This statement outlines our actions and activities in 2018 regarding efforts to combat slavery and human trafficking within our business and supply chain, and is provided to comply with the Modern Slavery Act.
Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and nearly 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as Eurosport Player and MotorTrend OnDemand; digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media; a landmark natural history and factual content partnership with the BBC; and a strategic alliance with PGA TOUR to create the international home of golf. Discovery’s portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet and Science Channel, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit corporate.discovery.com and follow @DiscoveryIncTV across social platforms.
As of December 31, 2018, Discovery employed a little over 9,000 people globally, of whom more than 1,000 were based in the UK. In addition, as of December 31, 2018, the company worked with nearly 15,000 suppliers worldwide.
Discovery’s Code of Ethics defines our commitment to operate with integrity and high ethical standards in all our business activities. It applies to all Discovery employees, executives, officers and directors, to all our divisions and subsidiaries around the globe and to those joint ventures that are subject to the Code. We strive to do business with people who share our values and expect our business partners to comply with similar ethical and legal standards.
The Code offers resources for further help and advice, including how to raise concerns—for example, via the ethics hotline, which is available both internally and externally. Also, there are global including local policies underpinning and elaborating on the principles set forth in the Code.
Discovery’s Code of Ethics now includes a section on human rights. We recognise and respect all labour and employment laws, including those respecting freedom of association, privacy, equal employment opportunity and child labour, wherever we operate. We believe that working positively and directly with employees best serves their interests.
Discovery also has a new Procurement Policy that covers the process of selecting suppliers and highlights Discovery’s commitment to building a transparent and ethical supply chain.
Supply Chain and Corporate Operations
As a global media company, we work with suppliers across the world. As far as we are aware, we do not use forced or involuntary labour in our supply chains.
Our content supply chains are diverse and include commissioned content created by production companies and finished content licensed from distribution and production companies. We also have a smaller supply chain that supports our licensing business and creates branded products for company events. We recognise that workers on production crews or workers in manufacturing plants may be at risk for modern slavery.
Discovery employs people both directly and through business partners. Services such as construction, renovation, security and cleaning are often subcontracted and carry greater risk of modern slavery. Though in those situations we are not directly responsible for the employment relationship or how these entities manage their employees, we do expect our business partners to act with integrity and meet our standards of ethical business practice.
Discovery has taken measures to assess and mitigate modern slavery risk in the supply chain. We have focused our anti-modern slavery efforts on cataloguing service providers who map to certain risks, and then developing measures to identify individual suppliers who carry a higher risk of poor recruitment and labour practices, especially in the developing world.
Additionally, we intend to focus on cultivating employee awareness as well as performing monitoring activities with respect to existing suppliers and due diligence when onboarding new suppliers. We are working to improve the company’s records to capture risk assessment criteria, such as production locations, the content genres being produced in each location and the categories in which our licensees operate (as applicable).
In 2018, Discovery updated its supplier-facing modern slavery materials, which consist of: (i) a letter in which we set out our commitment to ensuring transparency in our own business and tackling modern slavery through our supply chains, and (ii) a Modern Slavery Act supplier self-assessment survey regarding fair and safe labour practices that also requires suppliers to warrant that they would comply with our expectations of ethical conduct. We have started, on a risk area-by-risk area basis, to send these updated materials to those of our suppliers deemed to be of higher inherent risk.
In addition, we are updating the language in our contract templates obligating business partners to comply with our Code of Ethics. We are committed to collaborating with suppliers and other stakeholders to raise working standards. Where possible, we choose to work with our suppliers to resolve any potential issues rather than terminating the supplier contract and leaving the issue unresolved.
Discovery has formal governance processes and committees in place for overseeing our commitment to ethical conduct.
Discovery is a mission-driven company that engages in various corporate social responsibility activities each year, including a day of volunteering called Impact Day. Additionally, the company conducts internal campaigns and other awareness activities to emphasize the importance of ethical business practices to all its employees.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes the Discovery group’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2018. The Discovery group entities covered by this statement are: DNI Global LLP; Discovery Communications Europe Limited; Discovery Corporate Services Limited; Dplay Entertainment Limited; Scripps Networks International (UK) Limited.