About the Code
Tangible presentation of what you are doing to meet the expectations of the end buyer for product safety, social and environmental assurances. The Code of Conduct is a statement of principles. It is what a supplier would hand to a distributor and what a distributor would hand to an end buyer when an end buyer expresses those expectations.
It is your commitment.
Many end buyers, particularly larger businesses, have already adopted their own Code of Conduct. There is no specific law that requires a Code of Conduct, but there is remarkable similarity among those that have been adopted. Many of them draw from working conditions standards that have been put forth by various international entities, government as well as non-governmental.
Typically, the Codes include statements on environmental, safety and quality commitments. Below is an example of the code. As an added benefit, you can also access the Code of Conduct in Chinese in Spanish or in French Canadian.
To show your support and adoption of this Code of Conduct, feel free to copy and paste the below information onto your website and/or include this information in your business communications.
PPAI Code of Conduct
OUR COMPANY’S COMMITMENT TO ETHICAL AND RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT
Our Company believes we must not only meet the expectations of our customers and consumers, we must exceed those expectations. To that end, we have adopted standards for the safety, quality and integrity of our products and processes and we are committed to respecting the rights of individuals and protecting the environment. We are dedicated to complying with all applicable laws and to conduct business in an ethical and responsible manner.
We will comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding safety of products we sell. We will meet applicable recognized voluntary industry standards for our products and processes.
No Abuse Of Labor
We will not use any form of forced labor, including indentured, prison, bonded or slave labor. We will not use physical or verbal harassment or abuse to discipline employees.
No Child Labor
We will not use child labor. We will comply with all minimum age provisions of applicable laws and regulations.
Freedom Of Association
We respect the rights of employees to associate or organize without fear of reprisal or interference. If employees are represented by an organization recognized under law, we respect the right to bargain collectively.
We will not discriminate in hiring and employment practices on the basis of age, nationality, race, religion, social status, ethnic origin, gender or disability.
Hours And Wages
We will comply with all applicable wage, work hours, hiring, benefits, and overtime laws and regulations.
In the absence of law in a particular location relating to product safety, labor, employment, environment or working conditions, the spirit and intent of these policies shall be met.
We will provide a safe, healthy and secure workplace. We will abide by all applicable laws and regulations for safety and health. Proper sanitation, lighting, ventilation and fire safety protection will be provided.
We abide by all applicable environmental laws and regulations. We will manage our environmental footprint to minimize the adverse impact on the environment. We will manage our energy, water and waste systems for maximum efficiency and minimal adverse impact on the environment.
Subcontractors And Sources
We require all businesses that support our business as subcontractors, manufacturers or sources of goods to comply with all of the same policies stated in our Commitment to Ethical and Responsible Conduct Policy. All subcontractors and suppliers are required to comply with all applicable and national laws.
We expect those businesses to develop and implement internal business procedures to ensure compliance with our policy.
Adopt the Code
Only the Primary Contact for your company can verify the acceptance of the PPAI Code of Conduct. If you are the Primary Contact, you can log into your My PPAI profile to accept the code.
Promote the Code
Thank you for taking the important step of adopting the PPAI Code of Conduct. This code incorporates the most common statement of principles, all of which are already required by United States law, and serves as a statement of principles of compliance with the laws and regulations of the United States.
Adoption of the Code offers distributors an extra level of confidence when doing business with a supplier who posts this code of conduct on their website or in their catalog. It offers end buyers that same confidence when selecting a distributor sales partner.
Click to download a logo you can use on your website, marketing materials or catalogs to visually demonstrate your commitment to social and environmental responsibility:
- JPG logo
- PNG logo
- French JPG logo
- French PNG logo
- Spanish JPG logo
- Spanish PNG logo
- Chinese JPG logo
- Chinese PNG logo
You can also link this image to a copy of the Code of Conduct online.
Once you submit the adoption web form to PPAI, your membership records will be updated to reflect your adoption of the Code. PPAI will update your SAGE records, as well. The Code of Conduct logo will be added to all participating supplier company profiles, so your company’s name will appear when a distributor performs a search of all companies that have adopted the PPAI Code of Conduct.
Questions? Please contact Anne Stone, Director of Public Affairs for PPAI, or Veronica Kelley, Public Affairs Coordinator.
Who has adopted the Code
Click here for the list of companies who have adopted the code of conduct.
What is a code of conduct?
It is the tangible presentation of what you are doing to meet the expectations of the end buyer for product safety, social and environmental assurances. It is a document a supplier can hand a distributor, and what a distributor can hand to an end buyer as a public statement of the company’s environmental, safety and quality commitments.
Who should adopt the code?
PPAI recommends that all members—suppliers, distributors and business services companies—adopt this voluntary Code of Conduct. Many of the largest and most well-respected companies in the industry have already adopted the Code. View a list of early adopters.
Why did PPAI publish the Code and why are members encouraged to sign it? What are the benefits of adopting the Code?
The consumer products market is becoming increasingly regulated and subject to scrutiny by many government agencies and consumer groups. The Code of Conduct is one way in which industry companies can publicly demonstrate their commitment to responsible business practices. Many end buyers, particularly larger businesses, have already adopted their own Code of Product Responsibility Conduct and often look for their business partners to adopt a code of conduct as well.
What are my obligations if my company adopts this Code?
We ask that you review the Code carefully and thoughtfully before adopting it. The Code is entirely voluntary and no audits or inspections of your company would ever be required. However, it is important that this commitment reflect a conscientious effort on the part of the signer to aspire to be in compliance with all elements of the Code.
Does the Code require more than what is already required by law?
No. The statements in the PPAI Code of Conduct do not obligate you to anything more than that which is already required under U.S. law.
If all the elements of the Code are required by law, why do I need to take the additional step to adopt it? The statements contained in the Code of Conduct are widely accepted as international principles and many end buyers expect their vendors to possess a code of conduct. Increasingly, large corporations require vendors to adopt a code of conduct before doing business with them.
Who has already adopted the Code?
Many of the largest and most well-respected companies in the industry have already adopted the Code. View a list of early adopters.
How do I sign the Code?
PPAI has created a web form that will allow you to electronically sign the Code. Once you complete the form, PPAI will update your membership records to reflect your adoption of the Code.
How do I get the word out to my industry contacts that my company has adopted the Code?
PPAI has developed a Code of Conduct logo that you will be able to post on your website. This logo will link to a copy of the Code itself. Additionally, PPAI will add your company to its list of early adopters. Finally, PPAI is working with industry partners to make the adoption of the Code of Conduct a searchable field on industry search engines. Look for more information on this soon.
Is there a cost associated with signing or using the Code?
No. All industry professionals are encouraged to adopt the Code at no charge.
Is the Code mandatory for PPAI members?
No. The Code is entirely voluntary.
Are nonmembers allowed to adopt the Code?
Yes. All industry professionals, members and nonmembers, are encouraged to adopt the Code.
Nonmembers are encouraged to print a hard copy of the Code to adopt as their own; however, it will not be reflected in the member adopter list on the PPAI website. To become a member click here.
Members are to complete a web form that will allow you to electronically sign the Code. Once you complete the form, PPAI will update your membership records to reflect your adoption of the Code and include you on the adopter list.
What happens if a company that adopted the Code is found to be in violation of the Code?
The Code is voluntary and operates on the honor system. There are no inspections, audits or penalties associated with violation of the Code. However, the statements included in the Code are already required by U.S. law and violation of those laws could result in penalties and/or fines regardless of whether or not a company adopted the Code.
Should I do business with companies that have not adopted the Code?
The Code is not intended to limit or in any way control your selection of business partners.
I source my products from overseas. How can I make sure that non-U.S. manufacturers are following these guidelines?
You can ask your overseas partners to adopt this Code and you can require them to develop and implement internal business procedures to ensure compliance with your own company policies.
My company is not unionized. Why do I have to acknowledge the right of workers to form or join a union?
The “Freedom of Association” statement included in the Code reflects what is in United States law under the National Labor Relations Act.
Where do I find out what the safety standards are for the products I carry?
It is important to keep in mind that, with some notable exceptions (the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, CPSIA, for example), conformity with specific standards applicable to any promotional product itself is rarely required by law. Conformity is either specifically required by the end buyer or based on the promotional products supplier or distributor’s assessment of the end buyer’s and consumer’s expectations. Second, the standards development process is voluntary and decentralized, thus there is rarely “the standard” for a particular promotional product. There may be multiple standards that may apply to a promotional product, some for performance and some for design.
To help you find out what the specific requirements are for compliance with CPSIA, PPAI has developed an automated flowchart that will walk you through the testing process and identify tests and paperwork.
What are the minimum age provisions for workers?
This information is maintained by the U.S. Department of Labor and is available here.
Where can I access a list of applicable wage, work hours, benefits and overtime laws and regulations?
The International Labour Organization (ILO) maintains a database of international labor standards.
Can I access a list of all applicable laws and regulations for safety, health, sanitation, lighting, ventilation and fire safety protection?
The International Labour Organization (ILO) maintains a database of international labor standards.
Where can I access a list of all applicable environmental laws and regulations?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published its Environmental Guides. You can access environmental standards through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).