Fulfilling Our Responsibility in The Supply Chain

Driving Sustainability through Cooperation and Transparency

Beiersdorf seeks and promotes long-term business relationships with suppliers who are actively committed to our principles of sustainable and responsible corporate governance. We source the raw materials, packaging materials, other goods and services from around 21,000 suppliers in over 100 countries. Their responsible actions therefore extend our company’s social and environmental footprint.
We require our business partners throughout the supply chain to commit to meeting our standards – not only in terms of the material and product quality we require, but also with regard to conducting their business in a transparent, fair, and responsible way. We ensure our suppliers meet their social, environmental, and economic responsibilities – and naturally that our consumers receive high quality, highly sustainable products.

Our Code of Conduct for Business Partners and Compliance Program

We require all business partners along the supply chain to adhere to our Code of Conduct for Business Partners (CoC). The CoC obliges our suppliers to comply with the same standards as our own subsidiaries in all production facilities and processes. The CoC for Business Partners is aligned with our Core Values and defines uniform and binding criteria for responsible business conduct. It regulates critical aspects such as the prohibition of corruption, child labor, forced labor, and discrimination; at the same time it actively promotes occupational health and safety, the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, and environmental protection.

Implementation Process for our Code of Conduct for Business Partners

Signed recognition of the CoC is the first important step in the CoC implementation process. We currently source around 90% of our procurement volume through partners who have formally recognized our CoC for Business Partners.
After a new supply chain partner has signed our CoC for Business Partners we conduct an initial risk analysis of our relationship with them. The risk analysis considers industry risks, country risks and individual risks of the supplier, such as the economic significance to Beiersdorf. The higher the risk, the more extensive our analysis. Additionally, we require our business partners above a certain risk class to conduct an assessment via the international collaboration platform EcoVadis. This platform enables suppliers to provide their customers with the most important data concerning their sustainability strategy and processes. Even better, business partners can make this information available to several of their customers simultaneously, which in practice significantly reduces the operational effort for suppliers. Thanks to the high level of transparency this ensures, together with the supplier we can identify critical aspects or processes and jointly improve sustainability within the framework of our cooperation. 
Based on the SAQ results we then decide whether a Responsible Sourcing Audit according to the SMETA 4-pillar audit protocol is required for the supplier. To ensure the objectivity of the investigation the audit is carried out by an independent and certified third-party specialist. If the audit reveals a need for remedial action, we actively support the business partner in defining and rapidly implementing appropriate measures.

Furthermore, we are an active member of AIM-PROGRESS, an international cooperation platform of world-leading manufacturers in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry. With the slogan “Achieving more together”, the members pursue the goal of supporting suppliers in continually improving their sustainability – and with this, the sustainability of their sourcing practices and business processes throughout the supply chain.

Supply Chain Due Diligence Training for Business Partners   

In the spirit of partnership, we also offer and encourage all our suppliers and business partners to complete the E-Learning linked below. The training includes a comprehensive overview on supply chain due diligence and how to ensure safeguarding human rights within your areas of operation. It is broken down into multiple modules and lasts about 45 minutes.  

Each module contains key messages about various business-related aspects of human rights, as well as the obligations for companies resulting from related legislation and regulation. Additionally, this training will provide you with tools and examples of how to incorporate the aforementioned requirements into your organization and supply chain.