At Dr. Martens we believe it is just as important to choose our suppliers for their fair treatment of their employees as for their performance on cost, delivery and quality.
And yet we don't believe in audits that just tick boxes and demand immediate compliance. Our research shows that this approach can force bad practices underground, leading to false documentation and coached workers. We prefer not just that factories pass audits but that conditions for the workers actually improve.
We encourage, therefore, an honest dialogue with our suppliers. We understand that sometimes it is just not possible for them to comply with all aspects of our code of conduct straight away. But we do expect any critical issues to be remedied immediately and other issues are resolved as part of a long-term improvement plan. We do not work with suppliers who do not demonstrate commitment to our approach.
Where we do conduct audits of our suppliers it is in conjunction with Impactt who are an independent 3rd party company specializing in supply-chain ethics. Our audits are very thorough and include physical appraisal of all work and domestic facilities, a review of documents, and management and worker interviews.
Our attention to ethical issues in our suppliers' factories is on going. We focus on implementing improvements by ensuring that key issues are dealt with by the people who are actually responsible for making the changes.
As well as Corporate Social Responsibility, we assess our suppliers, of course, for their performance on cost, quality and delivery and this information is published in a balanced scorecard to give us an overall measure on how each supplier is doing.