We believe one of the key factors to reducing the risk of negative human rights impacts, including forced labour, is having long-term mutually beneficial partnerships with suppliers and service providers based on shared values. For example, the average length of the relationship between IKEA and our home furnishing suppliers is 11 years. This gives us the opportunity to continuously work with our business partners and together tackle social issues in the IKEA value chain.
IWAY, the IKEA way of responsibly procuring products, services, materials and components and our supplier code of conduct. IWAY is based on the ambitions and commitments in the IKEA Sustainability strategy and the IKEA Supply strategy and has been the base of our work towards a more sustainable value chain since 2000. It is mandatory for all suppliers and service providers, and addresses issues such as child labour, forced or bonded labour, responsible recruitment, wages and working hours, among other topics.
We focus on developing and supporting our suppliers and service providers through everyday business activities. We have competent and experienced teams in social and environmental topics in many regions and countries around the world. They actively work with the IKEA suppliers close to the business operations.
Wherever we operate, we must be able to secure that our mandatory requirements concerning working conditions, and social and environmental standards are being met. To verify compliance with IWAY, we conduct announced and unannounced audits. Any warning signs of forced labour are immediately investigated, always taking into account what is in the best interest of impacted workers. When a case of forced labour is confirmed, we collaborate closely with the supplier to ensure the situation is fully remediated and that workers are supported throughout the process.
If a supplier fails to comply with the IWAY requirements within a given timeframe and despite the support provided by IKEA, the supplier is phased out and the business agreement terminated. When there is a confirmed forced labour case, the business relationship is only terminated after ensuring that any impacted workers are not negatively impacted by the business termination or put at risk of falling back into forced labour. IKEA continues to monitor the case until it is fully remediated.