In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed The London Oil Refining Company's website www.astonishcleaners.co.uk for its supply chain management policy. No information or policy was found.
Ethical Consumer deemed it necessary for all companies to have a supply chain policy. A strong policy would include the following commitments: no use of forced labour, permit freedom of association, pay a living wage, restrict working hours to 48 hours plus 12 overtime (ideally specifying these hours and that this is without exception), no use of a child under 15 (or 14 if ILO exempt), no discrimination by race, sex or for any other reason.
Ethical Consumer also deemed it necessary for companies to demonstrate stakeholder engagement, such as through membership of the Ethical Trade Initiative, Fair Labour Association or Social Accountability International. It is also constructive for Trade Unions, NGOs and/or not-for-profit organisations to have systematic input to verify the company's supply chain audits, and for workers to have access to an anonymous complaints system, free of charge and in their own language.
Ethical Consumer also deemed it necessary for companies to have an auditing and reporting system. Results of audits should publicly reported and quantitatively analysed. The company should have a scheduled and transparent audit plan that applies to their whole supply chain, including some second tier suppliers. The company should also have a staged policy for non-compliance. The costs of the audit should be borne by the company.
Ethical Consumer also deemed it necessary for companies to address other difficult issues in their supply chain. This would include ongoing training for agents, or rewards for suppliers, or preference for long term suppliers. It would also include acknowledgement of audit fraud and unannounced audits, and other measures taken to address the issue of living wages, particularly among outworkers, and illegal freedom of association.
The London Oil Refining Company had none of these things. Therefore it received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for supply chain management.
www.astonishcleaners.co.uk (30 March 2020)