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Ensuring our suppliers share our commitment to human rights

Case study

Grain

Respect for human rights must be embedded throughout our value chain – which is why a commitment to human rights is a core principle of our Partnering with Suppliers Standard, as well as of our Code of Business Conduct.

We want our business partners and third parties to feel comfortable raising concerns about potential breaches so we can investigate and take action. That’s why our confidential whistleblowing helpline and website www.diageospeakup.com are available to external stakeholders as well as our employees.

Acting to address breaches

And we act quickly when we do hear concerns. For example, we received a report that a supplier in South East Asia was allowing a 15 year-old employee on their site, in clear breach of our policies, and of the supplier's commitment that employees would be 18 years old or over. Having substantiated the report, we moved swiftly to ensure there were no longer any workers under 18 on site. We then developed a detailed mitigation plan to prevent this recurring, which included a requirement that the supplier provide us with a list of employees who worked for Diageo.

Protecting workers' rights

In another example, we received an allegation that a third-party cleaning service at one of our sites in East Africa had deducted cleaners' payments to their Savings and Credit Co-operative Society (SACCO) accounts from their wages, but had not made the payments to SACCO. We called on the supplier to explain the delay, and received an assurance that the payments would be remitted by a set date.

In both cases, our resolution process involved senior Diageo managers dealing directly with the supplier to make clear that lack of respect for human rights would not be tolerated.