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John Lewis Partnership plc Sustainability Review 2014


Improving workers’ lives We believe in people before profit. This belief is at the heart of our business. Our supplier policies, partnerships and commitment to fairness help us live up to it.


Number of countries our products are sourced from


Waitrose backed the ‘Stronger Together’ initiative to tackle exploitation in the food and drink sector.

Our standards

In sourcing our products, our aim is to uphold internationally agreed standards of labour, in particular those set by the International Labour Organisation . We expect our suppliers to treat workers fairly, honestly and with respect for their human rights and wellbeing. We have robust supplier policies and procedures that are enshrined in the Partnership’s supplier Code of Practice on Responsible Sourcing. Adherence to the Code is monitored through regular inspections of supplier sites by third parties and our own Partners. Where problems occur, we work with suppliers to identify the root causes and support them to make long- term improvements.


This year, at Waitrose and John Lewis, we developed tools and guidance for suppliers to address workplace issues and provided face-to-face training to promote continuous improvement. In addition, we continued to train buying Partners in responsible purchasing practices and ran awareness- raising workshops to help them understand the importance of responsible sourcing. We are also developing E-learning modules to complement our existing training sessions, which we will launch in 2014.


John Lewis initiated a pilot to bring financial literacy training and access to bank savings accounts to factory workers in Delhi.

for improvement We believe that partnering with like-minded organisations is vital to the creation of permanent social change. Through our membership of the Ethical Trading Initiative , we have continued to be actively involved in working groups to uncover and overcome issues in specific supply chains. These include the Moroccan Better Strawberry, Vietnamese Wooden Furniture and Southern India Garments programmes.

This year Waitrose supported Stronger Together alongside four other retailers. This initiative is about equipping UK employers with the knowledge and resources to recognise the signs of exploitation and to tackle it in the food and agriculture industries. It was developed by the Association of Labour Providers (ALP) , the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) and the charity Migrant Help. The aim is to engage more than 1,000 farms, food producers and labour providers, who in turn will reach more than 100,000 workers.

We also support outreach programmes in countries where we source products. For example, in partnership with Geosansar in India, John Lewis initiated a pilot to bring financial literacy training and access to bank savings accounts to factory workers in Delhi. Beyond empowering workers to save money safely, thereby allowing some level of financial security, the scheme has broader provisions, such as an identification card that enables access to a range of services and benefits. We plan to roll this out to additional factories in India in 2014.

While we do not source from the factories affected by recent high-profile events in Bangladesh, we recognise the urgent need for systemic change in the garment sector in that country. In July 2013, John Lewis signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh’s Garment Industry. The Bangladesh Accord is a multi-stakeholder group of more than 100 apparel brands and retailers and trade unions. Its aim is to ensure sustainable improvements to working conditions in the Bangladesh garment industry.

Find out more... Code of Practice on Responsible Sourcing

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