Progress is driven by a collective effort and its impetus reaches out to all stakeholders. Auchan builds quality business relationships, shares commitments on social responsibility and respect for the environment, and develops balanced and sustainable partnerships. 

Strict monitoring of working conditions at manufacturers

Auchan periodically assesses the social conditions under which its own-brand products are manufactured.

All Auchan suppliers are required to sign up to the company’s code of business ethics and promise to abide by it. The code takes its inspiration from the agreements concluded by the International Labour Organisation, and incorporates 10 main criteria, including a ban on child labour and forced labour, and an insistence on a healthy and safe working environment… Auchan took this step as part of its involvement in the Initiative Clause Sociale and Global Social Compliance Programme working groups. It was in this context that Auchan took the decision, in 2011, to ban the use of sandblasting techniques for fading its own-brand jeans.

In July 2013, to strengthen its control process implemented for several years, Auchan voluntarily committed to a plan to combat opaque outsourcing, with 8 action areas. The last of these commitments involves regular and transparent communication on the plan's progress. Group internal audit was commissioned to ensure proper tracking.This information, up to date, is available in the 2016 CSR section of the management report.

Weaving sustainable links with partner SMEs

Auchan Retail maintains balanced and sustainable business relationships with its SME partners. One of its principles is to avoid creating dependency among its suppliers, by not representing too large a share of their revenue. The Group accompanies growing SMEs progressively, listing them as regular suppliers first in one store, then in several stores, at national and eventually international level. Finally, meetings can be organised to help SMEs meet buyers.

Local products: a sustainable offering

Hypermarkets and supermarkets of all countries of the Groupe develop a range of local products grown and/or produced near stores, forging direct partnerships with small-scale producers. These policies answer a strong expectation of the inhabitants, worried of consuming products stemming from their soil.

To favor local products offer, certains brands developed a dedicated marking. Stores so contribute to the economic brilliance of their customer catchment area.

In Spain, Alcampo continued to develop various programmes to support the agricultural sector, in particular the “Del arbol a tu mesa” programme, which targets seasonal fruits chosen from the producers' lands and transported directly to the hypermarkets. In 2014 1,033 tons of fruit was sourced in this way. In Portugal, Jumbo is expanding its offer of local products under the “Sabores de Portugal” label. More than 400 varieties of cheese, cured meats, fruits and vegetables, sweets, breads and wines form a range comparable to that offered in the traditional markets.

Minimize the impact of goods transport

To reduce its carriers’ greenhouse gas emissions, Groupe Auchan shares a policy of streamlining goods transport and warehouse management, prioritising locally sourced products and ecologically designed house-brand products.

The mode of transport is also selected after assessing the impact on the environment. The transport mix currently being developed in Hungary, Portugal, Spain and France, takes preliminary routes to rail or river terminals.

Improving shopping centres’ energy performance

Partners stores in shopping centres consume 20% to 30% of the overall energy consumption. Immochan included an environmental clause in its business leases to associate partner stores in an effort to improve overall energy efficiency. Factors such as energy, water and waste management, carbon footprint reduction and environmental quality improvement in store fittings are now addressed when negotiating contracts.

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Compliance with major legal principles

Auchan abides by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ILO 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and OECD guidelines. These texts form a corpus of civil, political, economical, social and cultural rights which Auchan applies to its partnerships.