Responsible Supply Chain Management

6.3. Responsible Supply Chain Management

6.3.1. Commitment
As a leading global retailer, the Retail division recognises the impact and responsibilities it has with people working in the supply chain and the planet. Working closely with suppliers, ASW seeks to operate in a responsible and sustainable manner and is committed to:

  • Improving working conditions in the supply chain.
  • Fighting modern slavery.
  • Assessing environmental impact risks of OB suppliers.

6.3.2. The Challenges
Apart from price and quality, consumers today want to know who, where and how the products were produced. It has become more important than ever for retailers to ensure supply chains are socially and environmentally responsible, from start to finish. In response to the shift in consumer attitudes and expectations, as well as the tightening legislation, ASW evaluates the environmental and social impact of supply chains as well as the risks and opportunities.

6.3.2.1. amfori’s Business Social Compliance Initiative
The Retail division strives to foster a healthier, safer and more ethical supply chain, for the benefit of people working in factories and their families.

ASW has been a member of amfori’s BSCI since 2008. It aims at improving working conditions in the global supply chain and requires suppliers to agree to amfori’s BSCI Code of Conduct as well as participate in regular compliance audits. Through e-Learning tools and workshops from amfori, ASW monitors suppliers’ performance and engage with them. In 2019, ASW continued to require OB suppliers located in high risk countries to be audited against BSCI requirements, or equivalent audits that are recognised by ASW, such as Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audits, Social Accountability 8000 and Initiative for Compliance and Sustainability.  Suppliers are encouraged to obtain higher scores in the audit programme and support will be provided for their continuous improvement. In addition, all suppliers, including OB and non-OB ones, received the BSCI Code of Conduct in the contracts they signed with ASW or its subsidiaries.

6.3.2.2. The Mekong club
The Retail division has been making efforts to develop and deepen the understanding of the risks in its business so as to prevent exploitation and human trafficking from taking place in business operations and the supply chain.

Since 2016, ASW has been a member of the Mekong Club (“TMC”), an organisation that helps its member companies develop and implement toolkits to avoid modern slavery within business operations. ASW was the first company to sign up to TMC’s Business Pledge against Modern Slavery.

Key departments involved in supplier contract negotiation and quality assurance auditing have been trained with TMC online toolkit; staff workshops have also been carried out in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK and France. In the UK, business units (The Perfume Shop, Savers, Superdrug) have also taken a commitment to fight against modern slavery, and published their statements on modern slavery and human trafficking as required by the UK Modern Slavery Act.

6.3.2.3. Business environmental protection initiative
The Retail division endeavours to reduce its carbon footprint on the planet through partnering with suppliers to improve their environmental performance.
By the end of 2018, ASW rolled out the BEPI of amfori, which assessed environmental sustainability risks of suppliers, using an online assessment tool covering 11 environmental performance areas. Following the assessment, suppliers were advised on their risks and the appropriate training to attend either from amfori or from other appointed training companies, with their progress monitored over time. By the end of 2019, ASW has assessed 30% of its purchases from OB suppliers located in high-risk countries.