At Build-A-Bear Workshop®, we are committed to conducting business in a lawful, ethical and responsible manner. We expect our vendors to do the same. As an extension of our mission statement, our bear creed states, "Our products adhere to the highest standards of toy safety and will only be made in factories certified to follow ethical labor practices."
The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 requires retailers and manufacturers above a certain size that are doing business in California to disclose their efforts (if any) to address the issue of forced labor and human trafficking.
Our supply chain procedures have been designed to further our commitment to ensure that the products we sell are produced without the use of child, involuntary, or slave labor and in compliance with all other local and national laws. All of our employees are required to certify compliance with our Business Conduct Policy which includes a requirement that employees respect and obey the laws of the cities, states and countries in which we operate, including prohibitions against forced labor and human trafficking.
We verify ethical practices in our supply chain through our Quality Manual and social compliance certification requirements of either the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI) CARE (Caring, Awareness, Responsible, Ethical) or Workplace Conditions Assessment (WCA). All of our product suppliers are required to review, sign and comply with our Quality Manual which details our expectations for the manufacturing and packaging of our merchandise. Among these expectations is a zero tolerance policy toward the use of human trafficking, slavery or child labor. The required compliance with this Manual includes a commitment by direct suppliers to certify that materials incoprorated into our products comply with the laws regarding slavery and human trafficking of the country or countries in which they do business. Our policy mandates termination of contracts and dismissal of any supplier found to use human trafficking, slavery or child labor in the production of products or components of products for Build-A-Bear Workshop.
In order to help ensure compliance with these policies, we require all factories that produce our products to be compliant with the ICTI CARE or WCA certification. ICTI and WCA are committed, on behalf of their member companies to the operation of toy factories in a lawful, safe, and healthful manner. They both uphold the principles that no underage, forced, or prison labor should be employed; that no one is denied a job because of gender, ethnic origin, religion, affiliation or association, and that factories comply with laws protecting the environment. ICTI and WCA both require periodic recertification by our supply vendors. In addition, Build-A-Bear Workshop associates periodically visit factories to inspect the facility, review production, and observe working conditions. Inspections by ICTI, WCA and Build-A-Bear Workshop are announced to the factories in advance.
Internal accountability is an important aspect of these procedures. Associates who violate the Business Conduct Policy are subject to disciplinary action, which may include termination of employment. Vendors who violate any term of the Quality Manual are subject to sanction, which may include termination of the relationship.
Since the company was founded in 1997, we have trained our personnel who are involved with sourcing our products with the aim of raising awareness regarding human trafficking, slavery and child labor. All of our employees are required to certify compliance with our Business Conduct Policy which includes a requirement that employees respect and obey the laws of the cities, states and countries in which we operate, including prohibitions against forced labor and human trafficking. In addition, as part of their job responsibilities, all employees who participate in the procurement of our products are trained concerning our requirement that they ensure that all factories producing our products (i) are compliant with the ICTI CARE or WCA certification, and (ii) certify compliance with our Quality Manual.
Sharon Price John