BISSELL International Trading Company, B.V., and its affiliate companies, including BISSELL Homecare, Inc. and its related divisions and subsidiaries, (collectively “BISSELL”) support the goals of the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 and are committed to the highest standards for delivering products that inspire our customers and consumers. This includes our commitment to the legal, ethical, and humanitarian principals of our founders, Melville and Anna Bissell, who understood that a company and its products are only as good as the people who make them.
BISSELL only partners with substantial, well-established, and professional businesses in the supply of its products, and all such suppliers must commit to a Supplier Code of Conduct and renew that commitment each year. Pursuant to the Supplier Code of Conduct, Suppliers must operate within all legal requirements in each country where products or parts are made for BISSELL. BISSELL recognizes there are different legal environments in which our Suppliers operate, and we expect our Suppliers to follow the laws of their own countries, but we are committed to promoting a minimum standard of humanitarian and environmental awareness that may exceed local laws. Through its Supplier Code of Conduct, Suppliers agree not to use child labor or forced labor, and to treat their employees with respect and dignity. Each BISSELL supplier also agrees:
“Forced, bonded (including debt bondage) or indentured labor, involuntary prison labor, slavery or trafficking of persons shall not to be used. This includes transporting, harboring, recruiting, transferring or receiving vulnerable persons by means of threat, force, coercion, abduction or fraud for the purpose of exploitation.”
Each Supplier is responsible for ensuring the compliance of its own suppliers.
BISSELL is a member of SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange), a not for profit membership organization dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. SEDEX is currently being used by a number of leading retailers and brand manufacturers, and over 15,000 sites are registered on SEDEX. More information can be found at www.sedexglobal.com.
- Supplier Audits
BISSELL conducts its own annual audits of its finished goods suppliers, based on a comprehensive checklist established in compliance with SA8000 ethical standards requirements. BISSELL reserves the right to verify Supplier compliance with the Supplier Code of Conduct through unannounced on-site assessments, and we also commission audits of our Suppliers by a qualified independent third party. Each finished good supplier is audited at least annually by our internal quality team. While BISSELL has only four primary suppliers of finished goods, we have many minor suppliers, and consequently we perform or commission over 50 audits annually.
When our audits turn up any actions or conditions not in compliance with our manufacturing requirements or our Supplier Code of Conduct, we follow up with a corrective action list and monitor the Supplier’s response. Depending on the severity of the out-of-compliance condition and the Supplier’s demonstrated commitment to a comprehensive and appropriate response, we reserve the right to take additional corrective measures, up to and including the immediate termination of purchase orders and/or purchase agreements.
BISSELL Suppliers certify their compliance with the Supplier Code of Conduct every year, through the annual signature of a high-ranking officer on the Code of Conduct document. Failure by a Supplier to comply with its local laws or the Supplier Code of Conduct will result in corrective measures, up to and including the termination of BISSELL’s business arrangement if the Supplier demonstrates any reluctance in promptly correcting any out-of-compliance condition.
- Internal Accountability and Employee Training
Since BISSELL was founded by Melville and Anna Bissell in 1876, the Company’s business practices have been governed by integrity, honesty, fair dealing and full compliance with all applicable laws. The Company owes its longevity to these principles. BISSELL Associates worldwide must annually sign off on a Global Code of Conduct, which reminds and re-commits our entire workforce regarding the importance of this promise. Every BISSELL associate is directed to report any instance of unethical or illegal behavior by BISSELL or by any of its business partners, including its Suppliers, as part of their commitment to the BISSELL Global Code of Conduct, and associates who are aware of such activity and fail to report them are themselves subject to discipline.
BISSELL associates with the responsibility for auditing its Suppliers are trained for these duties through an extensive mentoring process, by which they are required to attend numerous audits in the company of their experienced supervisors, assisting in the required documentation against the appropriate checklists.
BISSELL adheres to C-TPAT standards for loading all containers of BISSELL goods for international shipping. These standards include a requirement for inspection of each container to ensure there are no hidden compartments prior to loading, with pictures taken of each empty container. Pictures are also taken during and after each loading process, again ensuring that no human trafficking activity can be associated with our product movement. Containers are then sealed with tamper-proof serialized sealing requirements to prevent anyone from changing its contents during shipment. A comprehensive check-list is completed and signed confirming compliance with this process, for every BISSELL container.