Cambridge Audio is committed to the well-being of the workforces of our suppliers and the environment in which they operate. In the same way that we are to our own employees, worldwide.
Like most companies of our kind, we focus on the design of our products and work with third-party factories and component suppliers to help us deliver each and every finished product that carries our name. Outsourced components and manufacturing are key to our success and as we expand our supplier base, we make sure to only work with business partners whose values are compatible with our own.
Our products are designed, engineered and tested from end-to-end by our teams in London and Cambridge, UK. Our significant in-house team comprise product designers, mechanical engineers, electronics hardware and software engineers, app designers, packaging designers, user experience champions, quality assurance technicians and numerous other disciplines. This team in the UK is proudly at the heart of every product that bears our name.
We then hand every detailed element of our designs over to our team in Asia, who work with specialist factories with high ethical standards, to produce every product we deliver to our exact specifications. Currently, we work with production partners in China, however as of January 2021 we have new projects underway that will be manufactured outside China for various commercial reasons, including reducing our reliance on any single location.
The Ethical Standards of Our Factories
Our concerns include the practices of our individual business partners, the happiness of their employees and the social and political issues that affect the workforce where we manufacture our products or source components. We have defined business partners as vendors, manufacturers, contractors, subcontractors and other suppliers who provide labour and/or materials utilised in the manufacturing of all Cambridge Audio products.
We only work with business partners who share our commitment to the human rights of the individuals employed across the production process. We undertake specific due diligence - and regularly revisit it - to ensure that no business partner we work with deviates from our values. We don’t manufacture or source any finished goods in Xinjiang, and we only work with suppliers who are prepared to ensure they work only with component suppliers with no known human rights abuses. We are never afraid to make changes if we can’t confirm that our values are being upheld.
Health and Safety
Providing workers with a safe and healthy work environment is something Cambridge Audio considers to be a basic human right. That's why we'll only work with business partners who provide safe and healthy facilities as well as comfortable residential accommodation, where applicable. Like other aspects that we audit, we spot check all our factory partners’ facilities on a regular basis.
Cambridge Audio expects its business partners to be law-abiding as individuals and as businesses to comply with all legal requirements relevant to the conduct of their business.
Cambridge Audio will only do business with partners whose workers are treated fairly, are present voluntarily, fairly compensated, allowed the right of free association and not exploited in any way.
In addition, every one of our business partners must adhere to the following:
Wages and Benefits
Cambridge Audio's business partners must provide wages and benefits to their colleagues that comply with all applicable laws and match prevailing local industry practices. We also favour businesses that share our commitment to contribute to the betterment of the community. We are proud that many of them do.
Cambridge Audio's business partners are committed to never employing child labour (i.e. a person under the age of 16 years). Furthermore, our business partners will not knowingly utilise partners or raw materials suppliers themselves who use or permit the use of child labour in any of their facilities. We actively support the development of legitimate workplace apprenticeship and training programs for the educational benefit of younger people as long as the individual is never exploited, employed against the law or put at risk with regard to health and safety.
Prison or Forced Labour
Cambridge Audio will never knowingly utilise business partners who use, or permit the use of prison labour in the manufacture of products ordered by or through us. Furthermore, our business partners will not knowingly utilise partners or raw material suppliers themselves who use or permit the use of forced labour in any of their facilities. "Forced Labour" is defined as work or service that is extracted from any person under the threat of penalty for his/her non- compliance and for which the worker does not offer him/herself voluntarily. We don’t manufacture, or source, any finished products in Xinjiang, an area that has concerned us greatly, given media coverage.
Whilst we recognise and respect cultural differences, we strongly believe that workers must be employed on the basis of their ability to do the job, rather than on a basis of gender, racial characteristics or cultural or religious beliefs.
Documentation and Inspection
Cambridge Audio retains the right to constantly monitor compliance of these terms and conditions and conducts on-site inspection of facilities without notice. We will review and may terminate our relationship with any partner ever found to be in violation.
Cambridge Audio has always taken a proactive approach to environmental and health issues and all new products adhere to the significant number of new environmental standards that are being introduced by governments on a continual basis. In many cases, we are among the first to introduce new standards, before they become law.
Cambridge Audio only engages with partners who share our commitment to protect and preserve the environment. This specifically includes compliance with local government laws and international standards as well as US, EU, UK and other regulations prohibiting the use of ozone-depleting chemicals (hydrochlorofluorocarbons). Our systems and processes have been designed accordingly and stringent systems put into effect to ensure all products fully comply with new legislation.
The EU RoHS directive stands for "The restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment." This means that in the EU market there is a ban on new electrical components containing more than agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants. Equivalent standards exist in many other parts of the world. We welcome this directive and abide by its strict code.
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive aims to minimise the effects of electrical and electronic products on the environment by encouraging the recycling and re-use of components, and reducing the amount that is sent to landfill sites. Manufacturers are responsible for funding collection, treatment and recovery of waste electrical equipment. Distributors are also encouraged to allow consumers to return their waste equipment free of charge, which we do.
We Welcome Your Feedback
Thank you for taking the time to read this to the end. You clearly care about this subject and the World that we live in.
We welcome your feedback. Should you think we can do better when it comes to ethical manufacturing, please do reach out to us via our Support team. All feedback is reviewed by our Production Director, Managing Director and CEO on a regular basis and, where we feel an idea makes sense, we will put it into place. As a business, we feel we are big enough to make a difference and also small and hands-on enough to care.
The Cambridge Audio Team, January 2021