As part of our Better Together Strategy, Ahold Delhaize and each of its brands share a set of values that support an ethical culture and are the foundation of our commitment to conduct our business by doing what’s right, every day. We are committed to respecting the human rights of our associates, our customers, our communities and the people who work throughout our supply chains. This commitment is based on our own collective belief that all people should be treated with dignity and respect and is derived from international principles, such as the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
This commitment aligns with the ten globally recognized principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption of the UN Global Compact, and has been incorporated in our sustainable retailing strategy. Ahold signed the Global Compact in 2010, and Ahold Delhaize will continue to report on operations and strategies in relation to these principles. In addition, we reference other relevant frameworks to prioritize our sustainable retailing ambitions, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Below is our businesses’ approach to respecting and supporting human rights for their associates, customers, communities, as well as those in our supply chains.
Our Own Operations
People are our most valuable assets. We are committed to providing safe, secure and inclusive environments where all associates and customers are respected and appreciated. Our Code of Ethics supports our commitment to conduct our business by doing what’s right, every day.
Human and Labor Rights
We embrace clear standards on human rights, such as prevention of forced and child labor and non-discrimination, and we are committed to the principles of freedom of association, and respecting legal rights to collective bargaining. Our brands strive to provide their associates with challenging and rewarding opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Equal Employment Opportunities and Respect in the Workplace
All associates deserve a workplace where they are treated with dignity and respect. Our brands comply with applicable laws and Company policies relating to equal opportunity and non-discrimination. We respect the rights of all associates under applicable law, including the right to a workplace free from harassment and discrimination. We do not tolerate conduct by any associate or any other person which creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile work environment. This includes harassment based upon a person’s legally protected status.
Safe and Secure Working Environment
We are committed to providing safe and secure working environments for all associates and customers everywhere Ahold Delhaize companies operate. We comply with safety and health laws and regulations that apply to business activities and we follow applicable health and safety policies and procedures.
Our Suppliers and Partners
Our brands strive to maintain a professional relationship with our suppliers and other members of the business community. These relationships contribute to success, and should be based on good business judgment, mutual trust and fair dealing.
We strive to ensure that all of our suppliers demonstrate a high standard of business ethics and regard for human rights, and that our products are safe, high quality, and produced in clean, safe and efficient facilities with good working conditions. Our expectations are outlined in the Standards of Engagement, which form part of every buying agreement.
We require Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) audit reports – or audit reports or certificates that we consider equivalent to BSCI – from all of our suppliers with production locations in high risk countries (as defined by BSCI). In recent years, we have committed significant resources to selecting our suppliers, monitoring their performance and supporting them in making improvements to their processes and working conditions. If we find child labor, forced labor or serious violations of occupational health and safety regulations, we will suspend our relationship with that supplier. In addition, if a supplier is unable or unwilling to remedy non-compliances, we also suspend our relationship with that supplier.
We work together with industry organizations to drive food safety and social and environmental sustainability. In addition, we take an active role in various committees and working groups, including those of the Business Social Compliance Initiative, to address human rights issues in collaboration with the business community and other relevant stakeholders.
Governance and Monitoring
Our commitment to human rights is established and supported globally through our Supervisory Board (Sustainability and Innovation Committee) and Executive Committee, and implemented locally through our brands. Relevant functional leaders across the group and the brands (in areas such as Legal, Human Resources and Occupational Health and Safety, Sustainable Retailing and Product Integrity) are responsible for implementing the work relevant to their functions. These responsibilities include monitoring compliance with applicable laws and company policies in our own operations, and monitoring working conditions in our supply chains. Together, they are responsible for global reporting against our strategy, for engaging external stakeholders, and for monitoring related trends and managing issues and risks.
Key elements of our Human Rights Position are incorporated into our Code of Ethics. Our established, local “ethics helplines” are free, confidential and secure services that enable our associates and the public to raise concerns about improper behavior or possible violations of law or policy. All reports of violations of Our Code will be thoroughly investigated. Where there has been a violation of Our Code or the law, appropriate corrective action will be taken.