We cannot work in isolation from the communities in which we source or manufacture products.
We have an obligation to attain high ethical standards and build successful partnerships with our suppliers to drive improvements in productivity and benefit people working in our supply chains. We regularly audit factories that manufacture our directly sources or imported products and work with them to improve ethical standards. We also aspire to only sell products that are generally considered to be socially acceptable.
We have continued with our standard practice to audit our supplier factories against our ethical standards. Once again this year 100% of Argos direct-import and direct-source factories (those where we buy the products directly from overseas manufacturers) have a valid audit against an accredited audit scheme such as SMETA (the official audit methodology of SEDEX). In total we carried out 957 audits across the supply chain.
We encouraging our suppliers to use SEDEX – a global platform allowing manufacturers to share audit data with more than one customer. We currently have 137 suppliers operating on the Sedex platform. SEDEX offers benefits for the suppliers, who need to complete only one audit which they can share multiple times. It also offers benefits for the retailers who can be confident of a high-quality audit methodology and who can benefit from SEDEX’s advanced analysis tools.
We've amended our policy to prohibit the collection of feather and down from live birds.
The policy covers wider animal welfare issues, including animal cruelty during production, compliance with animal welfare standards and the level of pain or distress caused by products used to control pest infestations. We've also agreed to work with suppliers of products containing leather to raise awareness of the issues of sourcing leather from cattle.
All Argos own brand cosmetics comply with the Humane Cosmetics Standard as managed by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV).
Argos is a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). The Council works with the jewellery industry to promote the ethical sourcing of gold and diamonds and we encourage our jewellery suppliers to join. As of December 2011, Argos achieved certification meeing the ethichal, human rights, social and environmental standards as established by the RJC Member Certification System.
Socially acceptable products
We've developed guidelines that help us identify, understand and respond to sensitivities related to the sale of socially unacceptable products. Public opinion about what it and isn't acceptable can change rapidly, so we review these guidelines regularly.