The standards we expect in these areas are set out in our supplier standards policy document 'Partnering with Suppliers', compliance with which is a formal part of our qualification process for raw material suppliers.
To confirm that our suppliers maintain adequate standards we use the independent Suppliers Ethical Data Exchange, or Sedex, through which participating suppliers post self-assessments online. These can be accessed by any of their customers signed up to the scheme, eliminating the duplication of reporting separately to each.
We have played a leading part in AIM-Progress, a consumer goods industry initiative to make the assessment of suppliers consistent across all member companies. The benefits of collaboration are becoming apparent as an increasing number of suppliers are found to be common and their input is being simplified. As one supplier put it, 'We have had over 20 requests for the same information and we really welcome this initiative. We are also now planning on rolling this out to our suppliers too.'