'Ethical Trade' by Sion Stanfield, eco-procure

Date Published: Wednesday 12th February 2014

As a responsible retailer, brand owner or waste management company, ethical trading is at the heart of any organisations sustainability agenda. Sion Stanfield, Cmpany Director at eco-procure looks into the details. 

Organisations are seeking to develop long term partnerships with suppliers who are prepared to commit themselves to a code of conduct for ethical trade which is consistent with internationally agreed conventions for workers` rights and the standards set out in the Ethical Code Initiative (ETI).  

With international trade growing and the public wanting more transparency on waste shipments, organisations expect strong social and environmental standards from suppliers and processors supporting those that require practical help and support in implementing those standards of the ETI. Companies expect it`s suppliers to demonstrate continual improvement in meeting those workplace and employment standards. The following are key criteria included in the Ethical Code Initiative -

  • Employment is freely chosen, there is no forced, bonded or involuntary labour.
  • Freedom of as association, workers have the right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing and bargain collectively.
  • Workers conditions are safe and hygienic including receiving regular and recorded health and safety training. 
  • Child labour shall not be used. Children and young persons under 18 shall not be employed at night or in hazardous conditions.
  • Living wages are paid, at a minimum the national legal standards or industry benchmark standards which ever is higher.
  • Working hours are not excessive, with a maximum working week of 48 hours and at least one day off in every 7 day period.
  • No discrimination is practised in hiring employees including race, religion, age and disability.
  • Regular employment is provided, work performed must be on the basis of recognised employment relationships established though national law and practice.
  • No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed including physical treatment, intimidation or harassment. 
  • Entitlement to work with only those legally entitled to work in the country employed.
  • Labour agencies only supplying workers registered to them.
  • Protection of the environment where suppliers will carry out their activities in accordance with national laws, regulations and policies relating to preserving the environment.

The Eurokey Group is one of the largest exporters of plastic film within Europe, being long established in the UK for over 18 years with key end markets including India and China. The Eurokey Group is committed to upholding and improving the working conditions of the suppliers it works with in the sorting of exported plastic film. The Eurokey Group has a continuous investment programme, is leading by example in improving and supporting it`s supply base in meeting the requirements of the Ethical Code Initiative set out above. In doing so, Eurokey Group engaged with eco-procure, an independent procurement consultancy that develops sustainable solutions for retailers and brand owners. Both Eurokey and eco-procure invested time and financial support with the established supply base improving ethical standards required by the Ethical Code Initiative. Eurokey now have their own employees based in the established markets for plastic film exports supporting it`s supply base in improving ethical standards through self assessment. To ensure transparency, Eurokey uses SEDEX that conducts independent audits on the suppliers in question ensuring continued progress in meeting the required ethical standards. 

The Eurokey Group has a wide client base including retailers, brand owners and waste management companies. The Eurokey Group leads on the ethical trading of plastic film exports, supporting it`s supply base in meeting the required standards of the Ethical Code Initiative therefore upholding the Ethical Code of Conduct of it`s clients.

For any further information relating to this new development for waste plastic film exports please contact either Sion Stanfield at sion.stanfield@eco-procure.com or John Dhillon at John@eurokeyrecycling.com.     

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