with local laws and regulations, and we adhere to existent collective agreements.