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Responsible purchasing

responsible purchasing policy 

Because all our products must be produced under ethical conditions, our purchasing policy is governed by information and inspection systems. The latter ensure our 18,000 suppliers comply with ethical, social, and environmental requirements. Since 2012, this policy has been strengthened by:

  • our responsible purchasing charters
  • our ethical, social, and environmental audits.


Consistent with our code of ethics, the Responsible Purchasing Charter is sent to the suppliers in our panel. Available in French, English, Spanish and Chinese, the Charter sets out our requirements on the respect of human rights and ethical, social, and environmental principles. Around 90% of the suppliers in our panel are signatories of the Charter or considered as complying with our requirements.


Every year we audit roughly one-quarter of the suppliers of raw materials/components and finished products in our panel on the respect of ethical, social, and environmental requirements. Suppliers with scores of over 70% are audited every four years; the rest are audited every year or every two years depending on the volume of their business activity with Groupe SEB.

The in-depth initial audit lasts one to three days, depending on the size of the company, and reviews nearly 300 inspection points in the Workplace Condition Assessment (WCA) audit table, with an assessment score on a scale of one to four. The audit report is sent to the Group Purchasing Department.

The results of the report may induce a corrective action plan, an inspection with a follow-up audit, and possibly the suspension of the working relationship.