Our Code of Conduct has been a fundamental element of our business relationships ever since 1996. It is based on the core working standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Global Compact and the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises set out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
As a founding member of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (now called amfori BSCI), its values and standards have been an integral part of the Otto Group’s approach to sustainability management ever since 2004. In 2018 we decided to also adopt the amfori BSCI CoC (Code of Conduct) for our supply chain, and in doing so play our part in achieving greater uniformity in the industry. Furthermore, the CoC has also been a part of our "Supplier Declaration on Sustainability" since September 2018, which includes all of the Otto Group’s sustainability requirements on suppliers. The Supplier Declaration underpins our business relationships with merchandise suppliers, and must be signed by the relevant business partners.
Alongside our Code of Conduct for Merchandise, and in accordance with our sourcing structure, the Otto Group has introduced a further CoC for Services and Non-Merchandise Goods (which affects external cleaning services at our own locations, for instance).
On entering into a business relationship with the Otto Group, suppliers and business partners undertake not only to uphold the Code of Conduct’s standards in their factories, but also to ensure their subcontractors abide by them. The Codes of Conduct also serve as justification to verify that all trading and business partners are complying with the standards set out in them.
Concrete requirements for our business partners are important. At the same time, we know that a partnership approach between purchasing companies and business partners is crucial for better working conditions in supply chains. Our "Responsible Purchasing Declaration"' summarises the demands we place on ourselves and our partners.
Around half of the merchandise purchased by the Otto Group is for our own and licensed brands, with third-party brands accounting for the other half. In the case of the latter, the brand manufacturers are responsible for upholding social and environmental standards in the production of these articles.