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This section contains the basic terms as well as key information concerning the Sustainable Supply Chain.


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Conflict of interests

Situations in which personal or family interests of an employee, or other connections, are contrary to the interests of the employer. Such situations may include, among others — awarding contracts by an employee to his/her relatives, close acquaintances or companies owned by that employee, favouring close acquaintances by an employee who takes personnel decisions regarding, for example, remuneration, promotion or recruitment, or employee’s involvement in such activities of other entities that may adversely affect the interests of the employer (source: Polpharmа 2015).

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Corporate Responsibility (CR)

A company management and development strategy, developed based on the company’s values which, taking into account the needs of key stakeholders and the widely understood environment of the company, allows the achievement of long-term business benefits. It is a manner of conducting business activities with due account of social interests.

Corrective action

An action aimed at eliminating the cause of the identified non-compliance and reconciliation of the Supplier’s conduct with requirements contained in the Code of Conduct. Effective corrective actions prevent similar non-compliance from occurring in the future. An example of a corrective action is the introduction of a system of issuing pay slips to employees or provision of appropriate protective clothing to employees who are exposed to toxic substances. (Source: SAI 2014)

Corruption in business

Corruption may take on various forms. It is largely linked to the concept of bribery, and this is the form it occurs in most often. Corruption means affecting the decisions undertaken by other persons by offering or giving undue benefits. It appears most frequently in the public sector — when someone wishes to affect the decision of a government official or another person performing a public function. However, corruption may also appear in the private sector — when someone wishes to affect decisions undertaken by persons performing functions at private companies or institutions. Corruption does not only include offering or giving undue benefits personally, but also doing so through intermediaries. Under this same principle, corruption is offering or transferring undue benefits to a directly interested party as well as to third parties (relatives, friends, or even entities linked to the interested party, such as foundations or associations).


All persons employed by the organisation at each level, including directors, supervisors, managers, regular and contract employees. Employees are deemed to include also persons who are not employed directly by the organisation (e.g. through temporary work agencies), including, among others, security guards, canteen staff, cleaning staff (Source: SAI 2014).

Ethical / social audit

A tool to examine supplier’s adherence to specific codes of ethics, standard requirements, legal regulations or customer’s guidelines. As a result of an ethical audit, recommendations are developed to enhance the company’s corporate culture, external relations, operational transparency and the adequacy of its decisions, as well as to counteract corruption.

First-party audit

An internal audit conducted to address a company’s internal needs. A first-party audit is conducted in an independent and unbiased manner by appropriately trained staff who are aware of their responsibilities. Internal audits should be regularly conducted at equal time intervals based on a predefined schedule.

Management system

A set of interrelated rules, processes and procedures used by the company to achieve business objectives. The model of conducting business in a sustainable manner requires the management system to be planned and implemented taking into account the principles of social responsibility.

Polpharmа Group Supplier Code of Conduct

A document that compiles rules of conduct that are the most important for the Polpharmа Group and comply with the Group’s ethical standards. They must be observed and followed by all Suppliers. It is an important criterion in the selection and assessment of cooperation with suppliers. (Source: Polpharmа Group Supplier Code of Conduct).

Responsible Supply Chain Management (RSCM)

Such management of the supply chain impact, according to which relations with suppliers are shaped taking into account:

  • Economic criteria — such as fair terms of contracts, timely payment of payments due, not using economic advantage to negotiate inadequate terms and conditions of agreements, transparency in establishing business contacts, preventing corruption.
  • Social criteria — i.e. honest employee practices (observing the labour law and human rights, fair remuneration of male and female employees, observing the principles of equal rights, care for OSH rules), as well as practices aimed at cooperation with local communities.
  • Environmental criteria — i.e. aspects associated with impact on the natural environment which relate to the entire life cycle of products (design, transport of materials, use of raw materials for production, disposal)

(Source: “Zrównoważony łańcuch dostaw: trendy i innowacje” – Forum Odpowiedzialnego Bizesu 2014 (“Sustainable supply chain: trends and innovations” — Responsible Business Forum 2014)

Risk assessment

A process conducted by an organisation to identify and prioritise the areas of risk to continuity of business operations. Such risk may exist in such areas as the area of employees’ safety, business ethics or the organisation’s impact on natural environment.  The risk assessment is used to inform the development of policies and tools for preventing the identified threats.

Second-party audit

An external audit commissioned by a customer, also known as customer audit. The audited entity is a site supplying products or providing services to the customer. A second-party audit is used to examine if the supplier meets specific requirements and if it is trustworthy. Typically, it is conducted by the customer’s qualified auditors.


(Supplier Ethical Data Exchange)

A not-for-profit organisation bringing together companies from around the world and from a wide range of industries. SEDEX offers its members ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) Base Code services, and an online database to upload audit reports (

Self-assessment survey

A tool developed by the Polpharmа Group for the Suppliers, to facilitate the assessment of the extent to which their actions are in compliance with the Code of Conduct and demonstration of good practices for the application of its provisions. It is also a tool used to determine the eligibility of Suppliers. The survey is available in electronic version under this link — upon saving the answers, the Supplier receives a feedback email indicating areas for organisational improvement. The information contained in the survey will be confidential, and solely for the attention of the Supplier and the Polpharmа Group and will not be disclosed to third parties.


(SMETA Members Ethical Trade Audit)

This is an audit procedure developed by Sedex, of which the basic objectives are emphasising the role of ethics in the global supply chain and reducing the burden for suppliers resulting from repeated audits and compliance reviews. The SMETA procedure is based on the ETI Base Code (code of ethical conduct developed by the Ethical Trading Initiative). SMETA touches upon 4 areas: conditions for employment of workers, occupational safety and health, environmental protection, and responsible ways of conducting business.

Supplier / subcontractor

Each entity or person (persons) in the supply chain who directly supply goods or services to the organisation, used in internal processes or in the manufacturing of the organisation’s goods or services. For example, a manufacturer of chemical substances used by the Supplier or transport company hired by the Supplier to transport employees to the plant.

Supplier of the Polpharmа Group

An organization supplying specific products or services under a contract with the Polpharma Group. Suppliers include manufacturers, distributors, and service providers.

Sustainable Supply Chain

A system of interconnected business activities within a product’s life cycle allowing value creation for all stakeholders, while ensuring commercial success to contribute to the improvement of social prosperity and the environment. (Source: Business For Social Responsibility — BSR 2007).

Third-party audit

An external audit conducted by an independent organization (certification body). This type of audit is commissioned by the audited organization.

Sources of information

The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) is a system for supply chain management which supports entrepreneurs in building responsibility in their global supply chains. BSCI is based on the guidelines of international standards of work and employee right protection, such as those of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the United Nations (UN) as well as Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines for multi-national enterprises

EcoVadis is an international platform supporting enterprises in assessment of their suppliers in terms of environmental impact and response to social needs. EcoVadis testing methodology is based on international recommendations in the area of non-financial reporting, including:
GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), ONZ Global Compact, ISO 26000.

Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is an organisation uniting companies, trade unions and non-governmental organisations which promote respect for employee rights all over the world. The organisation’s vision is a world where all employees are free from exploitation and discrimination and enjoy freedom, safety and justice. The organisation’s website publishes, among other things, guidelines and standards for human rights and employee rights.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is an international independent organisation which assists companies, governments and other organisations in understanding and communicating the impact of business on the key issues relating to sustainable development, such as climate change, human rights, corruption and many others. The organisation has developed GRI Framework Reporting Rules, which set the framework for reporting economic, environmental and social aspects of organisations’ operations. They take into account the practical aspects of operation of different organisations, from small companies to international organisations conducting activity all over the world.

The Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI) is an organisation that brings together companies from the pharmaceutical industry, which creates an industrial understanding in order to promote responsible supply chain management and better business conditions throughout the industry. The organisation’s website contains the rules, guidelines and practical guides for implementation of the rules of sustainable development.

Sedex — an organisation which works to improve ethical, responsible business practices in global supply chains. It is the largest platform used for sharing supply chain ethical data. The goal of Sedex is to make more efficient and limit the number of audits conducted at suppliers as well as develop ethical aspects in global supply chains. The organisation has developed a standard for ethical audits — SMETA.

Sustainable Supply Chains was created by UN Global Compact, in cooperation with CSR Europe,
as a source of information for entrepreneurs seeking information about the sustainable supply chain.
Its website includes: initiatives (programmes, codes, standards) that companies can become involved in to develop the sustainable supply chain, resources and tools helpful in implementation of sustainable supply chain programmes as well as good business practices.