Ensuring responsible supply chain management is a top priority for Bulleh Shah Packaging, Stora Enso’s joint venture company in Pakistan. This is due to the prevalence of human rights violations including child labour in the agricultural sector and the recycled fibre collection in urban areas of the country.
Bulleh Shah Packaging in brief:
A joint venture between Stora Enso (35% shareholding) and Packages Limited, formed in 2013
Pakistan’s largest fibre-based packaging producer and the country’s only liquid packaging board producer
Offices and production facilities in Lahore, Karachi, and Kasur in Punjab Province.
Stora Enso’s operates in Pakistan through Bulleh Shah Packaging, a joint venture with the Pakistani company Packages Limited. Ensuring a responsible supply chain management in the sourcing of domestic fibre and agricultural residuals is a top priority for us, since human rights violations including child labour are prevalent in the agricultural sector in Pakistan, and also exists in the recycled fibre collection in urban areas.
Bulleh Shah sources raw materials, such as fibre, chemicals, fillers and agricultural residuals, mostly from Pakistani markets. The domestic fibre used for packaging production consists of recycled paper and board, and wheat straw.
The recycled paper and board is largely sourced from post-consumer sources, i.e. vendors who procure it from suppliers who in turn typically source it from shops and households. Wheat straw is a residual of wheat farming sourced from vendors, who collect it from farms. In addition to being used as fibre in the production process, wheat straw will also be utilised as fuel for energy generation in the mill’s biomass boiler alongside corn stalks, rice straw and cotton stalks.
Human rights and responsible sourcing
The root causes of problems in Pakistan with child labour and other human rights violations include widespread poverty and a lack of education and awareness. Bulleh Shah Packaging does not accept child labour in its own or suppliers’ operations. We have processes in place to identify and eliminate child labour in the supplier’s operations, including auditing direct and second-tier sub-suppliers of agricultural residuals.
Bulleh Shah Packaging initiates auditing work with direct suppliers by raising awareness and providing training. These sessions involve discussions about child labour, forced labour, occupational health and safety, and working conditions. Once a supplier fully understands Bulleh Shah Packaging's sustainability requirements they are asked to show their commitment by signing the company's supplier sustainability requirements.
Addressing child labor through a long-term plan
In 2014 Stora Enso announced the termination of all supplier relationships in Bulleh Shah Packaging’s used cartonboard (UCB) supply chain after children were discovered to work for sub-suppliers in the collection of UCB. Stora Enso is continuing to support 640 children through a long-term plan providing them education and developing the skills of parents and young workers. By the end of the second quarter of 2015, of the initially identified 640 child workers, 580 children were attending schools that were established with financial support from Stora Enso. In this initiative Stora Enso works together with the Pakistani non-governmental organisation Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi.
Human rights assessments and international cooperation
As part of Stora Enso’s human rights assessments scheme, a separate assessment was carried out at Bulleh Shah in 2014 to examine our ongoing efforts to support and respect the rights of children. The assessment was supported by an independent human rights consultant, and conducted in line with a template created by Stora Enso and the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
The assessment recommended future actions related to the provision of human rights awareness training for employees, the training of security service providers, further improvements in occupational health and safety and working conditions among the contracted workforce, as well as the strengthening of the company’s grievance mechanism.
In April 2015, Stora Enso and the International Labour Organization (ILO) signed a unique partnership
to promote decent work and combat child labour. The agreement consists of a global and local component; the local component will focus on Stora Enso’s operations in Pakistan. It aims to clarify Stora Enso’s and Bulleh Shah Packaging’s roles and responsibilities in the local value chain; provide training for the organisation on human and labour rights; organise pilot interventions in local communities with input from civil society; and provide a medium-term technical support programme.