Asda (George) notes on its website that the company is a member of the UK's Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). The ETI is an alliance of 'companies trade unions and voluntary organisations'. It seeks to 'improve the lives of workers across the globe who make or grow consumer goods' (ETI website). As a member of the ETI, Asda (George) has adopted and conducts audits against the ETI Base Code, which is based on International Labour Organisation standards.
The ETI Base Code, which Asda (George) has adopted, contains a commitment to living wages. However, Asda (George) has not provided any evidence that it has assessed how much a living wage would be in the countries from which it sources nor whether it is paying its suppliers enough for workers to receive a living wage.
Asda (George) has published a list of supplier factories on their website.
Asda (George)’s 2011 CSR report, George: Doing the Right Thing 2011, provides information on the company’s auditing process. It notes that all the company’s direct supplier factories are included in its audit programme, that the company’s own staff visit factories, that audits are unannounced and that they include off-site, confidential worker interviews.
Asda (George) provides a summary of its ethical audit results in its annual Doing the Right Thing reports.
Asda (George)’s 2011 CSR report, George: Doing the Right Thing 2011, states:
‘We also publish details of an anonymous ‘whistleblower’ hotline number in all those factories that supply George products, enabling workers to report instances of labour standards violation.’
Asda (George)’s 2014 CSR report, George: Doing the Right Thing 2014, states:
‘George uses just over 600 primary, and over 500 tier two sites. This latter category includes print, embroidery, washing facilities and packaging that are presently going through the ethical audit programme. In addition, we have ensured that all suppliers have an in-country resource to support execution of orders and transparency of all production sites being used. All tier two sites also now go through the ethical audits to ensure they meet minimum legal requirements.’
Asda (George)’s website describes how the company is an ‘active participant’ in the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) and the Love Your Clothes campaign. Both are initiatives organised by the charity, WRAP. The goal of the former is described on WRAP’s website:
‘SCAP’s ambition is to improve the sustainability of clothing across its lifecycle. By bringing together industry, government and the third sector we aim to reduce resource use and secure recognition for corporate performance by developing sector-wide targets.’
The latter is a scheme which aims to ‘help change the way the UK consumers buy, use and dispose of their clothing’ and to ‘reduce the environmental impact of clothing across the UK and influence a more circular approach to clothing globally’ (Love Your Clothes website).
Asda (George)’s website does not provide any information about the sustainability of the cotton used in its products.
Asda (George)’s website does not provide any information about the use of toxic chemicals in its supply chain.