Human rights, ethical labour and employment practices


Context

Adopting fair and ethical labour practices and promoting human rights is central to our reputation and on-going success. We require our business partners to adhere to the high standards we set ourselves.

Our approach

In common with accepted good practice, Richemont’s Supplier Code of Conduct includes an endorsement of International Labour Organisation Conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other internationally recognised labour practice standards.

The Code covers the following areas:

  • Healthy and safe working conditions – providing a healthy and safe working environment in accordance with applicable laws and regulations;
  • Wages and working hours – complying with local legislation on minimum wages, working hours and employee benefits;
  • Freedom of association – allowing workers to associate with lawful and peaceful workers’ associations;
  • No discrimination – not subjecting people to discrimination based on factors including ethnicity, age, religion and sexual orientation, amongst others;
  • No child labour – not employing people under the age of 15 or younger than the age for completing compulsory education;
  • No forced employment – not using forced labour and not using employment where terms are not voluntary;
  • No disciplinary treatment – not subjecting people to harassment, violence or intimidation;
  • Responsible environmental management – fully complying with local legislation, industry regulations and endeavouring to comply with the Richemont Environmental Code of Conduct.


The Maisons have developed their sourcing strategies to take into account the risks of suppliers, or their supplier’s supplier, failing to meet the Group’s expectations. This is particularly the case for child labour and forced labour risks, which are assessed as part of the supplier qualification process. Supplier-screening data are not disclosed. The audit of suppliers is described elsewhere in this report. In addition, the RJC Code of Practices certification processes undertaken by Richemont’s Maisons, which together represent over 75 % of the Group’s sales, require compliance with the RJC’s standards relating to human rights.

Maison or Independent Manufacturing EntityFinancial year of RJC certificationPercentage of Group sales represented by certified entitiesPercentage of Group sales represented by uncertified Maisons
Cartier, Baume & Mercier, Montblanc, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Varinor 2010/11,
2011/12
More than 75 % n/a
Ralph Lauren Watches and Jewelry 2012/13 Less than 5 % n/a
A. Lange & Söhne, Creazioni, Donzé-Baume, IWC Schaffhausen, Manufacture Horlogère ValFleurier, Officine Panerai, Roger Dubuis, Stern 1898, The Net a Porter Group n/a n/a Over 15 %
Cumulative total   Over 75 % Over 15 %

The table above indicates that the current 75 % certification level will exceed 90 % within two years. Certain of our Maisons, notably the fashion and accessories businesses, are disqualified from joining the RJC as they do not manufacture or distribute products containing gold or diamonds. Excluding such businesses, e.g. Alfred Dunhill, Chloé, Lancel, the Group’s relevant businesses will become 100 % RJC certified by 2014-15.

 

California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 - Corporate Disclosure

On 1 January 2012, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 (SB 657) went into effect in the State of California. This law was designed to increase the amount of information made available by manufacturers and retailers regarding their efforts to address the issue of slavery and human trafficking, thereby allowing consumers to make better, more informed choices regarding the products they buy and the companies they choose to support.

Richemont is opposed to slavery and human trafficking and desires that its supply chain to be free of these scourges. Richemont’s Corporate Social Responsibility Committee (the ‘CSR Committee’) has the internal responsibility for evaluating this area and, with the full support of the Maisons, has evaluated the Group’s supply chain activities.

The CSR Committee has developed and disseminated its Group Supplier Code of Conduct, which sets out Richemont’s approach in this area and provides guidance to our suppliers and business partners regarding responsible sourcing. The Code of Conduct includes an endorsement of the International Labour Organisation Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Among other issues, the Code of Conduct specifically forbids the use of forced or involuntary labour of any kind, including employment of people under the age of 15 or before they have completed compulsory education. The Code of Conduct includes an Acknowledgment of Terms that requires, among other things, identification of the individual responsible for the supplier’s compliance, procedures in place to meet the Code of Conduct, any discrepancies between the supplier’s operations and the Code of Conduct, and any similar policy used by the supplier.

Richemont also monitors on-going compliance and adherence of suppliers to its standards related to slavery and human trafficking. In particular, the Maisons have initiated third-party audits of their suppliers in recent years. During 2012/13, over 80 external supplier audits were carried out across Richemont’s Maisons. Richemont does not record the percentage of ‘surprise’ audits or disclose the specific results of its audits. The audits may be announced or unannounced. Where concerns related to the Supplier Code of Conduct have been identified, Richemont has held its suppliers accountable through dialogue and follow-up audits. For more information on Richemont’s audit efforts, see the case studies below.

Richemont, through its involvement in the Responsible Jewellery Council (‘RJC’), also seeks to ensure compliance with the RJC’s standards relating to slavery and human trafficking. The RJC was established in 2005 to promote responsible ethical sourcing, human rights, social and environmental practices in the gold and diamond supply chains.

The RJC’s certification process is rigorous, including independent, third-party audits regarding the member’s compliance with human rights standards. The RJC has grown to include over 400 members, from miners to retailers. The Richemont Maisons which are certified members of the RJC (Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Baume & Mercier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Ralph Lauren Watches and Jewelry, and Montblanc) have been audited by an accredited third-party to verify compliance with the RJC’s Code of Practices, thereby obtaining RJC certification. Many Richemont suppliers are also members of the RJC and complete their own RJC certification. Additional information on the RJC may be obtained here.

Richemont and its Maisons have taken specific steps to increase employee awareness and compliance regarding slavery and human trafficking issues. Richemont’s Corporate Social Responsibility Guidelines, which articulate the standards Richemont expects its managers, employees and suppliers to uphold, specifically articulate Richemont’s zero-tolerance policy regarding forced labour. Richemont’s Maisons have undertaken specific training programmes regarding supply chain issues. For instance, Alfred Dunhill has incorporated training on responsible sourcing into its standard training brochures.

For more information on Richemont’s commitment to eradicate and prevent slavery and trafficking in its supply chains, visit the Supply Chain Management page.

Case studies: