Sustainability

1 January 2023

Human rights policy

Reading time: 5 min.

There are many challenges with regard to human rights in the globally ramified value chains. As a leading international trade and tourism company, we at REWE Group are aware of our responsibility within the global flow of goods. Therefore, we commit ourselves to strengthening human rights and preventing its violations.

Background

At REWE Group, we are aware that we can only be successful in the long term if the impact of our business activities is in compliance with people and the environment. We also know that the implementation of human rights due diligence in our own business operations as well as in supply and value chains is an ongoing process. For this reason, we continuously examine where particular risks on human rights violations exist in our supply chains and our own company. In doing so, we rely, on the one hand, on risk and hot spot analyses specially prepared for us. On the other hand, we as REWE Group review the impact of our actions on human rights in cooperation with external experts. Child and forced labour, income, working hours, discrimination, safeguarding the right to freedom of association as well as occupational health and safety have been identified as particularly sensitive areas.

Our goals

We align our business operations with internationally applicable standards and guidelines, such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the conventions and recommendations of the International Labour Organization on labour and social standards. These standards as well as the findings of our own risk and hotspot analyses have been used at REWE Group to derive guidelines and policies. They form the binding framework for all employees and business partners and define specific goals and measures. These include the Code of Conduct, the guidelines on sustainable business practices, fairness or sustainability standards for suppliers, as well as the guidelines for our focus raw materials such as cocoa, textiles and fish. In addition, we have implemented a comprehensive grievance mechanism.

We have set out our strategy for respecting human and environmental issues in our policy statement. In addition to procedural descriptions of our risk management and the priority risks to human and environmental rights identified for REWE Group, it also encompasses our expectations of our employees and suppliers. The policy statement is a “living” document which will be regularly updated when risk analyses have been carried out within the framework of the Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains and the results have been evaluated. All processes, measures and responsibilities as communicated in our policy statement will be anchored and implemented in the relevant business operation of REWE Group.

Our measures

In order to fulfil our responsibility for fair trade, we rely on a broad range of measures: trainings for employees and suppliers, audits, implementation of our own (aid) projects and formulation of concrete requirements for suppliers and service providers. All of our business partners are obliged to comply with the minimum requirements such as internationally and nationally applicable laws and the core labour standards of the International Labour Organization. In addition, the challenges in the global value chains call for approaches that will change entire industries in the long term. For this reason, we initiate and are involved in a large number of industry initiatives with the aim of engaging as many shareholders as possible along the value chain and to jointly find approaches for lasting positive developments. In addition, we cooperate with recognised certification organisations.

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