In order to deliver for our customers, 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. 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.
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 carries out due diligence reviews 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 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report.
We 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.
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.