Our standards

We expect all our suppliers to meet the standards set out in our Global Standards. This includes every company that sells us a product or a service, including contractors, joint venture partners and research or licensing partners.

Our supplier standards reflect the requirements of our own Code of Conduct and international standards such as those published by the International Labour Organisation.

The standards cover a range of social, ethical and environmental issues and state, for example, that suppliers must:

  • Not offer, pay or accept bribes
  • Not use child labour, or any form of forced, bonded or indentured labour
  • Support equal opportunities in the workplace and prevent harassment or discrimination
  • Ensure that working hours comply with local laws and benchmark industry standards
  • Respect the right of freedom of association, for example by allowing employees to join or not join labour unions, seek representation or to join employees’ councils
  • Implement a safety, health and environment management system
  • Maintain systems for identifying, investigating and reporting any instances of unethical business conduct
  • Maintain appropriate data protection, privacy and confidentiality policies and procedures

Bribery and corruption are common in some countries. Can you ever be confident that suppliers in these countries will meet your standards?

Our standards are global and apply to all suppliers in all countries. They include a strict no bribes policy.

However, applying our standards consistently can be very challenging in countries where bribery is an expected and accepted part of business culture. In these countries we work to educate our employees and suppliers, so they understand our standards, know why they are important and are clear that we won’t accept breaches of our policies. We will always be selective about any companies, new or existing, that we work with in any market, and will walk away from a supplier if they cannot or will not meet our expectations.

Who is responsible for implementing your standards?

Every employee who sources goods and services on behalf of AstraZeneca is expected to follow our responsible business processes. These are embedded in the core Procurement processes used by AstraZeneca procurement professionals.

Our Executive Vice President of operations oversees the implementation of our programme, supported by our Chief Procurement Officer. Senior executive team members ensure we have the right skills and resources in place to implement our responsibility approach in their area of the business.

Our Global Procurement Compliance (GPC) team and local procurement professionals work together to assess and monitor our supply chain. They work with specialist external auditors to complete audits, conduct follow up audits when necessary, and support suppliers as they work to improve their standards.

What's next in this section

Implementing our standards

We have established a clear responsible procurement process to support our procurement teams worldwide.

Read more

Training and awareness

Employees and suppliers need to understand what we expect from them and what will happen if a supplier doesn’t meet our standards.

Read more