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Trip Trap

Trip Trap’s auditing of health, safety and environment conditions in a supplier factory in Thailand.

Trip Trap has developed a Code of Conduct in collaboration with an NGO in order to ensure that Trip Trap’s largest supplier in Thailand complies with the UN Global Compact Principles.

Focus on responsible supply chain management

In 2010 when Trip Trap became a member of the UN Global Compact, it chose to develop its own Code of Conduct based on international principles. The Code of Conduct also applies to Trip Trap’s suppliers. Trip Trap decided that most suppliers should be audited in order to ensure compliance and it has therefore worked with an NGO called NEPCon with expertise in health, safety and environment (HSE) issues in wood production in developing countries. NEPCon and Trip Trap’s Quality Manager have collaborated to help suppliers improve their HSE performance. Trip Trap began this work by conducting audits of the company’s most important supplier, which is based in Thailand.

Responsibility at Trip Trap – use and preserve

Responsibility is a corner stone at Trip Trap, which has defined its vision as “use and preserve”. High quality furniture that lasts a long time has a lower environmental impact from resource extraction, transportation, packaging and end of life initiatives compared to furniture, which only lasts for a few years and is soon replaced. Furthermore in 2003 Trip Trap began to use Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®)-certified wood and the goal is that in 2020 Trip Trap will exclusively use FSC-certified wood

Results

In Thailand Trip Trap and NEPCon have organized safety training for all managers in the supplier factory, have held sessions in first aid, correct handling of chemicals and the use of safety masks, the importance of not blocking emergency exits, and they have also established a department for HSE.

Trip Trap has seen clear improvements in the supplier factory in Thailand. This work is an on-going process and control visits can still reveal compliance failures. However, the collaboration with NEPCon has contributed to continuous improvements in the supplier factory. Trip Trap plans to set clear health, safety and environment targets for more suppliers.

Key learning points

  • Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) can ask their suppliers to improve their HSE performance. SMEs cannot force their suppliers to improve HSE conditions but a buyer can achieve significant change by engaging in a continuous dialogue. It is easier to ask for improvements if the buyer and supplier have a long-term relationship that is based on mutual trust. This makes it easier to convince the supplier of the need for change.
  • Auditing and cooperation. The best way for a buyer to ensure that a supplier complies with its Code of Conduct is to insist that the supplier is regularly audited. An efficient way to undertake auditing is to cooperate with a third party with local expertise such as an NGO and to encourage collaboration between the buyer and the supplier. In the future NEPCon will continue to audit Trip Trap’s suppliers and to undertake control visits.
  • Social responsibility is a process. Improving HSE conditions in a supplier factory is an on-going process and not a goal in itself.

Read more about Trip Trap Read more about the case

Timeline

1980
Around 1980 Trip Trap began to cooperate with a company in Thailand that has since become Trip Trap’s largest supplier

 

2003
In 2003 Trip Trap asked NEPCon for assistance to ensure that wood used in the production of design products and furniture is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified

 

2010
In 2010 Trip Trap became a member of the UN Global Compact. Trip Trap collaborated with NEPCon to develop a Code of Conduct based on international principles. Trip Trap decided that its most important suppliers must be audited in order to make sure that they comply with the Code of Conduct and asked NEPCon for assistance in securing proper implementation of the new requirements