Our human rights approach extends to all of our business partners and suppliers. Our Supplier Code of Conduct, renewed in 2020, defines the minimum human rights standards we expect of our suppliers, including working hours, wages, terms of employment, rights of children and young workers, right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, and the prohibition of forced labour, discrimination and harassment.These criteria are included in the human rights due diligence assessment we carry out on all new companies before they can be selected as Neste renewable raw materials suppliers.
In recognizing the traditional approach to auditing is limited in its ability to identify, prevent, mitigate and remediate human rights impacts, we have worked with external experts to develop an approach for tackling systemic human rights issues within our value chains.Our sustainability audits have a strong human rights focus, and cover topics such as fair wages and favourable work conditions, health and safety, freedom of association, diversity, labour standards, neighboring communities, and rights of vulnerable groups such as children, migrant workers, inidgenous peoples, and women. Our site visits to raw materials suppliers centralize rights-holders by including conversations with management, site workers and third-party employees.
We recognize that our business and extended supply chain is not static but continually evolving. As a result, we are committed to regularly review our human rights risks to ensure our due diligence activities address the root causes of adverse human rights impacts in our operations and value chains.
Collaboration to protect human rights
Neste’s commitment to respect human rights extends beyond company boundaries. Working in partnerships is an important part of how we do business. We believe that increased protection for human rights globally is best achieved by working together with rights-holders, suppliers, civil society, governments and other businesses. We actively seek opportunities to collaborate with stakeholders and influence systemic positive change and a greater realization of human rights.
In mapping our supply chains to assess human rights risks by sector and geography, we have identified Southeast Asia, where we source palm oil, as one of our high risk areas. For this reason, we have engaged in a number of partnerships to advance positive human rights practices in these supply chains.
From 2015 to 2016, we partnered with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) to carry out social and labour studies for our palm supply chains in Malaysia and Indonesia. To share the results of these studies with our suppliers, we organized in-person workshops which served as a platform for open discussion. Building on the success of this, we now host annual sustainability workshops to engage our palm suppliers in open dialogue on sustainability topics and advance capacity building on human rights. Since 2018, our third-party suppliers have also attended the workshop, in addition to direct suppliers.