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Responsibility without borders

Over the last two decades, many western companies have transferred their production to developing countries. In recent years, Coloplast has also moved production and we now procure from suppliers in many different countries. But, just because the location of the production sites changes, it doesn’t mean that our standards should. No matter what, we don’t compromise when it comes to human rights standards. Instead, we choose to work together with our business partners and help them improve local conditions for their employees. Read more about our responsibility programme

100% of raw material suppliers covered

Although our concern for human rights extends throughout our procurement activities, a few years ago we began standardizing a monitoring and compliance programme for our raw material suppliers. For the last two years we have maintained 100% of these suppliers registered in the programme.


Through our Supply Chain Responsibility programme, we extend our human rights standards onto our suppliers and closely monitor the risks of non-compliance. This way, we know that our business partners are being cautious about their social impact and providing healthy and safe working conditions for their employees.


Sustained dialogue

Read more about our dialogue

The process of the Supply Chain Responsibility programme starts by ensuring a supplier is aware of our standards. Through close and sustained dialogue, we guarantee a known mutual understanding. We use tools to facilitate this dialogue, such as a brochure that informs what is expected and how we check for compliance. Standards on human rights, labour rights, environmental impact, occupational health and safety as well as business ethics are included. This information is also available in the final contract with the supplier.


Monitoring for compliance

Read more about our compliance efforts

We select a number of suppliers for site visits or social audits where we review their standards. This part of the process usually takes place with the local Coloplast management team where the supplier operates from. At times the Corporate Decision Board is contacted to review a case which has a particularly high risk profile.


The Decision Board reviews the case according to local regulations, the United Nations Global Compact Principles, and considers factors such as the nature of the relationship with the supplier and history of cooperation. Coloplast then agrees on any necessary improvements, and an action plan is drafted for the changes to be undertaken before the next visit.


Our programme does not include giving out financial support to help suppliers implement changes. We help on a consulting basis where our local teams share cost efficient best practices that comply with local regulations. We do this since it is often the case that suppliers are unaware of how to implement improvements. Usually, the suppliers respond positively and implement the action plan discussed. However, in a few cases we may have to terminate the cooperation.


Improving conditions in Pakistan

In 2010, concerns were raised over one of our suppliers in Pakistan. We responded immediately after an external auditing service had reviewed the site and labelled the company a ‘high risk supplier’. One of our Coloplast employees with a Pakistani background working at our corporate headquarters visited the site twice within a six month period... Read the results of this case

Along with our Corporate Procurement team, he worked with the supplier to make sure they understood the importance of following our standards. During the first visit, we found violations such as inadequate fire exit routes and a lack of protective equipment. However, it was also clear that the supplier was very willing to cooporate, enabling us to work with them to fix the issues. After our second visit to the Pakistan site, the standards improved significantly. This was followed by a close inspection from our Decision Board who ultimately upgraded the supplier to ‘medium risk’ status.

The Decision Board is made up of senior representatives from our Corporate Responsibility, Global Operations, Corporate Procurement and Quality and Environment departments. Together they assess the willingness and progress of improvements of all questionable suppliers and make final decisions on their status. We will continue to closely monitor this supplier to ensure they meet our standards.


Improving conditions in China

In 2007, we were approached by a supplier in China, who wanted to do business with us. As a standard procedure, we checked to see if they could meet our human rights and ethical business practices standards. Unfortunately, we found significant problems, so we decided not to do business with them at that stage... Read the results of this case

The Chinese supplier asked for recommendations and guidance on how to make improvements to the health and safety standards in the site, as well as improvements to their employees’ benefits. Three years later, a revision of a supplier contract gave the company an opportunity to approach Coloplast again. Through inspections of their site,we concluded that they had indeed taken the guidance from Coloplast seriously. Since 2007, all operations had been moved to a new production site with better health and safety standards, and the company now offered the necessary employee benefits. This was not only good news for their employees, but also for us, since they offer high quality products at a competitive rate. In the end the company was approved by our Decision Board as a ‘medium risk’ supplier and we decided to work with them.

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