Sprouts Commitment to Human Rights
At Sprouts Farmers Market, we are guided by our broader ESG strategy and commitment to “doing well by doing good” in the way we care for our customers, team members, local communities, and the planet. We believe in the importance of respecting human rights as defined by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), as well as making a commitment to respect internationally recognized human rights.1
We recognize our journey to align with the UNGPs has just begun and we are looking to undertake steps to embed our commitment to human rights in our company. We understand the need to focus on gaining greater visibility and insight into key human rights risks in our own operations and supply chain. Building this understanding is essential to the rollout and implementation of a human rights policy that aligns with the UNGPs. This Statement sets out our commitment and the steps we plan to take to ensure alignment with the UNGPs and leading human rights frameworks.
We are committed to respecting the human rights of all rightsholders in our operations and supply chain. This includes our own operations, including our stores, distribution centers, offices and other facilities, as well as all our business partners. We expect our business partners to comply with our Supplier Code of Conduct and cascade our requirements further down the supply chain.
Implementation & Oversight
Our Board of Directors oversees the company’s environmental, social, and governance programs and policies. Our Chief Legal Officer is responsible for ensuring implementation of work specifically related to human rights, in partnership with members of the company’s executive leadership in merchandising, supply chain, and other areas of the business. We believe it is important to have formal systems in place to assess human rights issues and ensure we have formal escalation paths and response processes. As such, we are committed to integrating human rights risks into our enterprise risk management program.
As a retail operator, we recognize the importance of respecting human rights in our own operations. We have comprehensive HR policies in place that apply to all our team members from our store support office to the team members in our stores and distribution centers. We use various tools such as employee surveys, internal feedback channels, and town hall meetings to directly engage with team members. Team member feedback is used to both inform our strategy and its implementation.
Health and safety are key company priorities and are included in our enterprise risk management program. To ensure both prevention and risk mitigation, we have invested in clear policies and team member training. We disclose our health and safety KPIs annually in our ESG report.
We approach the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our support office, stores, and distribution centers with intentionality. We work to ensure that our store team members reflect the communities in which our stores are located and have established a system of job coaches to guide team members in their day-to-day work and career paths. We conduct formal talent review and succession planning, which identifies high potential talent and customized plans for their development. We have programs designed to support the success of all our team members, with a particular focus on our female and ethnically diverse team members. We disclose in our annual ESG report the percentage of our team members promoted across various levels in our company who were female or ethnically diverse. Among other areas of support, we have Team Member Resource Groups and sponsor high potential team members in Black, Hispanic, and Asian leadership academies developed and sponsored by McKinsey & Co.
Our work with suppliers is guided by our Supplier Code of Conduct, which sets out our supplier expectations related to issues including human rights, animal welfare, and responsible sourcing. We distribute supplier questionnaires to assess suppliers’ alignment with our sourcing expectations. Should a supplier not be out of compliance with our expectations we will work collaboratively toward a resolution, or in severe cases discontinue our relationship. We also believe that sourcing products from diverse suppliers such as minority- and women-owned businesses not only supports the economic well-being of the local communities we serve, but also builds on our strategy of winning with our target customer by providing them with innovative grocery options from emerging brands. We are in the process of formalizing our vendor diversity development program to attract, retain and grow our relationships with minority owned vendors and increase their opportunities for success through their partnership with us. More information regarding our supply chain social and environmental management and KPIs can be found in our annual ESG report.
Stakeholder Engagement & Communication
We engage with a variety of key stakeholders on human rights-related work, from employee engagement via our HR representatives and store leaders to publishing our annual ESG Report in which we report on labor-focused activity metrics in alignment with SASB standards. This Statement is publicly available on our website and will be communicated with our suppliers and team members.
We understand there is an expectation for companies to ensure effective grievance mechanisms are available to identify human rights issues and provide remedy where needed and we continually review our mechanisms to ensure they are effective. The Sprouts Ethics Helpline, which is managed by a third-party and available 24/7 in different languages, is available to all team members and suppliers via the number (+1) 855-748-5773. It is promoted to team members and suppliers through various channels. We also provide opportunities for our customers engage with us, including our customer service phone line, email, and a contact form. We welcome stakeholder feedback and inquiries regarding this Statement via our contact form.
We understand there is an expectation for companies to develop a comprehensive human rights due diligence framework to ensure alignment with the UNGPs. As a first step, we will further integrate human rights risks into our enterprise risk management program by designing a more comprehensive approach and gain more insight into key risks in our supply chain and operations. We will also share this statement with our team members and integrate it into training for those with primary supply chain responsibilities. As we continue our work in this space, we will proactively reach out to external stakeholder groups, including shareholders, NGOs and civil society groups, to seek feedback and input on our human rights work and action plans. We will continue to disclose our progress and provide updates in our annual ESG report.
1 This includes International Bill of Human Rights, which consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; as well as The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.