Social Policy

1. Introduction

We adhere to the highest social standards at our facilities all over the world and make sure that our partners do the same. We have therefore joined the Business Social Compliance Initiative, and all our facilities and sites are independently audited to meet a fair code of conduct. Ironically, this commitment has not come at the expense of price. We discovered that a more stable and committed workforce actually drives our quality and guarantees you a sustainable product and production.

2. Scope of application

The Social Policy applies to all our products, our inhouse production- and logistics processes, and up the supply chain to the source of our raw materials.

3. Commitment to Socially Acceptable Standards

For all relevant private label products, RICHARD BEHR & CO. requires compliance with all legal provisions in the area of our social policy. Our code includes the ten following key elements of the Business Social Compliance Initiative BSCI, to improve workers environments:

  • freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
  • non-discrimination environment
  • child labor is prohibited
  • legal minimum and/or industry standards wages are paid
  • working hours are compliant with national laws and do not exceed 48 hours regular + 12 hours overtime
  • no forced labor or disciplinary measures
  • safe and healthy workplace
  • the environment is respected
  • policy for social accountability anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy

We are committed to these socially acceptable standards throughout all stages of the supply chain.

RICHARD BEHR & CO. pursues the goal to actively sustain its range of 100% socially acceptable products, production, and packaging, sourced from production facilities which demonstrably apply social standards that exceed legal provisions. Furthermore, our suppliers are obliged to comply with social minimum standards at all stages of the production chain, i.e. from the fattening farm to the processor to the store (refer to Corporate Governance Principles/BSCI Code of Conduct). RICHARD BEHR & CO. is member of the Business Social Compliance Initiative BEPI and drives their standards and codes of conduct throughout its complete supply chain.

4. Requirements and implementation

We actively promote compliance with social standards and for this purpose, we have already taken precise measures, amongst others, in the following areas:

Client social standards

Our clients are among the strongest drivers and champions of industrial level convergence of our industry toward acceptable social standards throughout the supply chain. We work with our clients to help them formulate their standards, goals, and monitor progress toward achieving the goals. We follow our highest client standards.

Requirements for our products and raw materials

RICHARD BEHR & CO. sources products exclusively from producers who are compliant with all local and international social standards and/or certified accordingly. This enables us to avoid the use of suplly chain elements that will contribute toward socially, moraly or ethically unacceptable behavior.

Textiles-related social topics

RICHARD BEHR & CO. closely follows all textile-related social issues and topics and strives to at all time be at the forefront of the newest standards, tests, and labels.

  • We look specifically at the conditions for workers in the fabric production, from cotton farms, through spinning, weaving mills, bleaching and dyeing, all the way up to manufacturing of finished products.
  • We are accepting SA8000 certification and its tough standards as proof for compliance with socially acceptable standards in these environments.
  • We are asking all our partners throughout the supply chain to comply with BSCI through direct membership, or equivalent certification (such as SA8000).

Third party audits

  • RICHARD BEHR & CO. uses the following third party audited standards to monitor compliance with these guidelines:
  • RICHARD BEHR & CO. is a member of BSCI, directly and for all its associated companies.
  • RICHARD BEHR & CO. accepts for its partners certification according to the Social Accountability International Standard SA8000.
  • RICHARD BEHR & CO. acknowledges only Certification Bodies CB audits that are listed by SAAS on their lst of accredited Certfication Bodies

No socially unacceptable products

We also reject products that do not meet the standards of our Social Policy throughout the supply chain. We strive to not only not adopt any products or raw materials that do not meet the standard, but we will actively eliminate products or raw materials from our portfolio, that do not comply with our Social Policy.

5. Active Implementation

At RICHARD BEHR & CO., we implement our social requirements in close cooperation with our suppliers. The implementation of our internal requirements will be conducted by the buying departments with the support of the responsible drivers of Corporate Governance. Specific requirements, goals and measures will also be implemented in close cooperation. We monitor the implementation among our suppliers and we conduct risk-oriented evaluations. We reserve us the right to have the requirements of our Social Policy verified by internal and/or external audits, if necessary. Moreover, we expect our suppliers to ensure that all personnel responsible for the handling of human resource issues, with impact on the social standards, are effectively trained to carry out routine practices in a way that complies with social standards, and, where necessary, is qualified to promote good standards of social behavior within their areas of responsibility. The present Social Policy is part of our terms and conditions. Where instances of non-compliance with our policies are detected, suppliers are expected to provide corrective action plans that clearly demonstrate how relevant violations will be resolved within a specific timeframe. The Managing Directors are informed on the status of implementation on a regular basis.

We aspire to continuously improve products of our assortment and keep our portfolio on a high, and 100% socially acceptable standard. In this context, we always consider our customers' wishes and the market environment. The transition to more social alternatives includes the following:

  • extend the range of certified, BSCI complient products
  • extend the range of certified, SA8000 complient products
  • conduct pilot projects to promote high social standards
  • improve social conditions for conventional products in cooperation with our suppliers.

Since we aim to offer more socially compliant products, an exchange with external partners is indispensable. Therefore, we are in close contact with NGOs, representatives of the scientific community, and stakeholders.

Pilot projects and measures

RICHARD BEHR & CO. is actively implementing social standards throughout our supply chain when opportunities arise. Here are a number of pilot projects that RICHARD BEHR & CO. has implemented today already:

  • Workers association ("Betriebsrat") in our German factory, according to the high German social standards
  • Workers association in our China factory, according to highest Chinese social standards
  • Membership of Richard Behr & Co. and its affiliated companies in the Business Social Compliance Initiative BSCI
  • Membership of all its suppliers in the BSCI, or their certification according to SA8000
  • Through our committment to the N-Club (a German sustainability club) we have met and susequently partnered with Elbe Werkstätten, a non-profit for persons with disabilities, and they now make the wooden frame of our beds, passing the same rigorous quality tests that we apply to all of our products.

We commit to keeping these measures in place, expanding them, and adding further measures as they become available.

Regular assessments

We are committed to not only meeting these standards but also surpassing them measurably and clearly. For this, each of our plants is audited by BSCI on a regular and unannounced basis. Additionaly each year, the current Socila Policy is assessed and, if required, adjusted. In the long-term, this is the only way to guarantee a socially and responsible behavior of the complete supply chain. In addition, based on this policy, we formulate goals and evaluate the extent to which these goals have been achieved on an annual basis.