In May 2019 Ethical Consumer viewed Sanofi's website for information on how the company managed workers' rights in its supply chain. On the basis of what was found, Sanofi was rated as follows:
Supply chain policy (rudimentary)
A strong policy would include the following commitments: no use of forced labour, permission of freedom of association, payment of a living wage, the restriction of working hours to 48 hours plus 12 overtime (without exception), no use of a child labour (under 15 or 14 if ILO exempt), no discrimination by race, sex or for any other reason.
The company's supplier Code of Conduct had adequate clauses on child labour, freedom of association, forced labour and discrimination. The clauses on living wages and working hours were not considered adequte as they only required compliance with the local law. This policy was rated as rudimentary.
Stakeholder engagement (poor)
Ethical Consumer 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. Companies were also expected to engage with Trade Unions, NGOs and/or not-for-profit organisations which could systematically 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.
No evidence of any of these things could be found. Sanofi was a member of several industry groups but they were not considered to be sufficient.
Auditing and Reporting (poor)
Ethical Consumer 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.
The company stated that it audited its suppliers based on level of risk determined. It provided details of the number of audits carried out in the last year and the number which passed but not details of the remediation that happened to suppliers that had failed. It did not mention who paid for the audits, or give a clear comittment to audit its entire suppy chain including some second tier suppliers.
Difficult issues (poor)
Ethical Consumer also deemed it necessary for companies to address other difficult issues in their supply chains. 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 measures taken to address the issue of living wages, particularly among outworkers, and illegal freedom of association.
The company did not address difficult issues.
Overall Sanofi received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Supply Chain Management.
Sanofi website (7 May 2019)