Social Responsibility Policy

Our Culture, People and Corporate Social Responsibility

Our purpose is to grow a sustainable business and retain employment here in Sudbury. This is why we exist. It is our transformative purpose, and acts as our north star to ensure we focus on doing those things that make it happen and, conversely, not doing those things that work against it. Our culture is one of openness, integrity and accountability. We encourage members of staff to act fairly in their dealings with colleagues, business partners, suppliers and the local community.

We recognise that our people determine our success and we continue to encourage and invest in their further development. This not only includes utilising important external training and development programmes, but also providing clear leadership and decisive action. As a board we work closely with our teams to ensure that we have the right capabilities and best talent to match our growth ambition.

Human Rights and Ethics

Our Human Rights and Labour Conditions policy reflects the core requirements of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Global Compact, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guiding Principles and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, including the conventions relating to forced labour, child labour, non- discrimination, freedom of association and right to collective bargaining. We do not tolerate practices that contravene international standards.
We embrace our responsibility for ensuring that human rights considerations are integral to the way in which existing operations and new opportunities are developed and managed.
Compliance with, and respect for, these fundamental principles is integrated throughout our organisation and the organisations we work with.

Human Rights

We support the protection of international human rights within the sphere of our influence and will not be complicit in human rights abuses. We are committed to protecting the human rights of all of our staff and those engaged in our supply chain.
We recognise that many human rights abuses are systemic in their host communities. We are therefore committed to working with other organisations that can help us implement this policy. Our position on human rights reflects the core requirements of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights such as freedom from torture, unjustified imprisonment, unfair trial and other oppression. Other central tenets are freedom of expression, religion and political or other representation.


Sudbury Silk Mills’ culture is one of openness, integrity and accountability and we require our people to act fairly in their dealings with colleagues, customers, suppliers and business partners.
This code of conduct applies to everyone internally and our external business partners, and aims to ensure that we maintain consistently high ethical standards, while recognising that our business operates in markets and countries with cultural differences and practices.

Labour Conditions

We observe the ILO declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work which upholds basic values in:

Forced labour
We will not tolerate forced labour, bonded labour or labour which involves physical or mental abuse, including actual or threatened physical punishment, verbal or sexual harassment, or domination or restraining of staff by force, authority or threats. Staff are not required to lodge ‘deposits’ or identity papers and they are free to leave employment after reasonable notice.

Child labour
Exploitation of child labour is unacceptable under any circumstances. No person under the minimum legal working age in the UK may be employed by Sudbury Silk Mills.

Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
Staff, without distinction, have the right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively. We adopt a non-discriminatory attitude towards the activities of trade unions and their organisational activities. Staff representatives are not discriminated against and have access to carry out their representative functions in the workplace.

Discrimination, Harassment & Abuse
We believe in a workplace free from all types of discrimination, including those based on gender, race and religion. We are proud to have a staff from diverse backgrounds and interests. We do not discriminate in hiring, compensating, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, colour, religion, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation.
We are committed to ensuring that all our staff are treated with dignity and respect and treat others in the same way. We believe that all staff have the right to work in an environment which is free from any form of harassment, bullying or abuse.

Remuneration & Working Hours
We create a safe working environment, where the right to favourable conditions at work, as well as the right to rest and limitation of working hours are strictly adhered to. We respect the importance of living wages, as well as gender-equality in wages for work of equal value. We do not engage in excessive overtime.


We believe that everyone in our organisation is responsible for having due regard for human rights. In particular:

  • The board has overall responsibility for ensuring that human rights considerations are integral in the way in which existing operations and new opportunities are developed and managed.
  • Managers and supervisors provide visible leadership that promotes human rights as an equal priority to other business issues. They also have a responsibility for identifying abuses that occur.
  • All of our people are responsible for ensuring that their own actions do not impair the human rights of others. They are also encouraged to bring forward, in confidence, any concerns that they may have about human rights abuses through our whistle blowing procedure.

Anti-Bribery and Corruption

We have a zero-tolerance policy towards bribery and corruption that extends to all business dealings and transactions in which we are involved. This includes a prohibition on making political donations, offering or receiving inappropriate gifts or making undue payments to influence the outcome of business dealings.