In March 2020 Ethical Consumer looked at the Church & Dwight website for details of the company's supply chain management. On the basis of what was found, the company was rated as follows:
Supply chain policy - Reasonable
The company's 'Global Operations Guiding Principles' prohibited the use of forced labour, the exercise of discrimination on the basis of belief, culture or personal characteristics and the use of child labour below the age of 16 years of age if not specified by law. It stated that "Church & Dwight expects its vendors to respect the right of workers to join and organize associations of their own choosing." It stated that "wages should be enough to meet basic needs and to provide some discretionary income", which was a considered to be a definition of living wages. Although it stated that working hours should be at least equal to the ETI Base Code requirements, this was not considered adequate as it was not an ETI member, and did not refer to the working week being limited to 48 hours plus 12 hours overtime. Ethical Consumer considered that the company had a reasonable supply chain policy.
Stakeholder engagement - rudimentary
Ethical Consumer found no evidence of: a) membership of multi-stakeholder processes (MSI) such the Ethical Trading Initiative, the Fair Labor Association or Social Accountability International; b) engagement with trade unions, NGOs or other not-for-profit organisation int the verification of labour standards audits. The company did have anonymous toll free hotlines administered by an independent third-party, to report concerns.
Auditing and reporting (poor)
The company stated, "We reserve the right to audit any of our vendors at any time to ascertain whether they and those in their supply chains are complying with these Guiding Principles.... If non-compliance with these Guiding Principles is suspected or discovered, we reserve the right to investigate such breach or take such other remedial steps as we consider appropriate."
Its 2018 Sustainability Report stated "We engaged independent social audit firms to audit 42 (35%) of our higher potential risk raw material and component suppliers and contract manufacturers to ensure their compliance with our Principles that represented 95% participation by our targeted highest risk suppliers".
The company did not provide an auditing schedule, results of past audits, a whole supply chain commitment or say which party shoulders the costs of audits. Ethical Consumer considered the auditing and reporting of the company to be poor.
Difficult issues (poor)
Finally, Ethical Consumer considered that the company's publications did not address any difficult issues in supply chain management such as audit fraud, and the training of buyer agents on broader labour standards, as well as modern slavery and human trafficking.
Overall, the company was awarded Ethical Consumer's middle rating for supply chain management.
https://churchdwight.com/ (25 February 2020)