Human rights


As a global business with operations in over 60 countries, around 35,000 employees and an extensive supply chain, it is extremely important to us that the human rights of all our internal and external partners are respected. This is our responsibility and is vital for consumers to continue to have confidence and trust in our brands.

Our goal is to respect Human Rights across our operations and supply chain

Our policy on human rights and responsible business

We recognise the important role our business plays in society and the responsibility we have in respecting the human rights of all our internal and external partners. We have a clear policy and commitment to respect human rights that all associated with RB must follow.

Modern Slavery Act Statement

Ensuring human rights are respected is fundamental to our core purpose and integral to how we operate as a business. Our public policies concerning human rights clearly articulate the high standards we hold ourselves to and the expectations we have of our suppliers and partners that include freedom from slavery and human trafficking. We do not tolerate slave or trafficked labour and will remediate any violations promptly by collaborating transparently with all appropriate stakeholders.

RB’s Human Rights and Responsible Business Programme

We believe that policies alone are not sufficient in ensuring compliance. Consequently, we have established a proactive compliance monitoring programme focused on continuous improvement to enable us to identify and remediate any deviations from our policy within our business and supply chain.


We have continued to make good progress in further developing and integrating our requirements and compliance programme into day-to-day business operations. Currently we have 47 RB manufacturing facilities, 7 RB distribution centres and 862 suppliers and 3rd party distribution centres amounting to 913 individual sites included in the programme. The steps of the programme and the associated 2016 performance are as follows:

I. Engagement

We actively communicate our requirements and expectation to all RB facilities. At the start of any commercial relationship, we communicate our requirements to suppliers and integrate the need to comply within the commercial contract. In 2016, the scope of our programme further increased to include additional high-risk raw and packaging material suppliers.

II. Self-assessment

RB facilities are required to complete an annual self-assessment of compliance with our Policy on Human Rights and Responsible Business with 100% of facilities completing this in 2016.

Suppliers are also required to complete a self-assessment, which looks at compliance with labour, health & safety, environment and business integrity standards within their facility, using the ethical data-sharing platform, Sedex. At the end of 2016, 84% of those suppliers required to complete a self-assessment had done so, and we continue to engage proactively with those suppliers still outstanding.

III. Risk-assessment

RB follows a risk-based approach to compliance monitoring; therefore, of those included in our compliance programme we conduct a specific site level risk-assessment to determine which sites are high risk and in need of further due diligence through a physical on-site audit.

IV. Auditing

High-risk RB facilities, suppliers and third party distribution centres are required to undergo a physical on site audit to assess compliance.

In 2016, we audited 13 of our 31 facilities located in high-risk geographies, identifying 130 non-conformances with our requirements. The three most common issues identified concerned H&S (68%), working hours (10%) and remuneration (9%).

Since initiating our supply chain audit programme at the end of 2013, we have conduced 126 audits, the majority of which were of our third party manufacturers located within Latin America, Middle East, Africa, South and North Asia. Through our supply chain audits, we have identified 1,349 non-compliances with our requirements with the majority of issues concerning H&S (54%), working hours & remuneration (21%), management systems (9%) and environment (7%).

V. Addressing non-compliances

We believe in working collaboratively with RB facilities and suppliers to address all areas of non-compliance and build capability to ensure continuous improvement. This involves establishing partnerships between Global Sustainability, Procurement, Manufacturing and our suppliers.

At the end of 2016, 84% of all issues identified at RB facilities during 2016 were satisfactorily resolved with action plans in place for the remaining issues. Of the issues identified through our supply chain audit programme since 2013, 82% are closed and we will continue to work with suppliers to close the remaining issues.

VI. Capability building

Raising awareness and understanding of human rights among our people and suppliers plays a crucial part in preventing, identifying and remediating human rights issues. In 2016:

  • 85% of relevant functions and roles involved in supply chain management completed mandatory eLearning on our human rights requirements and associated compliance programme.
  • We invited key RB suppliers and Procurement teams to attend AIM-Progress ‘Responsible Sourcing’ conferences in Thailand and Brasil.

2016 Supplier Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil

2015 Supplier Conference in Dongguan, China

We recognise that the human rights debate is a continually evolving one. As such, our approach must be regularly reviewed and updated so that it remains effective. In 2016, we conducted a review against the UNGPs and identified opportunities to further improve our due diligence and remediation processes, which we shall be implementing in 2017.

Industry collaborations

We work with Sedex to deliver improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in our supply chain.

AIM-Progress is a forum of FMCG companies that enables and promotes responsible sourcing practices and sustainable supply chains.