Social & Ethical Policy
T & C's
BUILT TO LAST A LIFETIME
Thank you for visiting our Social & Ethical Policy webpage. We hope you will find here all you wish to know about the steps that we at Robert Welch are taking to ensure that we are trading responsibly and ethically.
We aim to be a responsible business and try to meet the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity in every corner of our business and supply chain.
We aim high and feel justly proud of every Robert Welch product and we want our customers to also.
Ever mindful of our duty to our communities and to the environment, both in the UK and overseas, our company DNA is instilled in each product on its journey from conception in our design studio to the heart of your home, where we hope our products will be used and enjoyed with pleasure year after year.
Legal compliance, Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
At Robert Welch, we work hard to ensure that all our operations and partnerships are open, honest and legitimate.
Robert Welch takes its social responsibilities extremely seriously and we are fully committed to ensuring that all our products have been produced lawfully and in safe and decent working conditions without the use of exploitation. We work closely with our suppliers to ensure that they share our values, to set high standards and to drive improvements through close and open relationships and accountability.
All our suppliers must comply with all applicable national and local laws and regulations including those relating to employment, immigration, health and safety, intellectual property, human rights, social and ethical conduct, including anti-bribery, and the environment. They are also obliged to comply with our own Code of Conduct which is based on universally accepted, fundamental principles and local laws and is aligned with the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code (visit https://www.ethicaltrade.org/eti-base-code).
Our Code of Conduct represents our commitment to source goods from suppliers who value and incorporate the following essential provisions into their operations: Freely chosen employment, Freedom of association; Health, hygiene and safety; No underage labour; Decent wages; Limited working hours; Freedom from discrimination; Respect and Dignity; Respect for the environment and Ethical conduct. Our suppliers are audited by independent, third-party auditors, to ensure they meet these standards.
Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person's liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain. We at Robert Welch have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery, and we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships, and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own business or in any of our supply chains. Our staff undertake training in how to spot signs of modern slavery and our Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy ensures that they know how seriously we take our, and their, responsibilities and duties in this area
Protecting the environment and sustainability
Our company recognises the need to protect the natural environment; we are in the midst of a climate and environmental emergency, and we want to play our part in combatting this emergency and in keeping our environment clean and unpolluted. We are constantly appraising and reviewing our product materials, packaging, recycling, transportation, buildings and other business practices while working towards minimising the impact we are making on the environment and maximising sustainability within our business.
We are proud to use the best quality stainless steel which is a fully recyclable material. Stainless steel is also one of the most sustainable choices for cutlery and Robert Welch cutlery really does last a lifetime and can, with careful use, be passed from generation to generation.
We will always follow best practices when disposing of waste and chemical substances. When designing our business hub and warehouse, The Radford Building, we were able to create an energy efficient building and to install environmentally sustainable solutions including the installation of a ground-source heat pump. The whole plot and building were designed to catch rainwater which is fed to a specially planted pond and nature area created to encourage and protect local wildlife.
We are working to ensure that our packaging uses recycled materials wherever possible and that it can, in turn, be easily recycled by our customers. We are aiming for packaging that is 100% recycled/recyclable by 2024.
Our People and Relationships
We treat our employees, our suppliers and our customers with great care and respect and we work very hard to build strong and mutual relationships which we hope will last as long as our products.
We are passionate about protecting human rights and are a committed equal opportunities employer supporting diversity and inclusion in our workforce. We maintain a zero-tolerance bullying and harassment policy and we aim to pay the Real National Living Wage by 2023. We are really proud that our staff choose to stay with Robert Welch, a good number for more than a decade.
Many of our suppliers have worked with us for decades and join with us in a dedication to excellence and high standards in the way we work and what we produce.
Serving our customers and looking after them is at the very heart of what we do and we are grateful for all those customers, both retail and trade, who have been loyal and longstanding supporters of our brand.
Donations and aid
We are a small, family-owned company but we want to do all we can to give back to our communities. We organise our own charity fundraising events (for example: bakes sales, car washes and our annual staff sale proceeds go to a different chosen charity each year) and encourage our employees to take part in charitable events, supporting local arts, education and charities. We are proud to support charities when we operate prize draws and recently ran a successful fundraising initiative for Action Against Hunger and our customers can donate to charity with each purchase.
Our heritage and archive
We see caring for our heritage as a duty and a pleasure and as a key part of our corporate social responsibility. We treasure the history of our company and have invested heavily in the creation of an archive to preserve and record the legacy of Robert Welch and the development of his vision into the company as it is today.
Our archive records the designs created, the lives lived and the community in which the company has grown and developed and is an important piece in the jigsaw of the past. Our aim is to ultimately make our archive accessible to the public to benefit our local community and the wider design community as Robert Welch, and the company today, take their places in the history of 20th and 21st Century design.