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Corporate Social Responsibility

The Austin Reed Group is committed to continuously improving our performance in relation to ethical, social and environmental issues.

An Important Statement From The Austin Reed Group
The Austin Reed Group will not tolerate inhumane or cruel treatment of animals used in the production of our clothing or associated products. We can confirm that the group has stopped ordering products that contain Angora and are investigating alternatives.

The policies below outline the Austin Reed Group's approach to environmental issues and ethical procurement. We encourage all employees to consider the ethical, social and environmental impact of their work and expect them to comply with these policies and incorporate the principles of them into their daily working practices.

Austin Reed has been a member of Sedex since 2012
Sedex is a not for profit membership organisation dedicated to driving improvements in ethical and responsible business
practices in global supply chains. It is a secure online platform for sharing and viewing information on labour standards,
health and safety, the environment and business ethics.

Sedex has 2 main aims:

  1. to ease the burden on suppliers facing multiple audits, questionnaires and certifications
  2. to drive improvements in the ethical performance of global supply chains

Austin Reed Group Environmental Policy

The Austin Reed Group is committed to minimising the impact of its activities on the environment.

The key points of its strategy to achieve this are:

  • Aim to produce less waste
  • Actively promote recycling both internally and amongst our customers and suppliers
  • Improve energy efficiency and minimise energy usage across the business
  • Source and promote a product to minimise the environmental impact of both production and distribution
  • Meet or exceed all the environmental legislation that relates to the Group.

The following are some of the actions that have been undertaken across the business to positively affect the environment:

Aim to produce less waste
The Austin Reed Group took the decision to move to sustainable packaging for stationery deliveries from 2009 onwards. Product is delivered in 100% recycled plastic bags that are reusable, returnable and recyclable. This initiative has diverted over 12,000 cardboard boxes from going into landfill each year.

Actively promote recycling both internally and amongst our customers and suppliers
During the relocation of our new Flagship store 50% of the soft furnishings were recycled from our old store, having them recovered by a British craftsman in natural British fabrics and leathers. Additionally 80% of all the mirrors used were also recycled from our old store.

We aim to recycle 95% of store fixtures and fittings in other stores as well rather than going to landfill.

Improve energy efficiency and minimise energy usage across the business
All of our new stores now use high frequency control gears which are 20% more efficient, meaning that they generate less heat, this in turn decreases the cooling requirements of the air conditioning. Additionally, when we lease a new property or refurbish one of our existing sites on average we reduce the KW out put by 39%.

In our new Flagship store on Regent Street the majority of lights are 35 watts, which are more efficient than the 70-watt fittings that were in place when we acquired the building. All light fittings are also AAA rated. All back of house areas within the store have been installed with passive infrared motion sensors that turn lighting off automatically when the areas are not being used.

Source and promote a product to minimise the environmental impact of both production and distribution
The Group continues to source natural fibres, together with synthetic and mixed fibres. All suppliers that we work with must satisfy and work within the parameters of our ethical and environmental policies.

We ensure that all suppliers have been independently audited, this provides visibility of the company's supply chain and centres around four pillars; Labour Standards, Health & Safety, Environment and Business Integrity.

Meet or exceed all the environmental legislation that relates to the Company
The Austin Reed Group Environmental Committee was established to increase the focus of environmental considerations within the Group and helps raise the profile with all members of staff, suppliers and licensees. It addresses the impact of its operations on the environment and wherever possible promotes policies for environmental improvement.

The Environmental Committee has members from throughout the business and meets regularly to define, promote, monitor and review the group's policy. It reports directly to the Chief Executive and the Executive Board who are responsible for overseeing the implementation of the environmental policy.

Austin Reed Group Procurement Policy

The Austin Reed Group expects all suppliers, contractors and third parties that it procures goods or services from to comply with the principles of this policy.

All employees involved in procurement decisions are expected to fully comply with and implement this policy.

Policy Principles
The Austin Reed Group firmly believes that goods of consistently high quality can only be provided by reputable suppliers who are well equipped and provide working conditions and a level of reward which meets or exceeds minimum legal requirements.

An Ethical Code of Practice has been put in place for suppliers, which details our expectations and the potential consequences of not meeting those expectations. The Austin Reed Group will not engage with suppliers who do not agree to comply with the Ethical Code of Practice.

Key points of the Ethical Code of Practice

  • We seek to develop long-term business relations with our suppliers based on the principle of fair and honest dealing at all times and in all ways. We specifically require our suppliers to extend the same principle to all others with whom they do business including employees and subcontractors and other third parties.
  • We undertake factory visits on an annual basis and if any unacceptable practice comes to our attention we will take immediate action to investigate and achieve remedies.
  • Austin Reed reserves the right to cancel orders and/or terminate a business relationship where we find a supplier has failed to comply with legal requirements and minimum standards.
  • Austin Reed will not tolerate the use of child labour or exploitation of any other vulnerable group e.g. illegal immigrants. Wages and benefits must be comparable to local norms and comply with all local laws. Working conditions must reflect an adequate regard for the health and safety of the workforce.

The Ethical Code of Practice is supported by a Supplier Manual which provides further detail on:

  • Terms and conditions of business
  • The ARG Environmental Policy and Corporate Social Responsibility Policy
  • Quality Assurance
  • Acceptance of Manual
  • UK Bribery Act

The Supplier Manual forms part of the terms and conditions of the supply contract with Austin Reed Group Ltd and penalties will be applied where suppliers fail to comply with the Supplier Manual.

Any employee who is responsible for selecting suppliers or conducting factory visits has an obligation to ensure that this policy is being implemented and report any instances of non-compliance to the Management Committee.

Our Guarantee
The Austin Reed Group is committed to this policy. Any breach of this policy will result in action being taken in accordance with our policies and procedures, which could involve penalties up to and including the termination of a business relationship.

In the event of deliberate non-compliance by an employee of the Austin Reed Group action will be taken in accordance with the Disciplinary Policy. Cases of serious non-compliance could be considered gross misconduct and result in a disciplinary sanction up to and including non-compliance.

Line Manager – are accountable for ensuring that any reported instances of non-compliance by suppliers, contractors, third parties or employees are taken seriously and dealt with in line with the policy. They must also ensure that any situations requiring further assistant are escalated to the appropriate Senior Manager.

Employees – are accountable for ensuring that any instances of non-compliance are reported in line with the policy.

Brand Director – the Brand Director is accountable for keeping this policy up-to-date and advising managers and employees on its interpretation and implementation.