WESFARMERS SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2018

Officeworks works with suppliers to improve working conditions

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Officeworks Global Sourcing Merchandiser Leah Coleman, visits a supplier's factory in China.

With over 40,000 products ranged, Officeworks’ end to end supply chain is global and complex. To ensure that the products sold are ethically sourced, Officeworks has a comprehensive approach that is built on the values of transparency, integrity, collaboration and continuous improvement, aiming to protect workers’ rights throughout the supply chain. All suppliers of products and services are required to adhere to the Officeworks’ Ethical Sourcing Policy, which aligns to the standards set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the principles of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). Officeworks is a member of Sedex, the world’s largest collaborative platform for sharing responsible sourcing data on supply chains.

To ensure that suppliers are complying to the Ethical Sourcing Policy, a threefold approach is taken. Firstly, Officeworks seeks to understand what policies and mechanisms that suppliers have in place to ensure that they are adequately monitoring and addressing human rights within their own supply chain, and that it aligns to the Officeworks Ethical Sourcing Policy. Secondly, if these policies don’t meet the same standards and requirements, suppliers are required to register with Sedex, and complete the self-assessment questionnaire. This gives Officeworks an insight into the working conditions at the site where the goods are produced. Finally, Officeworks may then request third party audits that provide an independent detailed assessment of the conditions in the factory. Upon review of these audits, Officeworks seeks to work with its suppliers and factories to address any issues through a remediation process, which involves a follow-up audit to ensure that corrective actions have been implemented.

There are currently 1015 manufacturing sites registered on Sedex that supply products to Officeworks. During the 2018 financial year Officeworks reviewed audits from 441 of these sites, issuing supplier ratings and approval periods, based on the working conditions identified on the audits. Where infringements are identified, such as inadequate personal protective equipment, Officeworks works with suppliers to implement corrective action plans, which are closely monitored to ensure they are addressed in a timely manner - the timeliness of which is based on the severity. Throughout the 2018 financial year, there was one case where a supplier was unwilling to implement corrective actions, resulting in the products being resourced from a more collaborative supplier.

Officeworks recognises that people are the backbone of the supply chain, and therefore ensures all suppliers, including those we work with locally and more directly overseas, are upheld to the same standards. Officeworks will continue to work with suppliers to improve the working conditions of the people involved in producing the products sold at Officeworks stores.

Tags: Sourcing