By the end of 2018, we made our products in over 47 countries. In each of these, we are taking account of national standards and regulations in force relating to health, safety, labour laws and environmental impacts vary and issues identified by the intergovernmental organisations (International Labour Organisation, OCDE…). In this context, our responsibility is to make sure – thanks to our teams on the ground and our regular audits – that working conditions comply with regulations and the requirements of our Code of Conduct, whatever the manufacturing location, for the following issues: - human rights: decent living wage, child labour, forced labour, freedom of association, discrimination, etc. - health & safety: prevention of chemical hazards, fire safety, working environment, building safety, work station safety and if supplied people's housing and transport etc… - environmentally friendly: prevention of direct environmental pollution (water, air, soil) around our manufacturing sites - corruption: we have adopted an approach based on the principle of zero tolerance towards corruption and trading in influence.
The minimum legal wage is set by a country, a province, a state, a collective bargaining agreement, with all salaried employees working in these territories receiving it. The decent or living wage allows workers and their families to live decently. It must cover food, healthcare, education, clothing, transport but also savings and leisure activities. No universal standard exists. In most countries, including western countries, a wage that is considered decent is higher than the legal minimum wage. Some NGO such as the Asia Floor Wage and the Living Wage Foundation, recognised on this topic, have set a few decent salary standards based on their methodology, of which there are a few examples: Asia Floor Wage Study 2017: China: minimum wage = €260 / decent living wage = €517 Bangladesh: minimum wage = 61€ / decent living wage = 336€ Since 2017, the minimum wage in Bangladesh has increased to €85 in January 2019. Living Wage Foundation Study 2018 : Great Britain: minimum hourly wage = £7.83 / decent living hourly wage = £9
What is DECATHLON doing? Decathlon ensures that all suppliers, whatever their country, pays a salary superior or equal to the national or local minimum legal wage for the sector or the collective bargaining agreement, at the hourly and monthly level. Decathlon also makes sure that all the benefits meet essential needs such as social security, paid holidays, paid leave due to illness or for family reasons as set out by local laws, are properly complied with. If complementary benefits (which are not compulsory by law) are put in place by the employer in agreement with the personnel (ex: healthcare insurance, bonuses, shareholding), DECATHLON ensures these are complied with during social audits. Wages must be paid directly to employees and any disciplinary measures in the form of deductions is strictly prohibited.
If despite the numerous checks made during the design and manufacturing phases, the quality of a product available in the store is defective or if there are any doubts, several solutions are considered to protect the user and ensure compliant products can be put back on sale as soon as possible:Defective Returns are an indicator. Our users must bring or send back their defective products to help us improve their quality.Some are directly sent to our design teams for analysis: by being proactive, our teams can then decide with full knowledge of the facts (withdraw from sale, repair, return products back to the supplier, destroy or recall the product if it is unsatisfactory from a quality or safety perspective). Product returns are a real resource for putting to good use when dealing with the causes of poor quality and constantly improving our products' quality.
With regards to its suppliers' environmental impact, Decathlon provides them with support by especially asking its suppliers concerned by discharge of industrial waster water to respect particular specifications and ensure compliance with pollution issues. Our suppliers are subsequently evaluated according to an environmental audit checklist (A, B or C according to the pollution risk they represent) and the teammates in the manufacturing offices trained and coordinated to make sure these requirements are complied with every day.
How does DECATHLON combat child labour? For us, child labour is unacceptable. Our Code of Conduct, signed by our subcontractors, requires that no children be present on the manufacturing site. We are committed to refusing or ceasing to work with subcontractors who do not comply with this principle.
Why does Decathlon choose to train its teams to audit working conditions on manufacturing sites? We think it is important to establish demanding criteria for our subcontractors and ensure they comply with these on the ground That's why, we directly position dedicated in-house teams, trained in audit techniques, in manufacturing areas. These in-house experts are also assigned the responsibility of training our manufacturing teams, who are present on a daily basis at our subcontractors' sites. The in-house training optimises the support we provide our subcontractors in implementing improvement plans. We want our teams to conduct 85% of the working conditions audits, with the remainder done by external auditors. Meetings are regularly organised between Decathlon teams and those of external auditors to discuss and harmonise practices.
We've been conducting, since 2002, a responsible purchasing policy entitled “Human Responsibility in Production”. It aims to improve working conditions in the supply chain and, reinforce the safety of the men and women that produce the products. These are priorities for Decathlon. The strength of this policy is down to the training given to our in-house teams for rigorously assessing the subcontractors. The tools associated (guidelines, code of conduct, audit checklist, …) are updated as regularly as necessary to meet new challenges, opportunities and risk in the world.
PFCs is still an issue: PFCs were part of "extremely worrying" substances according to the European chemicals agency, the "textile", "heavy stitching" and "footwear" process teams have made good progress in developing solutions that are PFC Free. What is more, the "Mountain" hub has reiterated its commitment made in 2016: "removal from its clothing products by 2020". A broad analysis is being done into sensitizing and irritant substances: The people are nowadays more and more allergic. The regulations, which are very extensive concerning CMR substances (carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic chemicals), are a lot less so for allergic substances. We also sought to further protect our users by studying several allergenic substances, which we've integrated into our next version of the RSL67, e.g. isothiazolinones. Today, more than 5% of the population is said to be sensitive to isothiazolinones. These substances are known to be highly allergenic, i.e. in prolonged contact with the skin, isothiazolinones can cause allergic skin reactions.These substances are unregulated in all consumer products, but we have included them in our 2018 Restricted Substances List (RSL) to monitor their presence in all our textile and leather products.
At DECATHLON, since 2007, a specific team of seven people has been in charge of chemical risk management and, is responsible for identifying hazardous substances, tolerance thresholds and the frequency of controls. This unit is responsible for quickly and accurately answering users' questions relating to the possible risks of chemical irritants linked to the use of DECATHLON sports equipment. Our goal is based on the following observation: not all users have the same sensitivity to certain components and while the vast majority of our sports users do not trigger any reaction, we work to provide the best possible support for the few people affected by hypersensitivity and allergies. We are aware that there is no such thing as zero risks, which is why we demand the highest degree of transparency on the composition of our materials, along with effective and personalised support for each allergic feedback. DECATHLON sports goods comply with the safety conditions of our sports users well beyond European standards. We are striving to protect people's health better and, preserve the environment from the hazards of chemical substances.