Discovery Communications is the leader in global entertainment reaching 3 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories. Discovery satisfies curiosity, entertains and inspires viewers with high-quality content through global brands, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and through the Discovery Digital Networks portfolio, including Seeker and SourceFed. Discovery owns Eurosport, the leading pan-regional sports entertainment destination across Europe and Asia-Pacific. Discovery is also a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education. For more information, please visit https://corporate.discovery.com/.
We employ 7,000 people globally of whom more than 1,000 are based in the UK, and work with over 2,500 suppliers in Europe.
Our ethical, social and environmental standards are integral to our culture and key to the way we collaborate with our suppliers. We manage our own operations and supply chain through effective due diligence, risk assessment, training and collaboration with suppliers to ensure we help protect vulnerable groups of people.
Our annual risk assessment process across our operations and supply chains identifies focus areas relating to modern slavery issues.
Discovery’s Code of Ethics defines our commitment to operate with integrity in all our business activities. It applies to all Discovery employees, officers and directors, to all our divisions and subsidiaries around the globe and to those joint ventures that are subject to the Code. We strive to do business with people who share our values and expect our contractors and business partners to comply with similar ethical and legal standards. There are additional global as well as local policies underpinning the Code including our Ethics Hotline and Policy on Handling Allegations of Non-Compliance. These policies explain where to go for further help and advice, including how to raise concerns.
We recognise and respect all labour and employment laws including those respecting freedom of association, privacy and equal employment opportunity wherever we operate. We believe that working positively and directly with employees best serves their interests. As far as we are aware we do not use forced or involuntary labour in our supply chains. We seek to comply with all applicable child labour laws.
Discovery has a Global Source to Pay Policy which covers the process for contracting and paying suppliers. This states that the Code of Ethics is enforced and that Discovery employees who transact business with suppliers must be kept informed about sources of supply, methods, services and materials and seek out, develop and utilize new and existing suppliers who share Discovery’s values.
Supplier Due Diligence
Procurement, Internal Audit and Compliance Legal have devised a methodology to identify suppliers who carry higher risks of poor recruitment and labour practices, especially in the developing world. We will revisit this methodology on an annual basis to identify new suppliers who we consider present a higher risk of modern slavery.
Discovery has put together a Modern Slavery Pack comprising: (i) a letter in which we set out our commitment to ensuring transparency in our own business and tackling modern slavery through our supply chains; (ii) a Modern Slavery Act supplier self-assessment due diligence questionnaire regarding the use of forced labour and steps taken to ensure it is not used in our suppliers’ supply chains; and (iii) a supplier Code of Conduct. This sets out our zero-tolerance approach to forced labour and our expectations of suppliers to ensure there is no forced labour in their own supply chains. We require our high inherent risk suppliers to complete the self-assessment due diligence questionnaire and warrant that they will comply with our supplier Code of Conduct.
Procurement and Legal also carry out due diligence on suppliers at the pre-qualification stage. This includes questions on a range of issues, including bribery and corruption, data protection, environmental sustainability as well as slavery and human trafficking. We also request suppliers to provide us with information about the due diligence mechanisms they have in place with their own suppliers further down the supply chain.
Other actions include audits and embedding clauses within our supplier contracts to include an explicit reference prohibiting forced and child labour. When we sign up new suppliers, our agreements also contain obligations to agree with our policies as well as to rights of inspection and audits. We also update and amend existing agreements to include modern slavery provisions.
We are committed to collaborating with suppliers and other stakeholders to raise working standards. We always choose to work with our suppliers to resolve any potential issues rather than terminating the supplier contract and leaving the issue unresolved.
We have recently completed a specific modern slavery risk assessment across our operations and suppliers to our UK businesses. This has identified some key areas of the business to focus on.
Our focus areas:
Discovery employs people both directly and through several business partners. We recognise that where workers are employed through business partners or recruitment agencies, we are not directly responsible for the employee relationship or how they manage their employees. To mitigate this risk we require certain contractual standards which are supported by the way we work.
Discovery’s content supply chains are diverse and include commissioned content from production companies and finished content licensed from distribution and production companies.
Services such as catering, security and cleaning are often subcontracted and can be filled by a high proportion of migrant workers, making them potentially higher risk in relation to slavery and human trafficking.
Discovery Global Enterprises licences its trademarks to licensees who manufacture and distribute branded products such as apparel, stationary, toys and other merchandise.
For all these focus areas there are action plans in place to better understand the nature of any risk and to implement supportive actions where necessary.
Tracking and Monitoring
The risk assessment process for these focus areas is reviewed annually by Internal Audit to ensure reasonable mitigations are in place.
Discovery has formal governance processes and committees in place for overseeing our responsible business commitments.
Discovery is a mission driven company that engages in a number of CSR activities each year including a day of volunteering called Impact Day. This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our Group’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2016.