The ‘boots and all’ approach to community and corporate responsibility

Despite growing to become one of the worlds’ most recognisable and trusted boot brands, Blundstone has always retained its family values.

As a family orientated company, Blundstone highly values its people, its suppliers, customers, the environment, and the broader local community.

From an operational point of view, the boot makers’ core values ensure legal, ethical and responsible practices are adopted throughout the company at all times.

This commitment has enabled it to grow and prosper for over 145 years, and underpins its ongoing commercial success.

This is combined with the fact that as more people around the world discover the comfort, quality, durability and style of the iconic Blundstone boot, the company needs to expand its production capability.

It’s important for everyone to know that, as it does this, Blundstone is keeping a firm eye on the ethical standards of the manufacturers that produce its world-famous boots.

“For us to be involved with a supplier, we must be satisfied that they comply with strict requirements in how they treat their people and their environment,” said Steve Gunn, Blundstone’s Chief Executive Officer.

“We research internationally for supply sources and we’re fussy about the partners we select. We demand not only stringent quality standards, but healthy labour conditions and working environments.

“We employ our own people on site at all manufacturing locations to ensure this occurs.”

This means that respect for human rights and compliance with labour laws is high on the company’s agenda.

It’s written into their Factory Workplace Code of Conduct and the Factory Labour Practice Certification that they insist upon from their suppliers.

Not only do their partners sign up to these, but they must ensure employees are informed about them and agree to periodic and unannounced audits for compliance.

“Our requirements for ethical behaviour ensure there’s no forced or child labour, harassment or abuse, or discrimination,” said Mr Gunn.

“Our company is also committed to the policies of Sustainable Development, which are shaping the agricultural, industrial and commercial profile of our state.

“We maximise our use of recycled and recyclable materials in our manufacture and packaging. We minimise the use of raw material, chemicals and fossil fuels, and conform to, and where possible, exceed all Federal, State and Local Government regulations.

“This ensures appropriate health and safety, freedom of association and collective bargaining, wages and benefits, hours of work, overtime compensation, and environmental standards.

“In terms of social responsibility, we recently announced special leave for family violence victims – a move that was hailed as being trailblazing, and received widespread commendation.”

This company-wide corporate and social commitment philosophy is translated in the passion of its people, which in turn has helped the iconic boot maker determine how its products and company have evolved.

“Our people are dedicated, highly skilled, innovative and focussed on our customers. We seek and attract people who understand that the power of the team will get the best results for the people who decide to wear our products,” said Mr Gunn.

Blundstone is also very active across a number of community-related events.

For example, recently, Blundstone donated 200 pairs of school shoes and socks to students at Yuille Park Community College in Ballarat after one of their teachers, Bri Dredge, pledged to buy shoes for all the kids after she won $20,000 on Millionaire Hot Seat.

When the company heard of her amazing act of generosity, it jumped at the chance to help out, with Millionaire Hot Seat host Eddie McGuire turning up to hand out the shoes, along with Mr Gunn.

“It’s not just our boots that stand out for their quality and workmanship – doing the right thing is part and parcel of who we are.”

“We’re a family-owned company with a long and proud heritage, and a firm commitment to behaving as an ethical global citizen.”

For more information on Blundstone click here. and please link to website www.blundstone.com

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