In order to deliver for our customers, and to improve the lives of the people who use our products, we work extensively with third parties along the value chain. This includes suppliers of materials and services, as well as transport and logistics companies and distribution businesses. The way we work with these organisations creates both risks and opportunities. We aim to build mutually beneficial relationships which exist over the long term, but to do so in a way that is consistent with our Values, our Purpose and the regulatory framework which underpins business ethics. Fundamentally, we must improve the lives of end-users of our products without exploiting the people working in the supply chain.
Many large, public international companies are now aiming to manage human rights and environmental impacts within their supply chains, recognising that their actions and stance can have a ripple effect on standards throughout the chain. We accept our responsibility for setting the correct standards of behaviour and ensuring our partners meet, exceed or are working positively towards these. We believe that developing a more sustainable supply chain will benefit our business over the long term through increased efficiency, product improvements, lower risk and deeper, collaborative relationships.
We must behave responsibly when marketing our products to customers, which include distributors, hospitals, reimbursement organisations and, increasingly, direct to end users. The risk of acting unethically is heightened where we engage a third party organisation to sell or promote our products. To mitigate this risk our compliance team conducts due diligence on the selection of distributors as well as delivering both online and ‘live’ compliance training programmes to distributor staff, based on our Global Third Party Compliance Manual.
For more information on our approach to this topic, see our Corporate Responsibility Report.
We aim to build positive, collaborative relationships with our suppliers to reduce risk of disruption and improve quality and efficiency. However, we also require our suppliers to adhere to our Supplier Code of Conduct (“SCoC”). All new suppliers must sign the Code as part of doing business with ConvaTec and the Code is introduced to all existing supplier contracts as these are renewed. Our SCoC can be downloaded here.
The SCoC draws on the ILO conventions and the Principles of the UN Global Compact, and is consistent with our own Code of Ethics and Business Conduct and our Human Rights and Labour Standards Policy.
To assess our suppliers against the SCoC, we are rolling out third party-managed evidence-based assessment which follows existing best practice and codes, reflecting consultation across a broad group of stakeholders. It is based on a comprehensive set of ethics, labour rights, health and safety and environmental criteria which closely align with our SCoC. This assessment process will be rolled out progressively across our supplier base and all new major suppliers will be strongly encouraged to participate.
We also employ a third-party risk platform which provides in-depth, real-time coverage of a range of factors that could impact on supplier performance (geo-political, climatic, civil unrest), as well as events that may have been ‘caused’ by our suppliers (e.g. strikes, major pollution incidents, human rights abuses reported in the media).
Whilst we are unlikely to terminate supplier relationships immediately on the basis of their assessment scores alone, unless we identify other additional ‘red flags’, such as clear bribery and corruption issues, we will consider these assessment scores as part of our overall supplier evaluation, and will take appropriate action if we consider inadequate performance improvement is being made.
For more information on our approach to supplier assessment, see our Corporate Responsibility Report.
Our policy is never to use testing on animals unless this is mandated by regulatory authorities or when we cannot support a product or product development through the available laboratory and/or human clinical data. When we are mandated to perform testing on animals, or when this is our only option to further a product development which will advance clinical practice, we ensure that such testing is performed in accordance with Good Laboratory Practices and in accordance with Animal Care & Use requirements and guidelines, using only reputable and audited contract research organisations.
For more information on our approach to animal testing, see our Corporate Responsibility Report.