Reaffirming our Partner Code of Conduct
Our Partner Code of Conduct gives our business partners a clear view of the ethical standards and principles that underpin all of our work. Business partners include suppliers, authors, customers, agents, government officials, and any other partner with whom OUP has a business relationship.
We choose our business partners with great care, ensuring that they are competent, ethical, and reliable. We value our business relationships and are committed to ensuring they are honest and open. In exchange, we expect all of our business partners to act in accordance with our Partner Code of Conduct at all times.
Before entering a business relationship, we carry out due diligence on potential partners and our risk assessment tool ensures this is done at a proportionate level. We consider risks, including those related to the specific business partner type, their location, annual transaction value, modern slavery, sanctions, and any other red flags. Where we find the potential business partner does not share our expected ways of working, we do not proceed with onboarding.
Examples of third parties we have rejected upon preliminary due diligence include:
- a potential supplier that was found to have paid bribes to public officials in 2019.
- a potential distributor whose donations to customer schools did not comply with our Partner Code of Conduct.
- a customs agent who refused to cooperate with our due diligence process.
- a potential supplier, being considered to produce soft toys to accompany children’s books, which was found not to conform to manufacturing safety standards.
- a potential supplier that would not agree to OUP conducting a Modern Slavery visit.
- potential business partners that failed to provide complete and accurate information regarding their management and ownership structure.
Our Partner Code of Conduct emphasizes our commitment to working with only the most reliable and ethical business partners in all of our operations. The above examples demonstrate the effectiveness of the Code and our due diligence process, and we will continue to uphold these principles in all dealings with prospective business partners.
‘Being a strong, ethical organization supports our success internally and externally. It enhances our reputation, attracts the best talent, and gives us a competitive advantage.’
Group Ethics and Compliance Officer