In March 2020 Ethical Consumer searched Avon Products's website for information on the company's supply chain management. Information was found on the company website and in its 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report, the most recent available.
Overall Avon Product's received a middle Ethical Consumer rating for its supply chain management. The rationale for this was as follows:
Supply chain policy (rudimentary)
Avon Products website had a supplier code of conduct available to download which applied to any company, its factories, manufacturers, vendors or agents ("Suppliers") that produced goods and/or provided services for Avon Products, Inc. or any local affiliate. The code of conduct included provisions which prohibited the use of child labour under the age of 15 (or in accordance with ILO), and forced labour, and allowed employees to be free to join unions and to be free from discrimination. However, according to the code of conduct, working hours for employees were restricted up to 72 hours per week "in exceptional business circumstances". These circumstances were not defined and were over the working week limit of 48 plus 12 hours overtime. The code of conduct failed to guarantee payment of a living wage to employees. Due to a lack of commitment on wages and hours Avon Products received a rudimentary rating for its supply chain policy.
Stakeholder engagement (rudimentary)
No evidence could be found of trade union engagement by the company, and no evidence that Avon engaged with a multistakeholder process. There was some discussion of engagement with environmental NGOs, and a helpline for employees to call to report ethics or compliance violations which could be done anonymously if desired, via email or through the toll-free Avon Integrity Helpline, which had available interpreters who spoke more than 100 languages. Overall the company received a rudimentary rating for stakeholder engagement.
Auditing and reporting (rudimentary)
A search of Avon's 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report found a section on supplier audits. It stated that its goal was to ensure that every in-scope supplier was audited every two years. In 2018, Avon conducted 658 audits. Avon provided an overall breakdown of the issues identified in audits. Avon Product's received a rudimentary rating for its auditing and reporting. To get a better rating the company would need to disclose more about audits, who paid for them, and what was the remediation system in place if suppiers failed them.
Difficult issues (poor)
A search of Avon Product's website found no mention of difficult issues such as audit fraud, purchasing practices, living wages and homeworkers. Despite having manufacturing facilities in China there was no mention of freedom of association and how the company ensured its employees are afforded this right when not provided by local law. The company therefore received a poor rating for difficult issues.
Overall Avon Products Inc received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for supply chain management.
Avon website (4 March 2020)