- Our Approach to Responsible SourcingOur standards are derived from the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Core Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), including the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To ensure our policies and programmes incorporate these internationally recognised human rights standards, we conduct formal benchmarking with industry peers and multilateral groups to design, operate and continually improve our risk assessment and supplier assessment programme.
We regularly review our Supplier Code of Conduct against policies developed by industry associations (such as the Responsible Business Alliance and the Consumer Goods Forum) and further developed our standards in consultation with external stakeholders including Nest, Business for Social Responsibility, Impactt Limited and Verité.
- Our FootprintOur responsible sourcing programme covers Amazon-branded products and devices, with a first-tier supply chain encompassing hundreds of thousands of workers, employed through suppliers around the globe.
We believe supply chain transparency is crucial to our approach to human rights due diligence. The facilities that produce Amazon-branded apparel, consumer electronics and home goods products are shown on our Supply Chain Map. This data is updated frequently, last in November 2019. A list of those suppliers is also available for download. We publish the list to provide customers and external stakeholders visibility into where we source, and to shed light on factory conditions. When we receive information about concerns in our supply chain we investigate and take appropriate action to address concerns.
We routinely evaluate our supply chain to understand the impact of relevant aspects of our business on human rights and working conditions. To do this, we engage key internal and external stakeholders, analyse our risks using international risk indices such as the World Bank's Worldwide Governance Indicators, run worker surveys and conduct assessments that include worker interviews, management interviews, document review and on-site visits. We regularly consult industry experts to review our practices against globally recognised international standards and industry best practice.
- Supplier AssessmentsWe are committed to robust due diligence, prioritising mechanisms that drive long-term improvement. Find out more about our process of enforcing our Supply Chain Standards in our Supplier Manual.
To support this commitment:
- We expect our suppliers to consistently monitor and enforce our standards in their own operations and supply chain, as well as make improvements to meet or exceed our expectations.
- We use independent auditors to verify compliance with our Supply Chain Standards though regular on-site inspections and confidential worker interviews of suppliers that produce Amazon-branded products. Suppliers must submit an Amazon-approved assessment of their facilities before beginning production of Amazon-branded products.
- We operate on a policy of continuous improvement; when violations of our standards occur, we are committed to working with our suppliers to remedy any issues. When violations are identified, suppliers must develop a corrective action plan that details immediate actions to address high-risk issues, and a long-term plan to prevent issues from reoccurring. Where suppliers fail to meet our standards or refuse to make progress on remediating issues, we may choose to terminate the relationship.
- We require all facilities that produce Amazon-branded products to meet and maintain, at a minimum, a basic set of requirements to qualify for initial and continued production.
- We communicate regularly with suppliers to find solutions to challenging problems and promote open dialogue.
- We seek to create long-term relationships with suppliers who align with our values and are committed to constantly improving conditions for workers.
- We support stakeholder collaboration and cross-industry initiatives as a way to drive systemic change.
Supply Chain StandardsWe set a high bar for ourselves and our suppliers. Our Supply Chain Standards detail the requirements and expectations for suppliers in our supply chain, and suppliers must contractually commit to these standards as a condition of doing business with us.
Supplier ManualOur Supply Chain Standards Manual (Supplier Manual) provides guidance and resources to suppliers of Amazon branded products on how to meet and exceed the expectations outlined in our Supply Chain Standards.
Supply Chain Commitments
We evaluate our supply chain to identify the industries, countries and issues where we have the greatest opportunities to identify and address risks and have a positive impact on workers. In the event that we identify an issue in our supply chain, we act fast and prioritise solutions from the workers’ point of view. We work with industry partners to prevent systemic issues and implement programmes that support continuous improvement for our suppliers and workers.
As a part of our due diligence efforts to identify, prevent, and mitigate adverse impacts, we leverage internal and external data and guidance from external stakeholders including industry experts, civil society groups and non-governmental organisations. In 2020, we will expand our risk assessment approach by engaging in an assessment of our salient human rights risks and conduct human rights impact assessments to deep dive on specific products, regions or risk areas, which we will communicate to customers and stakeholders.
- Human RightsOur strategy towards human rights due diligence is rooted in a commitment to continuous improvement. As a part of our efforts to identify, prevent and mitigate adverse supply chain impacts, we leverage internal and external data, and guidance from external stakeholders including industry experts, civil society groups and non-governmental organisations.
In 2020, we are partnering with sustainability and human rights consulting firm Article One Advisors to launch an assessment of Amazon’s salient human rights risks. The results of this assessment will help us prioritise human rights impact assessments to deep dive on specific products, regions or risk areas, which we will communicate to customers and stakeholders.
Our goal: To launch a Human Rights Saliency Assessment in 2020.
- Safe WorkplacesSafe and healthy workplaces are a top priority for Amazon. We have global teams who partner with suppliers to increase worker awareness of safety issues, promote worker participation in their facility’s safety culture, and promote initiatives focused on the well-being of workers on issues that matter most to them.
Our suppliers must provide workers with a safe and healthy work environment; suppliers must, at a minimum, comply with applicable laws regarding working conditions. Additionally, we are committed to driving improvement in these key priority areas:
- Occupational safety, including adequate machine safeguarding, and ensuring suppliers continually identify, evaluate and control physically demanding tasks to ensure that worker health and safety is not jeopardised;
- Emergency preparedness and response planning;
- Sanitation and housing where, if suppliers provide residential facilities for their workers, they must provide clean and safe accommodation.
We conduct on-site audits of suppliers of Amazon-branded products to determine safety conditions throughout our business relationship – often multiple times a year. This includes assessments of protections such as adequate fire safety systems, sanitary dormitories and facilities, and adequate machine safeguarding.
We require these suppliers to address material safety issues prior to beginning production with Amazon. Audit and assessment results are reviewed regularly by the leadership of our Amazon-branded businesses, and corrective action plans are implemented with suppliers as needed.
- Freely Chosen EmploymentWe will not tolerate the use of forced labour in our supply chain. Our Supplier Code of Conduct prohibits all forms of forced labour and human trafficking; this includes charging workers recruitment fees, holding passports or personal documentation, and coercion to work by threats of deportation or contacting immigration authorities. During our investigations, we track where vulnerable workers migrated from and how much they paid in recruitment fees. If fees have been paid, we require the supplier to reimburse workers in full.
We are collaborating with industry associations to address these issues holistically and spur change in the broader recruitment industry. These include:
Tech Against Trafficking: Tech Against Trafficking is a coalition of technology companies collaborating with global experts to help eradicate human trafficking using technology.
Responsible Labor Initiative: The Responsible Labor Initiative is a multi-industry, multi-stakeholder initiative focused on ensuring that the rights of workers vulnerable to forced labour in global supply chains are consistently respected and promoted.
- 100% of Amazon employees who drive trucks complete Truckers Against Trafficking training by the end of 2020.
- Launch supplier improvement programme focused responsible recruitment by the end of 2020.
- Empowering WomenQuality jobs for women translate to positive impacts for communities, and we are actively working to empower women across dimensions of health, finances and career development. This includes collaborating with globally recognised programmes such as Better Work and, in 2019, beginning an initiative with Business and Social Responsibility’s HERproject. To date, over 8000 women in our supply chain are involved in BSR HERproject.
- Fair WagesWe are committed to working closely with suppliers, business partners and multi-stakeholder associations to monitor and promote continuous improvement in working conditions, including fair and on-time payment of wages. We have dedicated teams across the globe that work directly with suppliers to track and report performance against these standards.
Our suppliers are required to pay legally required compensation (including overtime and benefits) and we encourage our suppliers to continuously evaluate whether workers earn enough to meet their basic needs and the needs of their family.
We require all eligible suppliers to enrol in the Better Work programme. By working with suppliers and training workers on their rights, Better Work is able to help workers improve wages over time.
- Environmental ProtectionOur aim is to ensure that our products do not cause unnecessary environmental harm, and positively impact people and communities. We are a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (Coalition). The Coalition is an industry-wide group of leading apparel and footwear brands, retailers, manufacturers, non-governmental organizations, academic experts and government organisations working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel products around the world.
We encourage our Amazon-branded suppliers to evaluate their practices using the Coalition’s Higg Index. We are committed to driving adoption of this assessment and helping our suppliers understand their environmental impact.
Amazon began working with the Amader Kotha Helpline in 2020. The Amader Kotha Helpline provides workers with a mechanism to report and resolve safety and other concerns in the ready-made garment sector in Bangladesh. The Helpline was initially established as a project of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety following the Rana Plaza tragedy. In July 2018, the Helpline became an independent initiative available to all garment workers with the support of factories and brands.
In 2019, Amazon began working with amfori, a leading global business association for open and sustainable trade. Amfori brings together over 2000 retailers, importers, brands and associations from over 40 countries to drive social performance and improvements across global supply chains.
Business for Social Responsibility
Amazon is a member of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), a global non-profit that works with partners across business, civil society, and government sectors to build a just and sustainable world. Amazon participates in working groups such as Future of Fuels (a collaboration with a mission to drive a sustainable transition to low-carbon commercial road freight), Clean Cargo Working Group (an initiative to reduce the environmental impacts of global goods transportation) and Tech Against Trafficking (a coalition of technology companies collaborating with global experts to help eradicate human trafficking using technology).
Amazon joined BSR's HERproject, a collaborative initiative that strives to empower low-income women working in global supply chains. Bringing together global brands, their suppliers and local NGOs, HERproject drives impact for women and business via workplace-based interventions on health, financial inclusion and gender equality. Since its inception in 2007, HERproject has worked in more than 700 workplaces across 14 countries and has increased the well-being, confidence and economic potential of more than 800,000 women.
In 2019, Amazon began working with Nest, a non-profit focused on the handworker economy to increase global workforce inclusivity, improve women’s well-being beyond factories and preserve important cultural traditions around the world. Nest uses radical transparency, data-driven development and fair market access to connect craftspeople, brands and consumers in a circular and human-centric value chain.
Responsible Business Alliance
Amazon joined the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), a non-profit coalition of companies committed to supporting the rights and well-being of workers and communities worldwide affected by the global electronics supply chain. The RBA is the world's largest industry coalition dedicated to electronics supply chain responsibility.
Responsible Labor Initiative
Amazon is a member of the Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI), a multi-industry, multi-stakeholder initiative run by the Responsible Business Alliance. The RLI is focused on ensuring that the rights of workers vulnerable to forced labour in global supply chains are consistently respected and promoted.
Supplier Ethical Data Exchange
Amazon is a member of the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex), a global nonprofit organization that provides manufacturers and retailers a platform to manage responsible sourcing data and monitor continuous improvement across their supply chains.
Sustainable Apparel Coalition
Amazon joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), an industry alliance on sustainable production for apparel, footwear and textiles. The Coalition uses the Higg Index, a standardised value chain measurement suite of tools for all industry participants. These tools measure environmental and social labour impacts across the value chain. With this data, the industry can address inefficiencies, improve sustainability performance and achieve the environmental and social transparency that consumers are demanding.
Tech Against Trafficking
Amazon joined the steering committee of Tech Against Trafficking (TAT), an initiative of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). TAT is a coalition of technology companies collaborating with global experts to help eradicate human trafficking using technology. TAT works with civil society, law enforcement, academia, technologists and survivors to advance and scale the use of technology to prevent, disrupt and reduce human trafficking and increase and expand survivors’ access to resources.
As we approach the end of 2020 we reflect on some of the initiatives that have inspired our teams this year.
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