At Flying Tiger Copenhagen, we want to inspire people to make the things they care about happen. We love to put a smile on peoples’ faces while giving them the things they need, the things they dream of and the things they didn’t even know existed. All at affordable prices. In order to do so, we recognise that we depend on the environment we operate in. We want our customers to know that when they buy a product from Flying Tiger Copenhagen, we strive to ensure that it has been produced in respect of ethical, environmental and social standards and is safe to use. We believe this is critical for the success of our company, to protect our brand and to advance better social and environmental conditions in global supply chains. Consequently, our commitment to conduct our business ethically and responsibly cuts across the full value chain from sourcing to shipping and sales in stores.
We focus on three fundamental pillars in our sustainability strategy: products, operations and people, founded on communication and reporting. For these, our mission statements are as follows:
We want to offer our customers fun, surprising and creative eco-friendly choices. To achieve this, we are making sustainability an integral part of how we design and source our products.
We focus on circular materials, design, packaging and labelling.
We are committed to ethical sourcing, capacity building, social responsibility and environmental management in production.
In our own operations: offices, warehouse and stores, we focus on CO2 neutral operations and circularity of materials.
We believe a responsible behaviour in all aspects makes a positive difference in many people lives' and is key for being successful as a business.
We want to enable our partners, suppliers, employees and customers to act more sustainable.
Our strategic targets for 2022 and 2025 are based on an assessment of key impact and risk areas along our value chain. We are committed to the UN Global Compact and use the 10 principles and the Sustainable Development Goals for direction.
Flying Tiger Copenhagen is held accountable for creating a work environment that respects our employees’ human and labour rights and allows them to thrive as professionals. Our Human Rights Policy outlines our standard to comply with all applicable UN and ILO conventions and applies them to our employees working across all levels. At Flying Tiger Copenhagen, we rely on our ability to attract, motivate and retain highly qualified employees at all levels of the organisation, from store staff and managers to creative and administrative people at head office. As we aim to offer an engaging workplace with equal opportunities for all, we employ people with a wide range of nationalities and educational backgrounds. Now that we are a truly global company, it is a particularly crucial task for us to keep working on the issue of diversity to live up to our values of being a welcoming and inclusive organisation. In leadership positions we employ 46% female and 54% male employees.
As part of the transformation process, the Company changed its board composition during 2019. Consequently, at the end of 2019, the Board of Directors of Zebra consisted of six males. It is still the Board’s ambition to increase diversity, including gender representation on the Board. It is the target to have at least two female board members before 2023. It is the current assessment that the Board has the required qualifications and composition to oversee Zebra’s strategic development. Achievement of the target will be sought in connection with ongoing changes to the composition of the Board, where special efforts will be made to ensure that female candidates are identified and participate in the selection process.
In order to continuously grow and develop the organisation, the Talent Attraction area and ensuring that Flying Tiger Copenhagen remains and attractive employer of choice, we have during 2019 increased the focus on Employer Branding primarily through LinkedIn activities and postings. We believe that it is particularly important to recruit the right profiles for our company, we use several personality assessments to assess our candidates against our organisational culture and values.
The digitalisation process that kicked off in 2018 continued throughout 2019 and will remain a strong focus area during 2020.
In the UK, the Gender Pay Gap legislation, under the Equality Act 2010, requires an employer with 250 employees or more to publish their gender pay gap for their employees.
Read our UK Gender Pay Gap report 2017 here
Read our UK Gender Pay Gap report 2018 here
All products go through our product compliance process to ensure they are safe and compliant. This means that all materials must be approved prior to purchase through our approval process. The process is complemented by our test programme through which we ensure that our products are tested for hazardous materials. With very few exceptions, all our products are tested in the pre-production phase. For those products considered to be high risk, the testing is repeated during mass production. When we define our requirements, our policy is to comply with the EU requirements or the applicable national legislation, whichever sets the highest standards. In several areas, we go beyond the legal requirements.
This means that we for instance prohibit chemicals like triclosan, formaldehyde, phthalates (all types of phthalates), formamide and coating materials that are based on halogens (bromine, chlorine, fluorine etc.). We work continuously on improving and developing our FTC product compliance requirements leading to safer products. This is done in close cooperation with our suppliers helping them to understand and implement our restrictions. In 2019, we had three product recalls. We mediated the risk by immediately recalling all items in question.
Flying Tiger Copenhagen’s strategic quality programme aims to constantly improve the quality of our products through physical inspections during production. Here, we evaluate the general quality of the products in terms of durability and functionality but also issues such as hygienic standards and risk of mold development during production or the long shipment times from Asia to Europe. A team of quality inspectors, a quality manager and supporting personnel is established in Shanghai. The selection of the products subject to quality checks and description of the quality check points are performed at the headquarters in Denmark, while the inspections and handling are done by the local team and in the local language.
The stronger quality focus also creates a higher awareness among our suppliers, leading to a continuously higher quality level for all products.
In 2019, we purchased products from around 300 suppliers worldwide. Approximately 75 percent of our spend comes from suppliers based in China; 18 percent from suppliers based in the EU and the remaining 7 percent come from suppliers spread across the world, in countries like India, Nepal and Taiwan. Most of our direct suppliers are trading companies who source from a range of different factories, enabling us to offer a broad array of novel products across a variety of categories.
With respect to our supply chain setup, focus on responsible sourcing ensures that we account for human rights and labour rights adverse impacts on workers and communities in the production areas. Through our social compliance process, we work to ensure that factories selected for production on our behalf can meet our requirements, and that the people producing our products are treated with respect and provided with fair and safe working conditions. We have an ongoing focus on improving our social compliance process and our performance. In 2019, we strengthened our cooperation with the buying and product quality teams, measured progress on individual suppliers, allowing for even more systematic and transparent process and cooperation.
The process follows three steps:
Social compliance process
1. Commitment to the Flying Tiger Copenhagen Supplier Code of Conduct.
All product suppliers must sign the Flying Tiger Copenhagen Supplier Code of Conduct. The Code is based on international standards as defined by the United Nations (UN) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). It defines our requirements in the areas of workplace health and safety, terms of employment, working hours, wages, environmental protection and business ethics. Among other things, it prohibits child labour, forced labour, dangerous or severely unhealthy working conditions and abusive disciplinary practices. No purchases can take place without a valid Code in place. Commitment to the Code must be renewed every 2nd year in writing.
2. Risk assessment and factory audits.
Factories are selected for audit in a two-step process:
I. Factory information for all items is gathered from the BOM tool and items are automatically assigned a risk rating based on: i) country of production; ii) purchase volume; iii) product category.
II. The automatic risk rating is combined with a manual process looking at: i) brand exposure of product; ii) audit history and performance of factory, including sub-contracting practices.
Factories rated high-risk are selected for audit. On-site factory audits are carried out either by our China-based audit team or by Elevate, an organisation specialised in social compliance factory audits. All audits follow the Flying Tiger Copenhagen Audit protocol that consists of 115 questions and assess practices in the areas of ethics, sub-supplier management, human rights, labour practices, and the environment. Audits include a combination of site assessment, documentation review, management interviews and anonymous workers' interviews. Audits can be announced, semi-announced and unannounced, depending on progression of audits and types of findings in previous audits. All factories are evaluated from A (compliant) to E (Zero-tolerance) and most of the factories we used are rated C. We have a strategic target to raise the rating of the factories we use.
3. Improvement and remediation
All factories, apart from A rated factories, must implement a corrective action plan (CAP) within a defined timeline. The CAP is reviewed regularly until closure by Flying Tiger Copenhagen, and the factory must go through a re-audit to verify improvements. Re-audits are semi-announced or unannounced. Factories that present severe zero-tolerance issues are rejected (e.g. use of child labour, forced labour, severe safety and human rights issues, attempted bribery of auditor). In some cases, where good faith and procedural errors can be verified, the factory is put through a requalification process which includes training, a strictly monitored improvement plan and a re-audit. In case a supplier and/or factory is unwilling to improve, we will stop the collaboration permanently.
We do on occasion come across factories using child labour. We have a zero tolerance for child labour and strict rules for young workers (between 16 and 18). If we find child labour, the factory must immediately remediate the case and will be put on hold until further notice. We have entered a collaboration with The Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR-CSR) in China that helps us with child labour remediation and prevention. CCR-CSR makes sure that every case is handled with respect to the individual child’s circumstances. They engage in dialogue with the family and ensure appropriate measures like enrolling in vocational schools and monthly living stipend throughout the remediation period.
In 2019, we have conducted more than 300 audits at factories in Asia. The most common issues that required improvement were ensuring a safe and healthy working environment and reducing overtime. Our target for 2020 is to maintain the number of audits and pursue greater transparency by introducing a pre-screening through the entire range of assortment, and further build the capacity of our suppliers.
In 2020, we will revise our sourcing strategy in order to further simplify our supply chain. We will also introduce more requirements to our existing and new partners, to further increase compliance and transparency in our supply chain.
Supplier engagement and capability building
We consider our audit processes a critical tool to ensure compliance in our supply chain. But we have also learned that to drive genuine improvements, we must combine these processes with proactive capacity building and training of our suppliers and their factories. We believe in fair partnerships based on transparency and trust, completed with the ability to check and drive improvement.
In 2019, we continued to establish a closer engagement with our suppliers. Our local office in Shanghai is growing, hosting now the quality, social compliance and merchandising teams. That allows us to keep closer dialogue with our supplier and develop long term the partnerships.
Bespoke training of our top 10 suppliers responsible for more than 60% of annual procurement is an integral part of our preventive and corrective action activities. In 2020, we will continue the supplier engagement work, with further strategic training, developing more concrete written guidelines, that can be shared with larger number of factories, as well as reviewing our policies and strengthening our internal commitment.
Our products are the very core of our business. We want to offer our customers useful, fun and inspiring products at affordable prices. We want our products to be safe and therefore take significant measures to ensure that all items have been produced under humane and responsible conditions in respect of international social, environmental and ethical standards.
As a globally operating retailer, we have a responsibility for our impact on the planet throughout the value chain. Our Environmental policy expresses our commitment to protect the environment and the climate by minimising our impact. A significant part of our impact derives from production in our supply chain. Consequently, our Supplier Code of Conduct further specifies our requirements for the environmental awareness and conduct of our suppliers.
Apart from seeking to minimise impact in the supply chain, we focus our resources where Flying Tiger Copenhagen, as a retailer, has the highest impact. This includes choosing more eco-friendly materials for our products, using less plastic throughout our value chain, sourcing sustainable forestry products, minimising packaging, reducing energy consumption in stores and offices and minimising food- and other product waste via donations.
We want our stores to be eco-friendly. This includes:
Cabinets and boxes: Made in pallets sizes for optimal transportation. Made from wood from sustainable forestry (FSC). Painted with water-based paints. Cabinets, boxes and fixtures: made from 100% recyclable wood and metals (steel and aluminum).
Lights: 100% LED lights – low on emission and heat, which also means using less aircondition.
Shopping bags: made from primarily recycled plastic.
Shopping baskets: made from 100% recyclable plastic.
We can only achieve big successes in cooperation with others. Therefore, we partner with many different institutions and NGOs in order to support the communities where we are present.
Flying Tiger Copenhagen has during H2 2019 worked intensively to develop and implement a more circular mindset in the company's business concept. One of the initiatives is the collaboration with Plastic Change, which will contribute to specific initiatives to manage and minimise the company's use of plastic.
United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)
We are proudly supporting the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, and endorse its ten principles to respect human and labour rights, protect the environment, and fight corruption.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
Through our FSC-certification, we support sustainable forestry, including protection of biodiversity and respect for the rights of local communities as well as forestry workers.
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
Since 2020, we are a member of the RSPO, supporting their work to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.
We support and are a part of the CCR-CSR network, a social enterprise with competence, experience and knowledge to help companies improve and implement child rights-related CSR-strategies, programs and projects. We use CCR-CSR for the remediation of child labour cases in China.
In Kind Direct & Dons Solidaires
Since 2017, we have been donating products to In Kind Direct (UK) and its partner organisation Dons Solidaires (France), both minimising our environmental footprint and helping communities in need.
We have donated to the Red Cross, both minimising our environmental footprint and providing essential goods for the humanitarian work with refugees.
National food banks
We donate unsold food products to Fødevarebanken (Denmark), FareShare (United Kingdom), and Banc Dels Aliments (Spain), thereby minimising food waste across our value chain and making a difference to vulnerable social groups.
We have donated food products that approach their expiry date to WeFood, a Danish supermarket only operating on previously unsold goods, to fight food waste along our value chain.
As a global company, we can and want to positively impact local communities. It is our expressed commitment that all measures are to be taken to donate an unsold product to people in need before sending it to waste. In doing so, we minimise our environmental footprint as well as help disadvantaged families and communities. Our underlying donation policy ensures transparency across the entire business.
In 2019, we have donated products that are safe to use but no longer commercially attractive (e.g. due to broken packaging) to In Kind Direct (UK), Red Cross (DK) and Dons Solidaires (FR), among others. These organisations further distribute our wide range of products to people in need. For instance, 1,266 different charities across the UK have benefitted from our collaboration with In Kind Direct, the majority focusing on child/youth care and family welfare.
From our food assortment, we have donated products that were about to expire to national foodbanks in Denmark, the UK, and Spain, as well as to WeFood, a Danish supermarket exclusively operating on products that are no longer commercially attractive to retailers. Through these donations, we can minimise the food waste in our value chain and help promoting the topic’s visibility in the public discourse.
Our ambition for 2020 is to further improve food and product waste prevention, maintain the level of engagement with the charities, and foster donation processes on the store level. We also want to investigate improving conditions in the part of our value chain using homeworkers.
Consistency and transparency are a key pillar in any responsibility work. We use our responsibility policy framework to clarify our positions, guide our decision-making and define expectations for our business partners. The framework comprises of policies on business ethics, human rights, product safety and the environment. Within responsible sourcing, our Supplier Code of Conduct is the leading document. It has been complemented by policies on animal welfare, child labour and young workers, as well as home workers. In 2018, we published our second transparency statement according to the UK Modern Slavery Act and we will continue doing so moving forward.
In 2019, we will also review and publish all our policies and establish new baselines in some areas.
When dealing with our manifold suppliers and partners we are expected to manage the risk of unethical behaviour and to promote anticorruption. Our Business Ethics Code of Conduct outlines the ethical expectations to our employees. The Code is signed by all employees at Flying Tiger Copenhagen, all partners and subsidiaries, including their Headquarter staff, district and store managers. All our partners and most employees in leadership positions at Flying Tiger Copenhagen have received face-to-face business ethics training.
The Code of Conduct and the trainings are supplemented by our whistle-blower scheme, enabling our employees to report unethical and illegal behaviour anonymously. In 2019, no instance of illegal or unethical behaviour has been reported.
Link to our whistle-blower scheme here