The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and national laws guide principles and policies for employees and our expectations for suppliers. To uphold and promote these principles, Altria's companies:
- respect the rights of our employees and establish a culture of respect and compliance as articulated by Our Cultural Aspiration and the Altria Code of Conduct;
- work with suppliers to promote actions that are consistent with our Supplier Code of Conduct;
- collaborate with others to address human rights issues where our companies have a role to play; and
- commit to promoting the social, environmental and ethical standards set forth in the RBA Code of Conduct.
Our Approach with Employees
- Freedom of Association – We respect the rights of our companies’ employees who choose union representation. We work to maintain good relationships with their bargaining representatives. We also respect the rights of employees who choose not to do so.
- Non-discrimination – Our companies prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, age, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship status, veteran status or other legally protected characteristics. We regularly train employees on harassment issues, and we rigorously enforce these expectations.
- Child Labor – Our companies require a minimum employment age of 16, with limited exceptions granted based on local, state and federal laws and require parental/legal guardian consent for those under 18 who want to work on the farm.
- Anti-Corruption and Anti-Bribery – Our companies provide training on topics such as antitrust, anti-bribery/anti-corruption and third-party vendor management to help guide interactions with government officials, suppliers and customers. Employees must disclose potential conflicts of interest, and we forbid bribery.
- Reporting Violations – Employees concerned about violations of laws, regulations or company policies are obligated to raise them. When that occurs, the appropriate teams investigate and resolve the issues. Altria’s companies will not tolerate retaliation against employees who raise concerns in good faith. We communicate this frequently to employees.
Our Approach with Suppliers
- Setting Expectations – We communicate expectations through, among other things, Altria’s Supplier Code of Conduct. The Code addresses non-discrimination, child labor, forced labor, freedom of association, workplace safety, bribery and environmental compliance. We also address these topics in supplier contracts.
- Engagement and Risk Assessment – Our companies want to address supply chain opportunities, so they consult different resources and stakeholders. When our companies identify risks, they communicate expectations, share information and support continuous improvement.
- Validation and Remediation – Our companies assess contractual compliance and support continuous improvement. This system uses one or more of the following: supplier self-assessment, employee assessment and unaffiliated third-party monitoring. If an assessment uncovers an issue, our companies work with the supplier to resolve the issue. In some situations, our companies may end the relationship.
Our Approach to Advancing Issues
We aim to promote better conditions in communities where we work and do business. Actions include:
- respecting the rights of minority groups, women, and indigenous people;
- promoting supplier diversity and inclusion to create more minority, women, veteran and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender entrepreneurship in our business and through our direct suppliers;
- working with others in the tobacco industry, the agricultural sector and interested stakeholders to understand farm laborer issues and to support programs that help address them;
- provided funding to help support the progress in Malawi of the production and planting of tree/bamboo seedlings, the natural regeneration of woodlands, the distribution of fuel-efficient cookstoves, and implementation of small-scale irrigation; and
- working with many stakeholders to help farmers, farm labor contractors and farm workers better understand and comply with applicable labor laws and regulations, and foster improved farm labor practices.