Sonoco Products Company - Supplier Standards

Since the conduct of our suppliers can be a direct reflection on Sonoco and our reputation, we require that our suppliers, and any of their contractors, meet the standards as detailed below. Sonoco shall work with suppliers to implement and at our discretion monitor these standards through on site audits.

You can find our supplier standards on this page, or download them here.


Sonoco’s strategic mission statement is to be the low-cost global leader in providing customer- preferred packaging solutions to selected value-added segments, where we expect to be either number one or two in market share. Shareholder return, customer and employee satisfaction, commitment to excellence, integrity, environmental stewardship and a safe workplace will be the hallmarks of our culture.

Sonoco’s focus on sustainability is directly linked to and in support of its mission statement. We believe that initiatives around enhancing our reputation, being a strong corporate citizen, providing a good place to work and being a good steward of our environmental resources will make us a stronger, more competitive company, better able to support and satisfy our broad customer base and provide shareholders with average annual double-digit total returns.

In today’s competitive global marketplace, the issues relevant to supporting sustainability are directly linked to Sonoco’s long-term profitability and viability. We believe that sustainability and business success are not only compatible but are inextricably linked and that by embracing both, we will benefit our shareholders for the long term.

Sonoco’s commitment to the sustainability statement outlined above is an integral part of our identity and how we operate. As such, we expect all our suppliers to support these same principles. Specifically, Sonoco expects its suppliers to develop sourcing methods, goals and reporting for, and to make efforts to control and reduce, key sustainability metrics including greenhouse gases (GHGs), water and energy consumption, solid waste, volatile organic compound (VOC) and hazardous air pollutant (HAP) production. All suppliers shall make commercially reasonable efforts to pursue these objectives and cooperate reasonably with Sonoco’s efforts in this respect.

Compliance with Applicable Laws

Suppliers shall comply with all local and national laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which the suppliers are doing business.


Employees shall be fairly compensated through wages and benefits which meet or exceed any prevailing local standards and are in compliance with local and national laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which the suppliers are doing business.

Hours of Labor

Suppliers shall operate such that employee working hours are in compliance with local standards and applicable laws of the jurisdictions in which the suppliers are doing business. Sonoco will not work with any suppliers who require employees to work in excess of the statutory limitations without proper compensation as required by applicable law. Employees should be permitted reasonable days off and leave privileges.

Child Labor and Forced Labor

Sonoco complies with the “California Transparency in the Supply Chain Act” and expects all suppliers to take a proactive role to ensure they also comply. Under no circumstances will suppliers utilize or benefit from child labor, prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor, or use corporal punishment or other forms of mental and physical coercion as a form of discipline. In the absence of any national or local law, the definition of a ‘child’ is 15 years of age. If local law sets the minimum age below 15, but is in accordance with the International Labor Organization Convention 138, the lower age will apply.


Suppliers shall employ based on an individual’s ability to do the job and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity or expression, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any legally protected characteristic.

Immigration Law and Compliance

Suppliers will only utilize or benefit from workers with a legal right to work in the jurisdictions in which they are doing business.

Safety and Work Environment

Suppliers shall provide a safe and healthful work environment for the protection of its employees which meets and exceeds all local or national health and safety laws and regulations. At any time that a supplier’s employees or agents are in a Sonoco facility or in proximity to Sonoco’s employees, the supplier shall require its employees or agents to comply with Sonoco’s policies and requirements regarding the presence of supplier employees or agents on Sonoco’s premises, including passing applicable background checks. Suppliers shall follow, and cause their employees and other agents to follow, Sonoco’s policy that being under the influence of, bringing in, possessing, providing, manufacturing or other production of, buying, selling or using alcoholic beverages, unauthorized drugs or controlled substances, or possessing weapons, on Sonoco’s property or in Sonoco’s vehicles, is strictly prohibited.


Suppliers accept that they have an ethical responsibility to protect the environment in which they operate and will conduct all business in accordance with all local and national laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which they operate.


Suppliers are expected to develop sourcing methods, goals, reporting and efforts to encourage their use of minority, LGBT, Veteran, Disabled and women-owned suppliers. Each supplier shall use commercially reasonable efforts for the use of such sub-suppliers to reach or exceed 5% of Sonoco’s annual spend with such supplier. Suppliers shall report to Sonoco the amount of such sub-supplier spending quarterly.

Grievance Process

Suppliers shall provide a grievance process for employees to identify workplace concerns to management.

Code of Conduct

Suppliers shall be aware of, and abide by, the Sonoco Standard Policies on Business Conduct as noted on, with special attention towards the sections on anti-trust, illegal payments and retaliation. If you need a copy of this code of conduct, please see your supply management representative.