We ensure the products we curate are made in factories that use rigorous environmental standards for production. We follow-up through factory audits, surveys, and on-going communication to hold our suppliers accountable.
We expect that all merchandise offered by Qurate Retail Group is produced by business partners who share our commitment to corporate responsibility. We will only conduct business with suppliers who comply with our Global Business Partner Code of Conduct, which requires products be produced in conditions that support:
- Human Rights
- Fair Labor Standards
- Employee Safety
- Environmental Stewardship
Read more about our Sourcing Social Responsibility (SSR) program
This commitment to global human and labor rights and our program for verifying that our products are made in safe and responsible facilities, aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals* 8 and 12.
*The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emcompass 17 goals that aim to align international efforts to leave a better planet for future generations
Qurate Retail Group has a 4-part responsible sourcing strategy to address supply chain risks:
- Code of Conduct
Establishes Qurate Retail’s requirements for business associates on social and environmental issues through its Global Business Partner Code of Conduct.
- Risk Evaluation
Qurate Retail evaluates the risks of our vendors based on several criteria.
Qurate Retail conducts audits of certain vendors according to a risk-based methodology and reserves the right to audit all vendor factories to confirm that they comply with the Global Business Partner Code of Conduct.
- Team Member Training and Accountability
Global sourcing staff and others who are involved in sourcing activities are trained on Qurate Retail’s sourcing policies and procedures and are accountable for complying with such company policies and procedures.
Code of Conduct
We expect all of Qurate Retail’s vendors and their suppliers of finished goods to comply with our Global Business Partner Code of Conduct, which is incorporated by reference into each of our purchase orders or similar agreements. These standards are mandatory for all of our suppliers.
Risk Evaluation - at the country level
Qurate Retail uses a risk-based approach to determine the scope of our Sourcing Social Responsibility (SSR) program - which audits manufacturers of our finished goods (factories) around the world. A key element of this approach is represented by a manufacturing country risk assessment, so that we focus our efforts and resources in the sourcing regions with greater levels of concern. We do not knowingly engage with factories in high-risk areas known for forced, undocumented, child or other illegal labor.
Under this approach, our SSR program targets all our proprietary brands’ factories and the top market-vendors that we do business with at QVC (US, Germany, UK, Italy), HSN, and selected Zulily factories. Starting in 2021, we began the process of expanding the scope of our current SSR Program beyond manufacturers of finished goods in order to gain visibility of the various entities involved in the manufacturing supply chain including, in some cases, raw materials.
Country Risk Assessment
Source: Corruption Perception Index
Risk Evaluation - at the factory level
Risk is also assessed at the factory level. Because of the large number of individual suppliers we source our merchandise from, we take a variable, risk-based approach to auditing companies within our supplier base. A number of factors are used to evaluate which of these suppliers will be subject to a factory audit. These factors include: geographic location, the volume of purchases from the market-vendors (the top 70% value threshold for market-vendors for QVC US, Germany, UK, Italy, HSN, and selected Zulily factories), and whether the product is a proprietary or exclusive brand to Qurate Retail Group.
Within this framework, we group our suppliers into certain categories to determine how to best deploy our auditing capabilities and minimize the greatest risks in our supply chain:
- Strategic Factories – are those manufacturing our Proprietary Brands (Private Label) and Exclusive products.
- High Risk Factories – are those scoring very low during a factory audit.
- Critical Factories – are our strategic factories that are high-risk factories as a result of scoring very low on the factory audit.
Enforcement - through factory audits
We have an enforcement program for our vendors and their factories that produce finished goods. Our Sourcing Social Responsibility (SSR) program verifies supplier compliance with our Global Business Partner Code of Conduct through periodic factory inspections by a third-party certification company. Intertek is our exclusive auditing company to carry out Workplace Conditions Assessment (WCA) audits for our factories around the globe. Our SSR Team audits Intertek on a regular basis to verify the quality and consistency of the WCA audit services they provide.
The WCA audit take place at periodic intervals (ranging from every year to every two years) against the 5 areas of risk, shown below. Each report resulting from an audit includes a score for each of the five areas which are benchmarked against global, country and industry scores. And for each country where one of our manufacturers is being audited, Intertek also prepares periodic country-level audit reports benchmarking that country in these same 5 areas of risk.
Freedom of Association
Wages & Hours
Health & Safety
General Work Facility
Internal CAP Processes
Waste & Air Emissions
Enforcement - through factory audits
All factory audits with moderate, major or severe issues require a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to be implemented by the manufacturer, and then validated with a follow-up audit conducted by Qurate Retail’s SSR team.
Major/Severe issues CAP are developed to address major or severe audit findings: if a factory does not implement the CAP within the timeline agreed upon, we stop doing business with the factory. Continuous Improvement CAP are issued to address moderate findings.
If a Strategic factory scores a very low rate during the audit, the CAP implementation is also coupled with a Business Continuity Plan, factory support and education events conducted by our SSR team. These internal resources are provided to the factory with the purpose of ensuring the factory is capable to develop long term plans for sustained compliance.
Qurate Retail’s SSR team also carries out announced, semi-announced and unannounced audits to ensure factories maintain a satisfactory
level of compliance between full audits. In addition, the SSR team conducts monthly seminars to ensure our manufacturers understand our expectations and their obligations regarding remediation plans.
Rating and Review
Each audit report assigns a rating which informs any action needed and allows our team to focus on the factories that require greater attention to remediation.
WCA Audit Performance Scoring Scale
2021 Scoring Performance
(out of 1,052 audits completed)
Team Member Training & Accountability
Global sourcing staff and others who are indirectly involved in sourcing activities have been trained on Qurate Retail’s sourcing policies and procedures and are held accountable for complying with such company policies and procedures. Training occurs every 2 years, where team members learn about our ethical sourcing commitment and why ethical sourcing is important. At the end of the training, they are more attentive to potential risks and issues that they may encounter in their jobs, what their role is in helping us source product ethically, and what to do if, for whatever reason, they find evidence of unethical practices in our supply chain.
More About Our Supply Chain
Merchandise Mix (Cost of Goods)
as of December 31, 2021
Cost of Goods Sourced for the US*
Percentage of Cost of Goods by Merchandising Mix
* This data is for QVC, Inc. which includes HSN, QVC US, and QVC International
Covered by the SSR Program
as of December 31, 2021
*Others include: Cambodia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Pakistan, Portugal, Thailand, Guatemala, Peru, Egypt, Jordan, South Korea, Bahrain, Bosnia, Canada, Dominican Republic, Morocco, Germany, Greece, India
1,159 Manufacturers (Factories)
in 27 Countries
as of December 31, 2021
|Number of factories subject to the SSR Program||1,159|
|Number of audits completed in 2021||1,052|
|Number of Strategic Factories in the SSR Program||437|
|Number of audits completed at Strategic Factories in 2021||422|
|Number of CAP implemented in 2021||649|
|Severe/Major CAP (132 factories)||77% CAP completed|
|Continuous Improvement CAP (517 factories)||87% CAP completed|
|Number of factories rated as High Risk||40|
|Number of High-Risk factories (part of the 40) we stopped doing business with||8|
|Number of factories classified as Critical*||15|
*Strategic factories which are subject to a corrective action plan are deemed “critical” until the plan is executed, and a subsequent audit is passed. Therefore, the “critical” designation is a transitory status, and the number of critical factories will change over time depending on the status of all strategic factories. This figure represents those factories with critical status on December 31, 2021.
- Strategic Factories
Those manufacturing our Proprietary Brands (Private Label) and Exclusive products
- High Risk Factories
Those scoring very low during a factory audit
- Critical Factories
Our strategic factories that are High-Risk factories because of scoring very low on the factory audit
- Severe/Major CAP
Corrective Action Plan for all factories found to have major or severe issues during a factory audit
- Continuous Improvement CAP
Corrective Action Plan for all factories found to have moderate issues during a factory audit
Manufacturer of finished goods