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Supporting Factory Workers

To help our suppliers continuously improve, we share best practices, promote transparency, and communicate industry changes and legal requirements. We also encourage our suppliers’ efforts to develop employees’ capabilities and contribute to local economies. We want to move beyond compliance to focus more on building capabilities at our suppliers’ operations. To that end, we work with our suppliers at their factories to help them strengthen areas where we see opportunities for improvement based on direct engagement, audits, or surveys. 

We encourage two-way dialogue to learn from our suppliers’ experience and insight, and we use that knowledge to further refine our strategy and engagement approach. Through open communication and long-term commitment, we can support lasting change and real investment in programs that improve working conditions and lessen environmental impacts.

We look beyond the factory walls too, seeking to improve the livelihoods of those in our supply chain at home as well as at work. For example, we have partnered with one of our large Keurig® brewer manufacturers in China to host a series of 20 life skills training classes (14 of which we completed in fiscal 2013) on topics ranging from interpersonal relationships and communication to managing money, career planning, and conflict resolution. The goal of the classes is to provide continuous education on fundamental livelihood needs and improve workers’ confidence and morale in the workplace and at home. We strive to provide skills that help workers adjust to new environments since many workers migrate to distant locations to find jobs that will support them and their families. It’s important to us that we do our part to support the people within our supply chain who produce our products and, therefore, help our business and our suppliers’ businesses grow while providing our customers with high-quality Keurig® brewers. Over the course of a year, we anticipate that up to 8,000 employees may benefit from these classes.

Engaging Our Employees

Internally, we want our employees who work with suppliers to be familiar with the social and environmental issues that could occur within our supply chains. In 2012 and 2013, a director-level council worked to align processes around purchasing decisions. In early 2014, we established a cross-functional operating committee to explore how these processes intersect with sustainability strategies and integrate the two. Our procurement department is regularly engaged on supplier assessment and engagement results, changes to policies such as our Supplier Guidelines, and other emerging issues relevant to our supply chains and to business decisions. 

We also intend to initiate training for employees who manage suppliers within our organization. Using our Supplier Guidelines as a foundation, we will teach employees how to recognize sourcing practices that are not responsible and help them gain a greater understanding of social and environmental issues especially relevant to our supply chain.