As responsible members of the global business community we have an obligation to ensure that our companies are run in a socially and ecologically responsible manner.
On behalf of our customers and business partners, we actively support the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) effort to “promote social justice and internationally recognized human and labor rights.”
In cooperation with our partners in manufacturing, importing and retailing, we transform these values into practical applications; these missions and especially the following Code of Conduct are an integral part of our company philosophy and policy.
For Masai Group International, social accountability is a prerequisite for successful business ventures. We commit ourselves to conducting business in a socially responsible and ethical manner and strive to actively contribute to the development of a more fair-minded global business community.
Code of Conduct
As part of our program to promote safe and proper working conditions, we have established a Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct is being implemented in all of our factories, and also forms an integral part of our terms and conditions. We expect all parties to adhere to these standards as a basic guideline for social accountability. Masai Group International will immediately break off business relations with suppliers that are unwilling to comply with our Code of Conduct.
Masai Group International regularly checks on adherence to the Code of Conduct. If an audit reveals a drop in standards at any factory, these issues will be taken up with the factory’s management. The factory will then have a limited period of time to take corrective action. If no action has been taken to improve conditions, Masai Group International will break off business relations with the respective supplier.
The Code of Conduct is based on the following principles:
Masai Group International does not tolerate the use of convict, indentured, slave or bonded or other forced involuntary labor, either directly or indirectly, by its vendors, or by any subcontractors utilized by its vendors.
Masai Group International does not tolerate the use of child labor by its vendors, or by any subcontractors utilized by its vendors. “Child labor” is defined as the employment of persons younger than the local legal minimum working age, or the local legal age for compulsory education.
Wages and benefits must conform to the minimum wage prescribed by local law or the prevailing local industry wage. Workers must be provided with benefits and overtime compensation that conform to or are better than those dictated by law or the prevailing local industry standards.
Maximum Working Hours
Staff working hours must be reasonable and in compliance with local laws and standards, with no regularly scheduled working weeks in excess of 60 hours.
Vendors must provide staff with a safe, clean and healthy working environment and residential and eating facilities (where applicable) which meet all relevant local laws and regulations.
Vendors must employ workers on the basis of their ability to perform the requisite tasks, and not on the basis of their personal characteristics or beliefs.
Right of Association
Vendors must recognize and respect the legal rights of employees to free association. Vendors may not threaten, penalize, restrict or interfere with employees’ lawful efforts to organize or join associations of their choosing.
Vendors shall treat each of their employees with respect and dignity. No employee shall be subject to any physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse.
The environment is of increasing concern globally, and Masai Group International expects its vendors to act responsibly in this respect. Vendors must comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations in the country of operation.
To ensure that this Code is effective in practice, our partners shall communicate the standard to all personnel and implement the requirements as part of a day-to-day management process. Appropriate records demonstrating compliance shall be kept and shall be available for verification upon request. As part of an ongoing process, Masai Group International reserves the right to audit the factory to ensure compliance.
MBT Production and the Environment
Promotion of Environmental Standards
To ensure that our products are free from any substances that are hazardous to human health or the environment, we have established a set of standards and guidelines.
In 2003, we established our own set of standards for chemical use in the production of MBT through the Restricted Substance List (RSL). Our standards match international standards as well as those developed in the footwear industry. Our main concern in the creation and the ongoing development of the RSL is to avoid the use of hazardous materials such as heavy metals, as well as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and allergy-inducing chemicals. We only work with suppliers who comply with our standards.
We cooperate closely with external organizations. All of our chemical tests are performed in external laboratories, including FITI, KATRI or SGS based in Korea or the PFI and EPEA in Germany, as well as SATRA. Our in-house testing laboratory coordinates regular testing as well as spot checks of produced MBTs and raw materials.
All our MBTs are delivered in cardboard shoe boxes. Thanks to a special folding process, where neither glue nor staples are used, our shoe boxes can be recycled easily.
In each shoe box we place a Micro-Pack patch, which is an environmentally-friendly and effective method for the reduction of bacteria, mould and mildew in footwear. We strive to provide our customers with a fresh and clean product in respect to the environment.
Production Related Environmental Issues
Internal and external audits ensure that both production-related environmental issues and product-related issues are regarded as equally important. It applies in particular to our Asian production facilities in South Korea, Vietnam, China and Indonesia.
Our Korea-based production facility was awarded the “Clean Certificate” by the local authorities, the Korea Occupational Safety Health Agency, confirming that the manufacturer is providing a “Clean Workplace,” minimizing the main hazards (the 3 Ds: Danger, Dirtiness, Difficulty) and working to improve safety equipment, working conditions and working processes.
We also work closely with SATRA on these issues.
Minimizing the use of chemicals and eliminating waste and toxic substances
Through the Restricted Substance List (RSL), we have set ourselves high standards for eliminating dangerous chemicals. We focus on using human- and environmentally-friendly chemicals.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
VOCs play a major role in the generation of ozone at ground level and are classified as toxic and carcinogenic. Therefore, Masai Group International keeps these emissions to a minimum and, for example, does not use chemicals with benzene structures.
We use different leathers for our MBTs. All of them are supplied by well-managed tanneries and comply with our RSL List. We have decided to use chrome-tanned leather (Chrome 3), which enables us to offer footwear with strong, resistant yet flexible leather. Chrome-tanned leather has the advantage that it is produced using the hitherto most energy and water-efficient method in the tanning industry.
Together with our factory and suppliers, and with the support of qualified laboratories, we are working to solve the problems and issues that have been identified. We endeavor to keep our environmental standards up-to-date in order to comply with the latest industry standards.