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Our customers want to know that they can trust the products they buy and that we are sourcing responsibly on their behalf. This is more than a safety or quality issue. They want to know the workers who make our products are treated well, that we are reducing our impact on the environment and we respect the communities in which we operate.
Following a review of every category across our broad and varied supply chain we developed a clear understanding of our priorities for improving our sustainability. We developed a Sustainable Sourcing Strategy (PDF, 93 kB) and set ourselves clear goals to achieve sustainable accreditation on our highest risk globally sourced products and raw materials. We recognise in some areas this will be challenging as there may not yet be sustainability standards for all of these, but we believe fundamentally that we should be working hard with our suppliers and other external organisations to progress towards our goals.
In 2010 we produced our Responsible Sourcing policy (PDF, 182 kB), based on international guidelines. It sets out the minimum standards that we expect all of our suppliers to follow and where they cannot meet all standards today, to work with us to achieve them over time. These include respecting the law, limiting working hours appropriately and treating their workers fairly.
Our Responsible Sourcing Policy also lays out Whitbread's commitments to our suppliers. We will treat our suppliers fairly and where appropriate, work with them to tackle challenging issues in the supply chain.
We have shared our Responsible Sourcing Policy with over 3,000 suppliers and it is included in our standard procurement process.