Colruyt Group attaches great importance to working conditions of suppliers and manufacturers. With the issue of a code of conduct in 2002, we made clear agreements with them on child labour and working conditions. Since then, over 300 non-European companies have signed this code of conduct and carried out improvements. We also invest in social checks at our foreign suppliers. Independent control agencies verify for us whether and how the agreements are observed.
Read the complete code of conduct .
In 2011, Colruyt Group spent 90,851,17 euros on social audits. Over 80 % of these checks were done in China. But non-food, and now for the first time food as well, suppliers in twelve other countries were also audited. The inspections took place at 123 of the 248 suppliers of whom the group purchased goods directly in 2011. That is 23 more than in 2010. They include products and suppliers of toys, seasonal decorations and garden items that are sold at Colruyt, DreamLand, DreamBaby and ColliShop. Internationally recognised audit agencies checked to what degree the factories respect local legislation and the conventions of the International Labour Organization ILO. By means of the ICS list (Initiative Clause Sociale) matters such as child labour, working hours, remuneration and safety and health are checked. Colruyt Group added colour codes, actions and an extra assessment to the scores of the ICS assessment. This way, we can evaluate the different results with even more nuance. 97 of the 123 audited suppliers received a first check. 26 got a second check. At 11 suppliers, unacceptable working conditions were found. We stopped our collaboration with them. This also happened with 14 companies refusing an audit.
Colruyt Group is pleased with these results. We see that our efforts yield results. Especially the follow-up audits are very effective. In 19 of those 26 factories, the working conditions were lightly to considerably better than in 2010. In 2011, there were also a number of 'Best Practices': these are companies who go further than they are legally obliged. However, continuing progress requires efforts from all parties involved, among which local authorities. For instance, in Southeast Asia a lot of work still needs to be done in terms of working hours, correct remuneration of overtime and the (in)complete awarding of social security.
In 2012, we are again taking our responsibility as a distributor and importer and investing 69,415 euros. At least 29 follow-up audits and 90 initial audits are being executed. From now on, new suppliers are investigated before they receive a first order. And as a test we are also performing about twenty environmental and production process audits.
In 2006, we cofounded the European purchase organisation Coopernic. The members only place joint orders in factories where the working conditions are acceptable or will be so in the short run. In 2011, 16 mutual suppliers within Coopernic were audited. In 2007, we also concluded a cooperation agreement with the 'Care Process' of the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI) in which toy manufacturers commit themselves to have their products manufactured only in decent circumstances. In 2011, 156 audits were executed, all of which were found to be positive.