The Betts Group is a leading footwear retailer, passionate about exceptional product value and customer service. We offer our customers the best service, quality product and range at the right price. We want our customers to have a great experience, in store and online.
The Betts Group is a family company that was founded on the core value of treating people the way you would like to be treated yourself. This means living the values of respect, integrity and honesty with our customers, employees and everyone we come into contact with in our operations and supply chain.
As a high performance organisation, we understand that we have a corporate responsibility to manage our operations in a sustainable manner and to source our products in accordance with high ethical standards. Whether it be in the corporate office, our warehouses or our supply chain we strive for sustainable and ethical conduct with a focus on human rights, ethical sourcing and the environment.
We expect our suppliers to be aligned with our focus on sustainability. We value our strong relationships with suppliers and continually work with them to ensure that human rights, ethical behaviours and environmental responsibilities are understood and respected.
The Betts Group is actively working towards ensuring that all our suppliers:
• Comply with local laws, regulations and codes of conduct;
• Agree to being audited for compliance;
• Demonstrate continuous improvement towards full compliance; and
• Agree to compliance monitoring.
As a group, some parts of our business are more advanced than others in relation to striving for sustainability and ethical conduct, for example, Oceanic Brands Pty Ltd (“OB”). Based in Houjie Town, Southern China, OB is a 100% owned subsidiary of the Betts Group. It offers excellent customer service while developing virtual sample collections of shoes and handbags. Consistent with the Betts Group approach on sustainability, OB is committed to upholding human rights, fair working conditions and environmental awareness. All trading agreements with suppliers are based on the expectation that they will comply with the Oceanic Brands Ethical Sourcing Policy.
Betts Group sources some of its products from the same suppliers as Oceanic Brands.
Human rights is an important part of how we conduct our business. We align our Code of Conduct, policies and procedures with internationally recognised human rights principles and those based on Australian laws. We provide training to our employees to ensure they are aware of the Betts Group Code of Conduct and policies and procedures.
This means we are committed to:
• Prohibiting discrimination and harassment in the workplace and providing equal employment opportunities;
• Ensuring occupational health and safety and fair and reasonable terms and conditions of employment, including the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining;
• Prohibiting child, forced and trafficked labour;
• Prohibiting bonded labour and slavery; and
• Prohibiting bribery or crimes against humanity.
We work closely with our suppliers to understand the human rights and working conditions they provide to their workers. The Betts Group believes that the new Australian Modern Slavery Act (Cth) will help with the goal of eliminating modern slavery in Australian organisations and their supply chains.
We expect our suppliers to conduct their business in an ethical and socially responsible manner. In addition to respecting human rights, we expect them to follow all relevant local laws, not engage in corruption, fraud or bribery and to notify the Betts Group of any conflict of interest.
To ensure our suppliers and being ethically and socially responsible, we request that they adhere to codes of conduct and participate in independent audits such as the BSCI audit. The audit process identifies any gaps between expected and actual ethical conduct. The results are published to assist suppliers with continual improvement of their ethical production processes.
A core priority for the Betts Group is to adopt more sustainable packaging. Since 2011, we have been a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC), a federal government initiative which sets out how government and businesses share the responsibility for managing the environmental impacts of packaging in Australia.
As a signatory to the APC, we submit five-year action plans which confirm our commitment to sustainable packaging. In 2011, we committed to:
• Reducing the use of plastic carry bags by customers making footwear purchases;
• Influencing our supplier of shoe boxes to use recycled material;
• Introducing biodegradable carry bags; and
• Reviewing all new packaging based upon the sustainable packaging guidelines.
Since then, single use carry bags have almost been eliminated and our shoe boxes have been redesigned to include a carry-string made of recycled, biodegradable materials. This has reduced the amount of packaging that reaches landfill.
We continually review all our packaging to ensure that:
• Shipping packaging is made of recycled content;
• Packaging materials are fully recyclable in Australia; and
• Cardboard packaging is made from recycled pulp.
Further, we are committed to:
• Providing information to our customers about packaging sustainability by including packaging information on our website and applying labels that confirm packaging is made of recycled materials;
• Sourcing products that are made from eco-friendly materials and from suppliers that are environmentally responsible;
• Complying with Australian Standards, legislation and regulations; and
• Focusing on becoming carbon neutral.
Our packaging is either FSC certified (FSC 100%, FSC mixed, FSC recycled); or PEFC certified (PEFC certified, PEFC recycled); or made of at least 70% pre and/or post-consumer recycled material).
Our commitment to conducting our business in a sustainable manner means that we can reassure our customers of our compliance with all applicable Australian Standards, legislation and regulations. In addition as a business we looking to go over and above, hence, a growing proportion of our products now adhere to strict minimum requirements with regards ISO, EN and DIN standards and ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines. These products undergo testing in approved laboratories to ensure compliance with these standards.
We are pleased to have reopened most of our stores and to once again offer our customers, in store, the best service, quality product and range at the right price.
During these unprecedented times, the health and safety of our customers and employees and those in our supply chain remains a priority. We continue to monitor the situation to understand how factories are impacted and to ensure suppliers continue their focus on sustainability.
We are therefore taking the following actions to limit the effect of COVID-19 in the supply chain:
• Maintaining communication with suppliers about safe work practices and providing support as required;
• Ensuring that manufacturers are paid for finished goods and those in production;
• Honouring all orders placed prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 where production had commenced or was completed and continuing to pay for and receive these orders;
• Where production had not commenced for orders placed prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, where possible, honouring commitments to suppliers and factories despite adjustments being made for reductions in their factory production capacity and customer demand;
• If suppliers had purchased materials for orders and production had not commenced prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, ensuring that these materials can be used so that suppliers and factories are not financially disadvantaged; and
• Not enforcing force majeure clauses in trading agreements.