National Geographic Partners, LLC Corporate Responsibility Polices for Suppliers, Licensees, Affiliates and Partners

These policies apply to the supply, production and distribution of any products and services to or under license from National Geographic Partners, LLP (“NGP”).  Suppliers, licensees, affiliates and partners of NGP are referred to throughout these policies as “you.”
You agree, as practicable, to:
•    Measure and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions where possible.
•    Strive to reduce your environmental impact on an ongoing basis.
•    Reduce your use of energy in the operation of your business where possible.
•    Use alternative renewable energy sources where practical. 
•    Have an active recycling program. 
•    Have an active, ongoing environmental training program in which your employees are encouraged to           participate. 
•    Commit to using recycled-content products where practical as part of your materials-sourcing practice. 
•    Maximize your use of recycled fiber where practical and possible.
•    Subscribe to and participate in credible chain-of-custody certification programs for renewable resources.
•    Certify that your programs are or can be third-party audited, and that such audits are conducted regularly
      with senior management signoff. 
•    If you are a paper supplier, ensure all paper is elemental chlorine free, and this must be documentable.

You shall:
•    Use only legally sourced and, where possible, certified raw materials in your operations. 
•    Comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and permits. 

You are encouraged to follow Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production principles as defined in the United Nations Environmental Program, including as follows:
•    Operate your plants using best available and cost-effective technology and to comply with all applicable
     laws, regulations and permits.
•    Share your environmental performance data on a regular basis with NGP to demonstrate compliance
     with all operating permits and regulations.
•    Use renewable energy where possible and practical, instead of relying on fossil fuels.
•    Review your environmental performance and practices with NGP as requested.
•    Identify any hazardous substances used in your operation and work to phase these out where possible.
•    Disseminate information related to hazardous material use to employees and the surrounding community
     in a transparent way, and engage them in decision making in the use of these materials.
•    Dispose of toxic waste in accordance with the law and best practices, making every effort to ensure
     these materials are not dispersed into the environment. 
•    Account for all manufacturing waste, and recycle all recyclables.
•    Strive for continuous improvement in reducing waste and enhancing the quality of your product. 
•    Maximize the loading of trucks leaving your plant with product, to minimize fuel consumption and
•    Promote these values among your employees.
•    Comply with all applicable local laws and regulations in the countries where you operate.

In respect to paper sourcing, NGP seeks for its suppliers to:
•    Minimize paper consumption.
•    Eliminate all paper products containing irresponsibly or illegally harvested fibers.
•    Maximize the use of recycled fiber sourced from legally certified operations and use it where practical  
     and possible.

NGP expects its suppliers to use paper made only from legally sourced wood and to refrain from using wood sourced from old growth or internationally recognized high-conservation-value forests as well as forests that have been designated unique ecosystems or officially designated as containing an endangered species. NGP expects its suppliers' paper procurement policies to support the general goals of environmentally sustainable fiber use, reducing pollution and conserving natural resources through recycling and waste reduction.

Furthermore, NGP expects its paper suppliers to ensure their operations are compliant with all federal and state laws and regulations, that their forest management practices and harvesting conform to internationally recognized and accepted certification programs, that they monitor and report their air and water effluent, and that they are transparent in this activity.  Therefore, you agree that:
•    No paper supplied to NGP may be bleached with elemental chlorine.
•    You are expected to certify your own forest holdings and you shall encourage your suppliers to pursue
•    You shall re-plant forest land and/or encourage self-propagation of indigenous trees as quickly as
•    You shall use best forest management practices, as described by one of the certifiers listed in the
     "Forestry Certification" section below, on the forests you own, lease or buy from.
•    You must make available to NGP, on an annual basis, a report that highlights your progress towards
     waste minimization, sustainable forestry practices, clean manufacturing practices and chain-of-custody  
     compliance.  As part of this requirement, all processes and data must be independently verified by a
     third-party audit.
•    You shall measure and document continuous improvement for key indicators of water quality, water use
      and air emissions (including greenhouse gases) by providing a written report annually.

NGP recognizes the following forestry certifications: Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC); Forest Stewardship Council (FSC); Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI); American Tree Farm System (ATFS); and Canadian Standards Association (CSA), which set standards for how forests are managed, harvested and replanted.  All subscribe to a chain of custody for tracking the fiber through the manufacturing and use cycle. NGP strives to buy only certified paper products.  All NGP magazines and catalogs printed in the United States are printed on 100% PEFC-certified paper.  NGP’s goal is to have 100% of the fiber used on NGP-produced printed products certified by at least one of the above certifiers.

The Lacey Act makes it illegal to import illegally sourced plants or animals (forest products included) into the United States, and makes it illegal to import products made from illegally sourced plants or animals.  You agree to abide by all the requirements and conditions of the Lacey Act.

Note:  This Section entitled “Paper Sourcing” applies equally to suppliers of other forest product.
You shall comply with all applicable local laws and regulations for product and employee safety in the countries where you operate. You shall comply with all regulations of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), as applicable.  Materials used in manufacturing NGP products, including adhesives, pigments, inks, coatings, solvents, substrates, curing processes and packaging, must meet the standards for toxicity established by the CPSC or the lowest threshold established by any of the 50 states, whichever is stricter.

You shall, to the greatest extent reasonably possible:
•    Safeguard your employees from exposure to toxic materials and injury, and provide safe working
•    Conduct your business with an emphasis on reducing industrial accidents. 
•    Use non-toxic cleaning supplies wherever possible, as well as non-toxic printing and binding materials.
•    Be open, transparent and fair. Minimize waste, maximize the use of renewable energy, reduce the
      carbon emissions of their operations and promote these values among your employees.
•    Comply with all applicable local laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which you operate.

NGP is committed to legal compliance and ethical business practices in our operations worldwide and is firm in our resolve to enter into business arrangements only with those suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, licensees and others that we believe share in that commitment.  

NGP requires that all companies with which we do business comply with all applicable laws and regulations mandated by the country in which your National Geographic-related work is being performed, including but not limited to laws against child labor, forced labor and unsafe working conditions, as further set forth in the Manufacturing and Product Guidelines below.

If a factory used by you for the production of any merchandise using any National Geographic trademark is found to have committed legal violations, and such violations are brought to the attention of NGP, NGP shall take reasonably appropriate action.  Such action may range from working with you to ensure that steps are taken to address the violations and prevent their reoccurrence to canceling the affected contracts(s), terminating the relationship with you, commencing legal actions or other actions as warranted.

Further, NGP conducts its business in accordance with the following guidelines:
Human rights
NGP will only initiate and renew contractual relationships with businesses that do not violate basic human rights.

NGP will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, nationality, or personal beliefs.

Forced Labor - Physical Coercion
NGP will refuse to work with any business that uses forced or slave labor.  NGP will not tolerate the use of physical or mental coercion or corporal punishment.

Freedom of Association
NGP believes in the workers’ right to organize and bargain collectively. NGP will not work with businesses that it knows do not allow employees to join associations of their own free will and choice.

Legal Requirements
NGP will only work with businesses that, to its knowledge, comply with all applicable national, state, and local laws and regulations.

Wages and Benefits
NGP will only do business with employers that comply with all applicable minimum wage and overtime requirements as well as the prevailing industry benefits for that region.

Health and Safety
NGP will require that all facilities where its goods are produced provide a safe and healthy work environment for all the employees.  When housing is provided it should also be clean and safe.

NGP has a commitment to the community and a responsibility for the environments we impact.  NGP will seek to do work with businesses that share this commitment.
No Child Labor Policy
You agree to NGP's No Child Labor Policy as follows:

“Child labor” is defined as the employment, whether paid or unpaid, of any child under the age of fifteen (15) in any position where:

     The child is kept from attending school and receiving the education he/she will need to succeed in life.  
     Work shall never come at the expense of a child’s education.  In no case shall a child be granted full-time
     employment before completing the minimum number of years of mandatory schooling, as determined by
     applicable law.

     The child is exposed to dangerous pesticides, fumes, toxins, chemicals, or carcinogens, or an
     environment that is unsanitary.

     Domestic or international law relating to human rights or working children is violated. In particular, you  
     pledge to adhere to domestic laws stipulating that the minimum working age shall be fifteen (15) years of

     The child is required to operate heavy or dangerous machinery that could lead to an accident or      
     otherwise pose a risk to his/her safety. You agree that heavy or dangerous machinery shall only be    
     operated by adults age eighteen (18) and older.

     The child is required to work more than three (3) hours per day, more than fifteen (15) hours per week, or
     more than five (5) days per week, except as permitted as permitted under the laws for child talent/actors
     (if applicable).  

     The child is compelled to work or in any way coerced into completing his/her duties.

     The child is placed in a situation where the physical, emotional, psychological, or intellectual  
     development of the child could be reasonably foreseen to be jeopardized.

     Except as permitted under the laws pertaining to child talent/actors (if applicable), the child is placed in a
     situation where the child is not being observed or accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or an adult    
     member of his/her immediate or extended family.  Children who perform developmental tasks or    
     vocational apprenticeships at a family workshop are excluded from this definition of “child laborers”;
     however, the tasks must nonetheless in no way interfere with the child’s education, safety, health,    
     or overall well-being (regardless of whether the tasks are paid or not), and will still be held to the same  
     criteria outlined above with the exception of the minimum age requirement of fifteen (15) years of age.

All activities that could be classified as child labor under the definition delineated above are expressly prohibited as described herein, and neither you nor any of your vendors or subcontractors shall engage in any such activities as provided herein.  Further, you agree that in order to enforce this No Child Labor policy, NGP may periodically inspect your and/or any of your vendors' or sublicensees' facilities.  Advance notice need not always be provided prior to such inspection, so as to preserve the integrity of the inspection process.  
Violation of any of these policies, in NGP’s sole discretion, may result in the termination of our business relationship with a supplier, licensee, affiliate or partner.  
All merchandise and other physical products (“Products”) that you manufacture, distribute or sell on behalf of NGP shall be of high quality in design, material and workmanship and suitable for their intended purpose.  No injurious, deleterious or toxic substances shall be used in or on the Products.  You shall maintain a vigorous quality control and safety assurance program with respect to all Products and shall ensure that all Products distributed and sold using any National Geographic trademark licensed to you are free of defects and otherwise comply with all brand and standards guidelines provided to you by NGP.  Because NGP is committed to conducting its business as sustainably and responsibly as possible, you should seek to minimize the negative environmental and social impacts of your activities, Products, and services. Moreover, the Products will be produced in a manner so as not cause harm when used as instructed and with ordinary care for their intended purpose and will be manufactured, tested, sold, distributed, advertised and promoted in strict compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.  In particular, you agree that the Products shall be legally and ethically produced with active concern for the people involved in the manufacture and distribution as well as for the environment from which the materials originate.  Manufacturing processes shall be clean and efficient, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing waste of energy, water, and resources - including the time of employees.  Recycled and recyclable content shall be used whenever feasible.  When virgin materials are necessary, they will be legally and sustainably sourced and their extraction should be done with the utmost care and attention to the impacts on the environment.  If applicable, paper shall come from certified forestry sources, never from old-growth or high-conservation-value designated forests, and should never be bleached with elemental chlorine.  
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that producers who supply paper and other forest products to NGP demonstrate that the wood fiber they use in paper manufacturing comes from forestry sources that are managed in a sustainable manner and are produced using environmentally sound practices and processes. Only suppliers who meet NGP’s requirements in this area will be considered as business partners.

NGP strongly supports the recycling of all paper products. We are committed to recycling all waste, and we actively promote the recycling of our products by our members and customers. We are committed to using recycled-content products where doing so makes environmental and economic sense (packaging, tissue, cartons, binders, board, etc.).

NGP also fully supports and promotes the practice of recycling, wherever possible, other products that NGP consumes, in the most practical and safe manner, and we actively promote the use of recycled materials in our operations.

Clean Manufacturing Process
NGP will select supply partners who demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement in source reduction and pollution prevention that meets or exceeds legal requirements, so as to minimize the environmental impact of paper production on water, air and climate. We encourage our suppliers to pursue energy conservation, to increase the utilization of renewable energy sources, to engage in conservation of electricity and to maximize their energy efficiency. For products that require bleaching and brightening, we will show preference to suppliers that utilize processes that are environmentally responsible. The suppliers must comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and guidelines.

All paper sourced from North American paper mills must be elemental chlorine free. The supplier is responsible for documenting its conformity with this requirement.

We also require continuous improvement for key indicators of water quality, water use and air emissions, including greenhouse gases. We require our suppliers to measure and document such improvements by providing a written report annually.

NGP fully supports independent standards and third-party independent verification as a means of measuring supplier performance. The goal is to have NGP’s key paper suppliers provide 60 percent of their fiber sourcing certified by at least one of the following sources: FSC, SFI, CSA or PEFC. No paper may be sourced from forests generally accepted as being of high conservation value.

Credible Reporting and Verification
Paper suppliers must make available to NGP, on an annual basis, a report that highlights their progress towards waste minimization, sustainable forestry practices, clean manufacturing practices and chain-of-custody compliance. As part of this requirement, all processes and data must be independently verified by a third-party audit.

Economic Viability
The desired outcome of our policy is continuous improvement in the environmental impact of the paper industry. Our goal is to have a sufficient supply of sustainably produced paper on the market to meet our needs. A full, comprehensive and periodic review will be conducted by NGP’s senior production and purchasing staff to ensure that the products covered under this policy are being produced sustainably, while not jeopardizing the delivery of finished products.

Continuous Improvement
NGP recognizes that responsible environmental stewardship is a continuous process. We will engage our paper suppliers in an ongoing dialogue to monitor their performance and to remain informed about opportunities to become increasingly sustainable. NGP further challenges our partners to develop new grades of quality paper that offer products that meet the highest environmental standards suitable for use in our products. To this end, NGP will give preference to companies that practice and encourage sustainable forest management, that run lower carbon-emitting operations and that strive for continuous improvement in their operations.

Explanation of Terms

An extensive, uninterrupted, naturally occurring stand, most commonly marked by a mix of species and range of ages of trees and undergrowth.  It is a bio-diverse ecosystem able to sustain a variety of both simple and complex flora and fauna in a constantly self-renewing cycle.  It is comprised of all ages of plants and animals, including decomposing flora and fauna, which together constitute and contribute to the biomass needed to nurture regeneration.

Sustainable Forestry
Managing forest harvesting in such a way as to allow a forest to replace itself with the full range of native species, to maturity, over a specified area so as to have a continuous yield of mature trees on an ongoing basis and at a constant rate.  In order for forestry to be truly sustainable, enough new trees need to be planted so that enough mature trees are available to meet the demands of the world’s growing population. The goal of forest regeneration must be to replicate what is burned or harvested over time.  The regeneration of a forest ecosystem should be achieved, where possible, by natural processes, such as self-seeding and preservation of a critical number of original native species, or through the use of accepted forest management techniques, thereby allowing for the complete natural regeneration of an original forest ecosystem to full maturity of all species.

Tree Farms
NGP recognizes the important role and value of tree farming and the growing of trees as a source of timber and paper fiber.  However, NGP does not consider a single-species monoculture planted for the specific purpose of being a fiber or timber crop and managed to eliminate all other competing species through the use of pesticides, herbicides and under-story burning to be a forest ecosystem.  Such plantations are characterized by the lack of under-story or secondary species, and do not support a full range of flora and fauna typical for a forest setting at a given latitude or altitude.  Furthermore, such a crop stand does not provide the essential water-purification function of a forest, so while it provides for essential fiber production, it is not a forest and should not be counted as a forest.

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