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People-forward Ethics

The O.C. Tanner Code of Conduct

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Here at O.C. Tanner, our mission is simple and clear: we help people everywhere thrive at work. To do that, we put ethics first. We care about humankind, equity, fairness, and our planet. And to live by these values, we hold ourselves and the companies we do business with to the highest possible sustainability expectations. Ultimately, we view it as our responsibility to make the world a better place.


We serve more than 13.5 million users in 180 countries around the world, and delight our clients with the highest quality products and best customer service imaginable. Our clients can trust our capabilities to help them appreciate and recognise the great work of the people in their organisations.

Our social contract

A commitment that goes both ways


Great companies are more than employers—they’re responsible citizens. O.C. Tanner is committed to employing the most ethical and socially responsible supply chain in the recognition industry. This standard of excellence reaches beyond our walls, extending to our partners and suppliers.

As an organisation, we’re committed to:


  • Quality production
  • Fair labor practices
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Social responsibility
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Transparency and trust
  • Giving back to the community

Our values never change, but our products, services, processes, and policies must continually evolve to keep pace with a world that demands it. We must maintain our position as a credible, responsible leader in the industry. This Supplier Code of Conduct is a living, breathing document outlining our ongoing commitment to our values and expectations for our partners and suppliers.

“To be able to correlate engagement survey scores with recognition is one of the most compelling things we’ve seen.”

—Natalie Snyder, Senior Director, Compensation and Benefits

Quality standards: an expectation, not just a goal

Our founder, Obert C. Tanner, always said he wanted his company to “touch the fringes of perfection.”


Today, O.C. Tanner, the company, continues to reach for that benchmark. We strive toward perfection in all business areas, whether building a recognition solution for a client or purchasing materials from a vendor. We produce quality, and we demand it. Through rigorous employee training, thorough process documentation, and a systematic approach that applies continuous improvement practices and principles company-wide, we build partnerships with suppliers to create a more transparent, responsible supply chain. We expect our partners and suppliers to commit to these same high-quality standards and agree to the following quality initiatives:

Value alignment: A potential supplier must submit an evaluation survey before establishing a relationship with O.C. Tanner. The survey includes questions about the suppliers’ environmental and social initiatives, quality standards, warranty expectations, anticipated delivery timetables, and stock requirements.

Supplier reviews: Once a partnership is established, a scorecard is run on all suppliers at a frequency based on dollar spend. The scorecard evaluates lead time, inventory turnover, quality, on-time delivery, and performance. If a supplier fails to meet standards, we work with them to clearly define a corrective action plan to meet expectations before we terminate the relationship.

Quality control: O.C. Tanner diligently resolves quality-related issues across the supply chain. We track vendor-related quality issues daily. Purchasing managers also meet as needed to discuss improvements and resolutions reached with suppliers. Product audits are conducted and resolved on a case-by-case basis to determine product disposition and resolve quality-related issues.

Lean methodology: O.C. Tanner strives to adopt Lean manufacturing techniques throughout our entire company and collaborates with its people to bring new ways of thinking and operating to the table. As we continue to improve, we also encourage our suppliers to adopt continuous improvement techniques and processes.

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Social responsibility: baked into our worldview


Obert C. Tanner believed business was all about creating jobs, and life was all about beauty. He wanted to create a space for people to thrive and extend that feeling to every supplier we work with and employees we help recognise. That vision continues today, and we’re committed to fostering an environment where every employee can build a meaningful career and be their best self.

We value soul over skill sets.


We believe work is not a transaction—O.C. Tanner is a place to connect and grow. We expect employees to be stellar corporate citisens and model the utmost respect and demeanor with each other, our guests, and our clients. We approach every person, task, and partnership with integrity, which creates a ripple effect that extends into a virtuous cycle through our homes and communities.

Diversity is about more than culture—it’s critical to success.


O.C. Tanner recognises and values individual differences and believes that different perspectives lend vitality, creativity, new ideas, and growth to our business. We’re committed to creating an environment that appreciates and values those differences. Our diverse staff represents 62 countries and 64 different languages. We partner with employees, their families, and the local community to improve quality of life. O.C. Tanner employees enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and competitive wages.

Our employees have a history of resilience.


O.C. Tanner is committed to supporting refugee communities through education and employment opportunities in partnership with One Refugee. Through the One Refugee Education Initiative and the One Refugee Careers Initiative, One Refugee provides a holistic experience to help refugees in Utah from the beginning of their higher education journey to successfully landing a valued position at a good company. The program matches refugees with potential employers from a network of organisations across the state and in several industries.

“We have a long history of hiring refugees, and it’s one of the reasons why our workplace culture is so strong. We’re proud to have so many former refugees add their strengths and skills to our nearly 100-year legacy as a premier Utah employer. We are better and stronger for being a place where people from all backgrounds are invited to come, contribute, and thrive.”

—Mindi Cox, Senior Vice President of People and Great Work

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In November 2020,  O.C. Tanner was honored  by Upwardly Global, a national nonprofit  organisation dedicated to effectively integrating skilled immigrants into  the professional U.S. workforce, for championing workplace diversity and inclusion.

We pair high standards with cultural sensitivity.


O.C. Tanner expects suppliers to behave ethically and with sensitivity toward social, cultural, economic, and environmental issues. We foster long-term relationships with like-minded companies that positively impact society and make a positive contribution to bottom-line results. We work with our suppliers to address social responsibility while respecting cultural and legal differences in other economies.

We believe in equitable opportunity for all.


Equal opportunities are key in the execution of O.C. Tanner’s social standards. We are committed to partnering with Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) companies and work to utilise them in all areas of procurement.

Our sense of fairness runs deep.


O.C. Tanner applies fair standards to all manufacturers, vendors, and suppliers. We expect partners of finished goods to maintain fundamental labor and human rights standards. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards modern slavery. As a manufacturer of finished goods, O.C. Tanner operates in compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010, or S.B. 657. It requires our supply chain to refrain from the direct or indirect use of forced labor or any form of human trafficking. By agreeing to a statement in the O.C. Tanner Supplier Set-up Survey, all new suppliers agree to operate in compliance with S.B. 657 and the Modern Slavery Act of 2015.

Third Party Audit Program for China Import Supplier


Our audit program ensures quality. A third-party auditor audits on direct suppliers from China to determine if an O.C. Tanner supplier follows our social and environmental standards and our customs, trade, and import standards. Our suppliers also must comply with standards regarding security around the factory, at shipping docks, and when transporting materials. Audits are announced and scheduled so that we can build trust and long-term relationships with our partners. At its core, our audit program helps ensure that our suppliers are in the business of valuing and appreciating their people.


When a supplier violates O.C. Tanner’s Quality, Environmental, and Social Standards, we will work with factory representatives to resolve the problem. If a supplier fails an audit, a secondary third-party audit will occur within six months of the initial review. Consultation calls and specific requirements from O.C. Tanner management may become a part of the resolution process.


Compliance issues will be resolved on a case-by-case basis as they arise. Improvements made during that period will be documented and retained. If the supplier does not meet the requirements within the allotted period, the relationship with that supplier will be terminated. Suppliers are reviewed annually, and audits are performed by the 2nd quarter of the following year.

We hold a high standard for ourselves—and for every supplier.


O.C. Tanner takes pride in our reputation and doing right by customers and vendors and suppliers. We’re conscious not only of what we buy, but also how those goods are produced. This responsibility is fundamental to our continued success, and we will not do business with any supplier or partner that cannot meet our quality, social, and environmental guidelines:

  • Any violation of a child labor law is not tolerated.
  • Suppliers must abide by minimum wage, time, and overtime laws established in their respective countries. Working conditions and equality standards must meet guidelines set by local government authorities. These standards include discrimination in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination, or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, or age.
  • Companies must not engage in or support the use of corporal punishment, mental/physical coercion, or verbal abuse.
  • O.C. Tanner will not purchase or sell conflict diamonds and carefully monitors all diamond acquisitions. Our diamond suppliers must comply with all international requirements. In addition, they are required to provide written certification and warranties with each shipment that the diamonds they provide to us are “conflict-free.”
  • O.C. Tanner operates in compliance with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that regulates the purchase and use of “conflict minerals.” Dodd-Frank Section 1502 defines “conflict minerals” as cassiterite, columbite-tantalite, gold, and wolframite, their derivatives, and other minerals the U.S. Secretary of State designates in the future. O.C. Tanner only purchases “conflict minerals” from suppliers that have certified that they also operate in compliance with Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. O.C. Tanner keeps certification documents on file from all suppliers that provide O.C. Tanner with “conflict minerals” used in our manufacturing processes.

Environmental stewardship: safeguarding our future


O.C. Tanner built our environmental philosophy on the belief that growth and opportunity cannot happen at the expense of the environment. We’re committed to providing safe, healthy, and beautiful workspaces for employees and visitors. We’re responsible corporate citizens of our community, state, and nation and comply with all environmental laws and regulations.

Walking the walk.


A clean, sustainable environment is just as essential as a vibrant, engaging workplace culture. As advocates and leaders in environmental compliance, we continually look for new ways to improve environmental practices and create sustainable development. We achieve this goal by establishing policies and processes that incorporate responsibility into our economic growth, energy and water consumption, air quality, manufacturing, waste reduction, and grounds beautification.

Setting high expectations.


O.C. Tanner expects the same environmental responsibility from our domestic and foreign suppliers. We believe in purchasing products and resources from organisations with environmentally conscious initiatives in place:

  • Suppliers must have environmentally responsible and sustainable strategies and practices in place.
  • New import suppliers must complete required supplier surveys regarding environmental practices.
  • Key import suppliers are audited regularly by a contracted independent third party to maintain and elevate environmental responsibility.
  • Pollution and disposal of hazardous waste must abide by and fall within government regulations.

Caring for our world: big commitments, smaller carbon footprint.


O.C. Tanner is committed to reducing our environmental impact by reducing our water and power consumption, increasing our waste recycling efforts, and investing in more sustainable packaging. We’ve made huge strides in reducing our impact on the environment through reducing our water and power consumption and making investments in waste recycling and sustainable packaging. The results speak for themselves:

  • 92.5% reduction in toxic trash
  • 5.52 tons less air pollution
  • 89.9% reduced VOC emissions
  • 88% less wastewater down the drain
  • 53% lower kilowatt usage thanks to changing 980 light fixtures to new energy-saving lights
  • 100% elimination of highly hazardous chemicals
  • 11,500,000 sheets of paper saved
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Risk management & data protection: a policy of true diligence


O.C. Tanner built our business on transparency and trust. The personal data of O.C. Tanner clients and their recipients must never be compromised. We use all recipient information exclusively for the delivery of awards and merchandise to the employee recipient.

O.C. Tanner’s data protection & privacy standards.


  • No recipient data retained for marketing purposes.
  • No recipient data retained or sold for third-party marketing purposes.
  • No recipient data collected or retained for “upselling” or upgrading awards or merchandise.

Vendor classification.


O.C. Tanner classifies vendors who receive transactional customer and corporate data for order fulfillment purposes such as printing, shipping, and drop-shipping as Tier III vendors. The Information Security and Compliance team is responsible for vetting all vendors to verify that they provide adequate levels of data protection. This vetting process is done using the SSAE 18/ISAE 3402/ISO/IEC 27001 publication or other applicable industry standards as a framework for auditing information security management systems.

Evaluations & Assessments.


Before onboarding a vendor, the parties responsible for introducing the vendor into our environment are required to have the O.C. Tanner Information Security team assess the risks the vendor may potentially introduce into our business environment. The Information Security team vets all vendors to verify that they provide adequate levels of data protection. This vetting is done using applicable industry standard frameworks for auditing information security management systems. Where practical, the team conducts an onsite review. If an onsite review is not feasible, the review is performed via video conferencing or phone, if needed. Findings from the vetting process are addressed on a case-by-case basis depending on the nature of the risks posed.

Tier III vendors that may receive limited transactional client data from O.C. Tanner are reassessed at least every three years, while Tier I and II infrastructure and technology service providers are reassessed annually. The evaluation determines ongoing compliance and whether the vendors are correctly categorised.

Please note that you will need to reach out to Jason Downs for any subsequent updates to the information security content on our public-facing sites and to Kyle Petersen for any data privacy content.

Tanner Cares


O.C. Tanner has also established a way for us to care for our own people in times of personal crisis. The Tanner Cares fund, established in 2011, offers financial support to O.C. Tanner employees in times of extreme need. For every dollar employees donate to the United Way or Utah Food Banks, O.C. Tanner matches that dollar twice—once to the United Way/Utah Food Banks and once into our own Tanner Cares employee crisis fund. It’s our way of making sure we stand shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart, when it matters most.

Due diligence.


O.C. Tanner utilises a survey to meet the due diligence required to ensure ongoing compliance no less than every three years. If the controls or responses to the questions have not changed, we may accept an attestation from the vendor certifying their compliance with these controls along with updated and required supporting documentation.

Charitable giving: The measure of our success.


Our founder measured the company’s success by asking his accountant, “What’s our give-ability this month?” His intention echoes in our hearts and halls today. It’s why we donate our time to organisations in need, make an effort to improve our communities, and give 10% of company profits to philanthropic causes.

O.C. Tanner’s charitable strategy is to support the environment, arts, education, children, and organisations meaningful to our employees—all things that are important to the organisation and what we stand for.

True to our purpose. To our people. To our planet.


Our people are our heart and soul—and our values prove it. We are united toward the same goals and committed to helping each other thrive—on good days and bad days. We know that our business succeeds when our employees succeed.

We extend this sense of caring to our vendors and suppliers, and when we do, we create a shared sense of responsibility. We treat everyone fairly and operate with honesty and integrity in all our dealings—from our largest customers to our smallest suppliers.

When we come together with our valued partners and suppliers, we can build something beautiful: more ethical workplaces, more fair labor standards, and a better world.

Please reach out to your O.C. Tanner representative or contact with questions.

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