As a global leader in the toy industry, Mattel believes that how we achieve success is just as important as the success itself. We strive to ensure that our toys are manufactured in a responsible manner, and our standards and oversight processes continue to evolve to reflect those expectations for ethical labor practices and environmental stewardship.
Launched in 1997, Mattel's Global Manufacturing Principles (GMP) represent the company's ongoing commitment to responsible manufacturing around the world. Mattel's GMP address a spectrum of ethical sourcing issues designed to ensure that the people who make our products are treated fairly and with respect, including creating an environment that embraces the cultural, ethnic and philosophical differences. In addition, GMP also includes standards for workplace heath and safety practices and environmental stewardship. Our principles specifically address such topics as payment of regular wages and overtime, working hours and living conditions. A core element of GMP is ensuring employees meet minimum legal age requirements and that they are seeking employment of their own free will. Mattel has a zero-tolerance policy for the employment of underage workers and forced labor of any kind, including the use of prison labor, indentured servitude/trafficking or for the restriction of free movement.
Right from the start of a business relationship, Mattel communicates its expectations for ethical sourcing performance to vendors contracted to manufacture finished products.2 Contracts clearly communicate our GMP and establish the obligations of the vendor to both implement GMP and comply with laws addressing safe and just working conditions in the country or countries where they do business.
Mattel’s corporate responsibility function engages with our manufacturing and product sourcing functions to ensure awareness of GMP requirements and help develop tools to track the GMP performance of our own factories, as well as the progress of our vendors. Mattel conducts periodic unannounced audits of both our owned and operated factories and our vendors to verify and document performance.3 A factory must address a zero-tolerance finding immediately and correct other findings according to an agreed timeline and corrective action plan.
Mattel is also an active participant of the global toy industry's initiative to continuously improve factory working conditions, commonly referred to as the
ICTI CARE Process (ICP). The ICP is based on a code of ethical operating practices comparable to Mattel's own GMP. Designed to promote safe and just working conditions in toy factories, the ICP provides the industry with a unified approach to responsible manufacturing. Mattel has committed to manufacture our products in factories that participate in the ICP process. Toy factories
registered with ICTI CARE are audited at least annually for compliance to the ICP Code of Conduct. Audits are conducted by an independent professional audit company that has been approved and trained by the ICTI CARE Foundation. Factories that complete an audit and meet the requirements of the ICP are then issued the ICP Seal of Compliance.
As part of Mattel ethical sourcing verification efforts, compliance status reports summarizing the results of GMP audits and ICP audits are considered when placing new orders. Mattel maintains accountability standards and procedures for our factories and vendors that do not meet GMP or ICTI CARE standards including the monthly tracking of corrective actions and restrictions on the placement of new business. In addition, Mattel employees are subject to our Code of Conduct. Employees responsible for oversight and implementation of ethical sourcing practices receive GMP training and our factory-based human resource professionals receive specific instruction regarding the prevention of forced labor and human trafficking.
Beyond our finished-good vendors, the current scope of our efforts to verify or obtain certification of ethical sourcing practices and related legal requirements for materials is focused on paper and wood fiber. As part of our Sustainable Sourcing Principles, Mattel has communicated a preference for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials. FSC certification aids in verifying that paper and wood fiber were produced by operations that comply with ethical labor practices.
Transparency has been an important part of Mattel's social compliance philosophy for years. Summaries of ICP audits for Mattel owned and operated factories are provided so that our stakeholders can make an independent assessment of our progress. We recognize the importance of transparency as a tool to drive continuous improvement and we are working with ICTI CARE to identify means to advance the transparency of factory reporting.
Mattel was one of the first corporations to adopt the practice of publicly reporting independent audit results of factory working conditions. For more than a decade, the Sethi International Center for Corporate Accountability (ICCA) conducted independent audits of Mattel owned and operated facilities in all countries where we manufacture toys and publicly reported its findings. ICCA also conducted independent audits of a cross section of Mattel’s vendors to ensure compliance with laws addressing safe and just working conditions. In 2009, Mattel transitioned to utilizing the ICP as the primary means for independent assessment of social compliance performance of our manufacturing activities.
Mattel’s Response to China Labor Watch
1 Information in this section is intended to comply with the requirements of California Senate Bill 657.
2 For more information about how our supply chain is organized please see page 21 of our 2012 Global Citizenship Report
3 For more information about our internal and independent factory auditing practices please see page 19 of our 2012 Global Citizenship Report.