As the demand for natural raw materials increases it is important that we source our natural raw materials in a sustainable way. We’re therefore committed to ensuring the natural raw materials we use are procured in a way that meets or goes beyond applicable laws and regulations, respects human rights, safeguards health & safety, protects the environment and does not cause deforestation.

Our progress:

87% Palm oil traceable to mill outside of India*

55% Palm oil traceable to port for India*

Responsible natural raw materials

RB believes in responsibly sourcing all of our natural raw materials. Our policy clearly defines the minimum standards accepted of our suppliers and has been value-checked by The Forest Trust (TFT), and was found to meet or exceed the levels they set. We are committed to:

  • zero deforestation
  • zero development on peatlands (of any depth)
  • zero exploitation of workers or communities
  • being transparent on our requirements and progress with implementation

Responsible palm oil sourcing

Due to the use of palm oil in consumer products and food, areas of rainforest are being cut down to make way for palm oil plantations, sometimes with harmful consequences for local populations and the environment. As a purchaser of palm oil for some of our products, RB will continue to build responsible palm oil supply chains. RB have been members of TFT since 2013 and together have undertaken an in-depth review of our palm oil supply chain. In 2016, our achievements included:

  • 87% of our palm oil traceable to mill outside of India*
  • 55% of our palm oil traceable to port for India*
  • 2 smallholder farmer programmes called “Rurality” Initiated
  • Supported on the ground transformation programmes for our key suppliers
  • Contributed to the TFT Kumacaya pilot, which offers independent monitoring & verification against our commitments
  • Partially covered our palm oil purchases with Green Palm Certificates
  • Supported supplier engagement at the Globoil Conference in India to discuss traceability.

In 2016, we learned we need to better understand the human rights risks linked to palm oil. For this reason, we will increase our human rights due diligence, which will include supporting detailed on the ground human rights assessments, whilst incorporating any learnings into our current palm oil programme. We will continue to follow up on issues identified through any external investigations that may affect our supply chain, to ensure timely remediation.

For more information on our palm oil responsible sourcing programme, please see RB's approach and next steps

"Working together with TFT, RB have greatly enhanced the transparency of their palm oil supply chain. Going forward, this work will lead to positive changes for local communities and the environment."

Bastien Sachet, CEO of TFT

Other materials

RB considers the supply chain implications of other purchased materials including latex, soy, and paper and board. In 2016, RB – in partnership with TFT – we continued to complete on-the-ground compliance assessments of our direct latex suppliers, with the findings confirming that RB’s latex is responsibly sourced by meeting the requirements of our Natural Raw Material policy.

As part of these on-the-ground compliance assessments we identified an opportunity to further help smallholder farmers within our supply chain. In 2016, we started our first latex smallholder farmer programme which aims to build farmer resilience. Since the inception of the programme we have engaged with over 120 small holder farmers.

RB completed additional due diligence in 2016 establishing that 100% of raw soya supplied to RB originates from a low-risk country.

RB is committed to ensuring that our paper and board is sourced in a responsible manner. We have specific standards outlined in our Natural Raw Materials Policy for our paper and board suppliers. We continue to work with our suppliers and brands to ensure that paper and board is sourced in compliance with our policies. In 2016, we worked with specific brands to roll out packaging initiatives. As an example, we converted all Durex cartons to sustainable sources.

How we monitor our suppliers

A complete risk assessment of all natural raw materials is carried out each year to assess a range of criteria that are generated externally to help ensure completeness, transparency and materiality. We complete this assesment on an annual basis to ensure we continue to focus on the highest priority materials. Specific due diligence is then performed for materials deemed to be of a high priority.

Our compliance monitoring programme includes suppliers of key natural raw materials, all of whom must comply with our policy. Our compliance monitoring activities vary depending upon risk and include:

  • in-depth responsible sourcing programmes;
  • traceability and compliance questionnaires;
  • supplier engagement including visits, meetings and assessments; and
  • independent audits.

*Excluding surfactants