Listed below are questions often asked by our shareholders

Corporate responsibility

Does Next have a code of ethics for its suppliers?

Next operates a Supplier Code of Practice (COP), which is our set of ethical trading standards and forms an integral part of our business. It was first issued in 1998 and the 6th revision was launched and issued in November 2013.

The Next COP has 10 key principles which stipulate the minimum standards we require our suppliers to comply with:

  • No forced labour
  • Freedom of association
  • Healthy and safe working conditions
  • No child labour
  • Lawful wages and benefits
  • Lawful working hours
  • Equal opportunities
  • Employment security
  • Respectful treatment of employees
  • Effective management systems

In 2002 Next became a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and since then has been actively involved in the ETI forum and working on various ETI projects. During 2006 the Next Code of Practice was revised to align it to the ETI Base Code.

Next employs a global team of full time COP auditors who visit our suppliers around the world to check their compliance with our Code. Another important part of the team’s job is to work together with our suppliers to help them achieve compliance. As well as looking at individual factories, a large part of the work of our auditors is aimed at dealing with the issues of non compliance at a wider level, for example:

  • Working with suppliers to build capacity in local communities to ensure sustainable compliance
  • Working in collaboration with both UK and international brands via the ETI forum

You can find out more about the work of the COP team in our Corporate Responsibility Report.

How does Next make sure its products are safe?

The safety of our products is of paramount importance and Next is committed to ensuring that every product sold is safe to use and fit for purpose. Our team of technologists work closely with our global supply chain and are responsible for ensuring all Next products comply with relevant European and UK Legislation and guidelines relating to health and safety and the environment.

You can find out more about product safety in our Corporate Responsibility Report.

How does Next recognise core labour standards?

Next is committed to upholding all basic human rights and welcomes the implementation of the United Nations’ Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights and Ruggie Principles. We support the International Labour Organization (ILO) Core Conventions in relation to equal opportunities, freedom of association/collective bargaining, forced labour and child labour.

Where Next employees are based in countries with recognised concerns over human and labour rights as determined by the FTSE4Good Index, all employees are specifically required to comply with the Declaration of Human Rights and the ILO Core Conventions and receive annual training to ensure their understanding of these principles.