Promoting human rights at Tesco

Tesco Group Human Rights Policy 

Last updated 13/05/2022

Scope

This policy applies to all business units and their supply chains that are either majority-owned by Tesco or operated by Tesco management. Companies in which Tesco holds a minority stake are expected to implement a policy which is consistent with this policy.

Purpose

Human rights is embedded within our core purpose to serve our customers, communities and planet a little better every day. Tesco is committed to respecting human rights, as set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and forms the basis of this policy. This policy therefore outlines the human rights principles governing relevant Tesco business units.

Why it matters

Human rights are universal, yet violations have been a long-standing issue in global supply chains. We aim for all the jobs we create, directly and through our supply chain, to be decent, fair and safe. Our human rights strategy seeks to raise standards and protect human rights.

Context and Commitments

  • Tesco is committed to meeting its responsibility to respect human rights and fully supports the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the UN Global Compact.
  • We are committed to respecting the human rights that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has declared to be fundamental rights at work, including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, and the rights not to be subject to forced labour, child labour or discrimination.
  • In addition to local laws, we work to ensure that Tesco and our suppliers adhere to the ETI Base Code, an internationally recognised code of labour practice founded on the ILO conventions,
  • Building on our work to ensure adherence to the ETI Base Code, we have identified four key priority focus areas where we focus our efforts: sustainable livelihoods, gender equality, tackling modern slavery, and worker representation. We require our suppliers to share our ambition to drive transformational change in these areas.
  • We are committed to respecting, and ensuring that our business relationships respect, the human rights of individuals belonging to specific groups or populations that face particular challenges (including women, children, indigenous peoples, minorities, persons with disabilities, and migrant workers and their families).
  • We are committed to respecting, and ensuring our business relationships respect, the livelihoods and health of communities associated with our sourcing, including the right to water and the ownership or use of land and natural resources.
  • We recognise the important role that human rights defenders play in identifying human rights issues and driving improvement; and will seek to learn from them and collaborate with them where possible. We strongly oppose any action that disrupts the work of human rights defenders.

Implementation

  • We put human rights and responsible sourcing at the heart of our work with suppliers and will work to ensure that our own commercial activities and purchasing practices don’t negatively impact human rights. We ensure human rights risks and supplier performance are considered as part of supplier selection and assessment.
  • Where potential or actual human rights breaches are identified, we work to ensure they are remedied meaningfully, and will engage collaboratively with sector wide efforts to address entrenched issues where possible.
  • We will only work with suppliers that share our commitment to respect human rights and ensure the remediation of human rights breaches where they are identified. In the event that a human rights breach occurs, and our suppliers do not demonstrate a commitment to remediation, we will seek to exit trading in a responsible manner.
  • We are committed to collaborating with NGOs, trade unions, human rights experts, and the wider industry, to carry out Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) and promote respect for human rights, in both our own operations and supply chains.
  • We track our progress to ensure human rights are respected and report on this publicly at least annually.
  • We recognise the role that transparency plays in improving practices in supply chains and allowing stakeholders to scrutinise our activities, and we publish details of our supply chains where possible for sourcing of food, general merchandise and textiles.

Within our business, Responsible Sourcing covers Human Rights and is highlighted as a principal risk within our overall business wide risk assessment.

Our work to ensure human rights are respected has Board-level oversight through the Group Risk and Compliance Committee chaired by our Group CEO, and through the Corporate Responsibility Committee, chaired by a Non-Executive member of the Board. Overall accountability for our work on human rights sits with our Chief Product Officer, a member of Tesco’s Group Executive Committee.

Human rights breaches can be escalated via the confidential Tesco Protector Line on 0800 048 8958 (UK) or at protectorline.ourtesco.com.