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Responsible Trading

Our values system is deeply ingrained in the Watches of Switzerland Group culture. One of our key values is ‘We Do the Right Thing’ by acting with honesty and integrity, we are fair, respectful and responsible for all our interactions.

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Modern Slavery Statement

We work strongly to oppose the exploitation of workings and take all steps to ensure that no form of human trafficking or exploitation of children has taken place in our supply chain.

This section outlines how we ensure we conduct our business in a responsible manner.

Supplier ethics 

As a Group we take seriously our impact on the world around us, including our supply chain. Our supplier manual contains twelve principles and all suppliers are requested to confirm their compliance with the following:

  • Employment is freely chosen
  • Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
  • Working conditions are safe and hygienic
  • Child labour shall not be used
  • Living wages are paid
  • Working hours are not excessive
  • No discrimination is practiced
  • Regular employment is provided
  • No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed
  • Responsible environmental practices
  • Zero-tolerance of conflict products
  • Compliance with Watches of Switzerland Group code of conduct

Responsible jewellery council membership

We have been an active member of the Responsible Jewellery Council since 2011 and are working towards accreditation for our US businesses.

The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) provides a clear set of standards (the RJC ‘Code of Practices’) which form a framework for companies to address sustainability best practices and align with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Compliance with the Code of Practices is verified through a third party, independent, certification process.

The Code of Practices is made up of 40 provisions that specifically designed for companies to fulfil six broad objectives:

  1. Legal and regulatory compliance
  2. Responsible supply chains, human rights and due diligence
  3. Labour rights and working conditions
  4. Health, safety and environment
  5. Gold, silver, PGM, diamond and coloured gemstone products
  6. Responsible mining

Responsible Jewellery Council

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Corporate Responsibility Statement

For more information please see our Corporate Responsibility Statement

Sourcing

Conflict diamonds and the Kimberley Process

The Kimberley Process is a joint initiative between governments, industry and the United Nations to restrict the supply of conflict diamonds. In this process, conflict free diamonds are transported in tamper-resistant containers and must be accompanied by a government-validated Kimberly Process Certificate. The System of Warranties (SoW) Assurance was introduced to assure only legitimately sourced diamonds are traded. Once a diamond is imported and ready for trade, a written statement must accompany all invoices guaranteeing the diamonds are from legitimate sources.

The Group insists that all our suppliers guarantee that any diamonds are conflict free and that written guarantees are provided to that effect.

Gold and other precious metals

The Group has a policy of only purchasing from jewellery suppliers who purchase their precious metals from recognised responsible bullion suppliers who are listed on the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) good delivery list. The LBMA’s list seeks to ensure that the bullion is sourced responsibly, that is not acquired from conflict areas and that human rights standards are properly respected. 

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Tax Strategy

Find out more about how we manage our tax affairs responsibly and proactively to comply with tax legislation.

Payment practices 

The Group understands the importance of maintaining good relationships with suppliers and it is Group policy to agree appropriate terms and conditions for its transactions with suppliers (ranging from standard written terms to individually negotiated contracts) and for payment to be made in accordance with these terms, provided the supplier has complied with its obligations. Find out more about The Group’s payment practices report.

Anti-corruption and bribery

The Group’s anti-bribery and corruption policy reinforces that the Board is committed to conducting its business affairs as to ensure that it does not engage in or facilitate any form of corruption. During the year the Group launched an online anti-bribery and corruption training course for all colleagues. The Group also has controls around anti-bribery and corruption including:

  • A formal policy for the logging and approval of all gifts and hospitality accepted by colleagues
  • Due diligence procedures for new suppliers
  • Financial controls around segregation of duties, invoices and payments
  • Supplier manual in place articulating our policies

The Group also has policies regarding anti-money laundering and the related processes are audited by the operational audit team.

Tax Strategy

The Group manages its tax affairs responsibly and proactively to comply with tax legislation. The Group pays corporation tax on its operations in the UK and in the US and does not operate in any tax havens or use any tax avoidance schemes. We seek to build solid and constructive working relationships with all tax authorities.

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