Putting people first

Decathlon products are made in over 45 countries, each with varying national regulations and standards on health and safety and labour laws. Given this context, our responsibility is to ensure that, regardless of the manufacturing location, our working conditions comply with both current regulations and our own requirements.

These have appeared in our Social Charter since 2003, and undergo regular inspections and controls. In 2017, we’re continuing to help suppliers keen to improve their managerial practices, so that they can go beyond mere compliance.

Human responsibility in production
in 2016

A summary

• We helped to improve and standardise practices used by those in our sector by investing in various different working groups (OECD, DAEI, etc.).

• Our teams worked together to update our tools in order to tackle these new challenges.

• Together with Impactt , we led a win-win programme with suppliers keen to do more in the sphere of working conditions and employee wages.

Compliance at production sites responsible for manufacturing our products
In %

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« Helping to standardise social assessment methods »

Decathlon has been a member of the consultative committee since 2014, helping to write the OECD guide on duty of care in the textiles and footwear industries, which is scheduled for publication some time in 2017.

Decathlon is also a member of the working group coordinated by the DAEI (European and International Affairs Department) within the French Ministry of Labour, Employment, Professional Training and Social Dialogue. The aim of this working group is to encourage responsible purchasing practices by instructing parties in the French textile industry.

Regular input from our teams at our suppliers' premises

Our teams are regularly on site at our suppliers’ premises:

• on a daily basis: their regular presence on site means that our production teams can detect risk situations and trigger an action plan in conjunction with the supplier.

• during assessments: 19 sustainable development in production managers carried out the majority of these assessments. Recruited locally, they speak the country’s language and have an excellent grasp of its culture, which makes their work easier and enhances their ability to detect local issues. They are continually training up production teams and some are also given the task of ensuring that the tools and methods used are continuously improved.

Going beyond mere compliance: a win-win strategy with our willing suppliers

Since 2014, we have been taking part in the “Together for a Sustainable Business” scheme run by Impactt, so as to join forces with willing suppliers and their employees to co-build a new work organisation and HR structure that focus on motivation and communication, and more caring management that involves its employees more in the company plan. We use the lessons learned from this programme to devise our own method, based on three objectives: more efficient production for suppliers, committed, motivated and better paid employees, and stable business partners for Decathlon.

After a successful pilot project in Bangladesh in 2015, we extended our programme to two suppliers, in China and India, by adapting the motivation factors to these two very different contexts. In China, for example, we placed greater emphasis on reducing staff turnover and absenteeism.

We expect to see some quantifiable results in 2017 for these new projects, which will form the basis for defining our own methodology.

Putting people at the heart of our supplier issues: the case of Bangladesh.
Production teams manager in Dhakka

Following the conclusive results from the “Together for a sustainable business” scheme, our production teams decided to continue – independently – the project launched with the help of Impactt.

Erzulia Kalulu, production team manager at Dakar, together with her team, tells us how they worked with supplier AJ Super to shore up the HR structure.

Why did you continue the “Benefits for Business and Workers” programme with this
supplier ?
Throughout the work done by the Impactt teams, I was impressed by how the site managers
got involved and by their motivation to improve human relations in the factory. This spurred
me on to push our collaboration even further, and launch a global continuous improvement
project focusing on six key areas, including well-being at work.
What role do suppliers and workers play in this project?
The project was co-written with the teams at AJ Super. Together, we decided on our project
objectives, performance indicators and each person’s individual responsibilities. The
management committee consists of employees from both AJ Super and Decathlon.
What have you done to boost motivation and well-being at work?
Workers now have job description sheets and understand the options open to them in terms
of career progression with their employer. We’ve also improved attendance at work by
designing an incentive scheme. Lastly, we’ve organised sessions where teams can share
and come together over various sports activities. We’ve also instilled a sense of competition
and recognition by awarding a best worker prize.