A Code of Conduct (CoC) is a set of standards which govern corporate and business practices according to ethical and legal standards. By implementing a CoC, a company demonstrates its commitment to operate its business at the highest standards of ethics, exceeding legal minimums. Each brand and importer can develop its own CoC standard to which vendors are expected to comply, or they can adopt internationally recognised methods. Standards are usually customised to meet retailers’ requirements based on International Labor Organization requirements.
Consumers increasingly expect brands to demonstrate social responsibility right across the supply chain. By developing a Code of Conduct that all your suppliers must follow, the business achieves multiple benefits:
- Ensure all workers throughout the supply chain are treated fairly and ethically
- Become an attractive employer and increase employee retention
- Improve your brand’s reputation, while avoiding negative press
- Develop a competitive edge by demonstrating your ethical credentials to consumers
- Better workplace standards can lead to higher productivity and increased profits
TÜV SÜD is a globally-recognised standards, testing and auditing body with long experience of helping international businesses achieve high standards across the supply chain. We are able to work with you to create a personalised Code of Conduct standard for your business or help implement relevant existing standards.
TÜV SÜD’s global network provides multidisciplinary expertise for a wide range of auditing and CoC certificate services in key markets. We act as a one-stop service provider for companies requiring social compliance programmes and management systems standards. We have expertise auditing and implementing against a wide range of systems such as:
- ISO 9001
- ISO 14001
- OHSAS 18001
TÜV SÜD’s global network of auditors are well-placed to carry out a social compliance audit on your supply chain and produce a CoC certificate for your business. We can also conduct an audit on a supply chain management system that you already have in place.
We have developed a five-step Code of Conduct auditing process:
1. Analyse the need to create a specific company CoC or to apply existing social compliance standards such as SA8000® or ETI
2. Adopt your own CoC certificate, if necessary
3. Develop a monitoring system to ensure transparent and dependable verification of your supply chain
4. Inform and train suppliers on your CoC and audit protocol requirements
5. TÜV SÜD conducts an audit of your suppliers