We understand that to ensure the highest ethical standards we must look to form partnerships with our suppliers.
The growing interest in commodity supply chains is part of a broader global trend. Organisations are expected to disclose much more information than ever before. Legislation such as the Companies Act, EU Timber Regulations, UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and Equality Act 2010 plays a high-profile role in driving this transparency.
In response, at DS Smith we are driving greater disclosure from our suppliers in order to better understand the entire supply chain and manage risks related to human rights, child labour, business ethics and environmental management.
Each and every supplier of materials and/or services to DS Smith is expected to meet certain minimum standards, communicated through our Global Supplier Standards. In addition to ensuring current suppliers adhere to our minimum standards, we also have a responsibility to mitigate risk associated with potential new suppliers. Therefore, as we report in our Modern Slavery Statement, in areas of higher geographical risk we have required our businesses to commit to completing pre-audits on all potential suppliers. If the relationship between DS Smith and the supplier is new, an initial evaluation is conducted to assess the potential supplier's ability to meet DS Smith's requirements. Such an assessment can take the form of a questionnaire, visit or a formal audit. When areas of non-compliance are identified at a supplier, corrective action has to be implemented and the time frame for reaching compliance agreed upon.
Work is also ongoing to bolster our work in this area and implement a supplier assessment programme to assess 100 per cent of our suppliers against, by 2025.