WhiteBox Grievance and Complaints Mechanism
for Stakeholders

WhiteBox Grievance Portal

WhiteBox Grievance Portal Empowers You to Speak Up Against Human Rights Risks & Violations in European Supply Chains

Reporting for Human Rights & Sustainability in Supply Chains

Anyone who is negatively affected by business operations in any country can report complaints about the company who is affecting them and also seek help from NGOs that support Human Rights and Sustainability. This report is then carried along the supply chain to business customers within the European Union who are obligated by law to take action to remediate or prevent violations and risks.

About WhiteBox

Our platform, WhiteBox, provides a secure and if desired anonymous reporting portal for supply chain stakeholders and whistleblowers to report sustainability violations, human rights abuses, and other unethical business practices in European supply chains. We understand that reporting incidents of misconduct can be challenging, and that's why WhiteBox is designed to be user-friendly and accessible. By using WhiteBox, you can report incidents of misconduct anonymously and safely without fear of retaliation.

What is WhiteBox?

The universal portal to report and notify relevant parties of human rights and sustainability violations or risks in supply chains. Watch our video for more information.
The universal portal to report and notify relevant parties of human rights and sustainability violations or risks in supply chains. Watch our video for more information.
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Examples of Violations & Risks

Human Rights

Learn how to identify human rights risks & violations

Guide

How your reports on WhiteBox transform into positive action

Reporting human rights and sustainability issues is not just about raising a concern; it's about being a catalyst for change. Every report you make through WhiteBox contributes to creating a safer, more ethical, and more sustainable world. Your voice matters, and here's how you can use it effectively with WhiteBox.

Step 1

Report Submission
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Stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, and affected individuals, can submit reports via the WhiteBox platform. Reports can be filed anonymously to protect the identity of the reporter. The platform supports multiple languages, making it accessible globally. Furthermore, it is accessible to illiterate stakeholders too.

Step 2

Report Receival
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Upon submission, the report is forwarded to the right organisations in the value-chain by the platform, and the reporter receives a confirmation once the report is received by administrators of the organisation closest to the issue.

Step 3

Investigation & Assessment
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The report is assessed and the issue is investigated by trained administrators or appointed consultants. This involves verifying the provided information provided, communicating with the reporter, and collecting complementing information to assist further steps.

Step 4

Forwarding to Relevant Parties
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Reports are then forwarded to the appropriate departments and management which have to decide for appropriate actions.

Step 5

Action Formulation
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In collaboration with the affected parties and stakeholders, a remedial or preventive action plan is formulated. This step involves setting clear objectives, responsibilities, and timelines for addressing the reported issue.

Step 6

Implementation of Actions
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The responsible company as well as customers implement the chosen actions. This may include corrective measures to rectify the issue, preventive measures to avoid future occurrences, or both.

Step 7

Monitoring and Evaluation
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The effectiveness of the implemented actions is continuously monitored. WhiteBox provides tools for tracking the progress of actions, collecting feedback from stakeholders, and evaluating the overall impact.

Step 8

Feedback and Continuous Improvement
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Stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback on the actions taken. This feedback is crucial for assessing the effectiveness of the measures and identifying areas for improvement in the company’s risk management and due diligence processes.

Step 9

Closure & Positive Impact
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Once the issue is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved, the report is officially closed. The reporter is notified of the closure, and the report is archived for future reference and compliance purposes. Thanks to your report, improvements have been made in your workplace or surroundings. WhiteBox has helped facilitate these changes.

Why report?

Under the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG) and the upcoming EU Corporate Supply Chain Due Diligence Directive, your reports play an important role in making supply-chains accountable.

Remedial

Businesses must address any already occurred violations by taking corrective actions if there are grievance (complaint) reports or signs of potential or actual breaches of responsibilities.

Preventive

Companies must prevent found risks and are expected to put in place preventive measures to avoid similar future violations or reduce the risk of such issues recurring.

Audit

Complaint procedures not only allow companies to rectify problems but also provide them with valuable feedback on how effective their risk management and due diligence efforts are. This feedback is crucial for improving and developing their risk management and due diligence strategies.

Personal Impact

Direct Improvements in Working Conditions and Environmental Practices
Reports filed through WhiteBox can lead to tangible improvements in working conditions and environmental practices. When stakeholders report issues such as unsafe working conditions or environmental pollution, companies are prompted to investigate and take corrective actions. This can result in safer workplaces, fair wages, and better environmental stewardship, directly benefiting those affected by unethical practices​​​​.
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Community Impact

Building a Transparent and Ethical Business Environment
The collective use of the grievance mechanism by stakeholders helps build a more transparent and ethical business environment. By consistently reporting violations, stakeholders ensure that unethical practices are brought to light and addressed. This not only holds companies accountable but also encourages them to adopt more sustainable and ethical practices across their supply chains. Over time, this contributes to a culture of accountability and integrity in global business operations
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Examples of Violations & Risks

Environment

Learn how to identify Environmental risks & violations

Guide

Why Whitebox?

WhiteBox empowers stakeholders to reach business customers of companies that negatively impact them with grievance (complaint) reports, so that the business customers can take action to remediate and prevent further impact. You can use WhiteBox to report a company even if they are not active on WhiteBox. We will investigate their business customers in Europe and forward your report on to relevant companies, who are then obligated to respond and take action.

Multi-Language

WhiteBox is available in numerous languages and reports can be filed in any language, making it accessible to supply chain stakeholders from all over the world.

Stay Anonymous

Your do not have to enter any identifying information if you do not want to while creating a report (not even an e-mail). You can still log in to your account and manage your reports.

Receive Updates on Procedure

Easily track the status of and get informed about all your reports from one dashboard.

Action Formulation & Effectiveness Evaluation

Participate in the formulation of a preventative or remedial action and the consequent evaluation of effectiveness of this action.

Barrier free

Filing a report on the platform is free and always will be. WhiteBox's user-friendly interface, accessibility features such as audio enabled forms, and support, ensure that supply chain stakeholders can report incidents of misconduct hassle free.

Secure

Highly secure technological infrastructure, laws in Germany (and soon across the European Union), as well as contracts between companies ensure that stakeholders are protected from reprisal and that all officers handling reports on the platform are trained and sworn to confidentiality

    Get Started
    How to

    File a Report

    Welcome to WhiteBox's Grievance Reporting Mechanism. Our platform is designed to ensure that you can report any issues related to human rights or sustainability violations in the supply chain of European companies easily, anonymously, and securely. To start the reporting process, you need to access our secure reporting portal.

    Here’s how you can use our platform to file a report:

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    Step 1

    Access the Reporting Portal

    As a first step, you can select the language in which you will fill out the form. It’s important to note that while text input is available in many languages, audio input support is limited to specific languages. This step ensures that you can comfortably proceed with the reporting process in your preferred language. Please select your language and click "Next" to proceed.
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    Step 2

    Choose the Type of Form

    Next, you will choose the type of form you prefer to work with. WhiteBox offers two options: a standard text-only form and an audio-enabled form. The audio-enabled form is designed to accommodate users who may have difficulty with text inputs or prefer to provide information verbally. Select the option that best suits your needs and click "Next" to continue.
    STEP 3

    Choose the Type of Procedure

    In this step, you will select the type of procedure you wish to follow. You can choose between filing a grievance report or a whistleblowing report. A grievance report is a complaint about potential human rights or environmental risks associated with a company's supply chain. A whistleblowing report involves disclosing information about unethical or illegal activities. Understanding the difference helps ensure that your report is categorized correctly and handled appropriately. Please read the descriptions carefully before making your selection and click "Next" to proceed.
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    STEP 4

    Review and Agree to Policies

    Before proceeding, it's important to review and agree to the procedural rules and privacy policies of WhiteBox. This step ensures that you are aware of and consent to how your information will be used and shared. Confirm that you have read and agree to the procedural rules, consent to data sharing with relevant parties, and understand the privacy policy. Your consent is crucial for us to process and address your report effectively. Once you have marked the necessary checkboxes, click "Next" to proceed.
    STEP 5

    Provide User Details

    In this step, you can provide your personal details if you choose to do so. This information can help us address your report more effectively. You are not required to provide personal information, but doing so might facilitate a quicker resolution. If you choose to provide details, please fill out the form with your email, password, full name, phone number, and country of residence. Once completed, click "Next" to proceed.
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    STEP 6

    Enter Reported Company & Worksite Details

    Stakeholders must fill in details about the company and worksite related to the report. This includes the company name, location, and relevant contact information. Accurate details are essential for WhiteBox to forward the report to the correct entities and ensure effective resolution .

    STEP 7

    Specify NGO Representation

    If the stakeholder wishes for their grievance to be represented by an NGO, they can select an appropriate organization at this stage. This option provides additional support and advocacy for the reporting individual, ensuring their concerns are adequately addressed by knowledgeable entities .

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    STEP 8

    Identify Direct & Indirect Customers

    Stakeholders can choose to include direct and indirect customers of the reported company in the report. This ensures that all relevant parties in the supply chain are informed and can take necessary actions. This step highlights the interconnected nature of supply chains and the collective responsibility for addressing grievances .

    STEP 9

    Provide Incident Details

    Detailed information about the incident is provided in this step, including the type of violation, a description, and any supporting documentation. Accurate and comprehensive details help in the proper investigation and resolution of the reported issue .

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    STEP 10

    Review Report

    Before submission, stakeholders have the opportunity to review all entered information to ensure accuracy. This step is crucial for confirming that all details are correct and that the report comprehensively covers the incident. Reviewing prevents errors and omissions that could delay the resolution process .

    STEP 11

    Specify NGO Representation

    Finally, the report is submitted through the WhiteBox platform. Upon submission, stakeholders receive a confirmation and can track the status of their report. This step completes the reporting process, transitioning the report into the resolution phase where appropriate actions will be taken by the relevant entities .

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    Example Cases
    These examples demonstrate the power that effective grievance mechanisms give to supply chain stakeholders in holding businesses accountable for their actions and create a safer, more sustainable business environment.

    Protecting workers' rights in the garment industry: A group of workers in a garment factory in Eastern Europe want to report unsafe working conditions, unpaid wages, and physical abuse from their supervisors. By using WhiteBox, an investigation can be launched, and the factory can be forced to improve its working conditions and compensate the workers.

    Eastern Europe

    Textiles

    Preventing deforestation in the palm oil industry: A group of environmental activists want to report a European company's involvement in deforestation in Southeast Asia. Their report on WhiteBox can prompt the company to take action to prevent further deforestation and improve their sustainability practices out of fear of loss of reputation.

    Southeast Asia

    Food products

    Holding mining companies accountable for their actions: A community in South America want to report a mining company's environmental destruction, forced displacement, and human rights abuses. Their report on WhiteBox will lead to an investigation, and the company can be forced to compensate the affected community and improve their environmental and social practices.

    South America

    Mining

    Improving worker safety in the construction industry: A group of workers in a construction site in Western Europe use WhiteBox to report unsafe working conditions and lack of safety equipment. Their report prompted the construction company to improve its safety practices and provide its workers with the necessary equipment.

    Western Europe

    Construction

    Promoting transparency and accountability in the mining industry in Africa: A group of civil society organizations use WhiteBox to report a mining company's opaque and exploitative business practices in a rural region of Africa. Their report prompted an investigation, and the company was forced to disclose its financial flows and improve its community engagement practices.

    South Africa

    Mining

    Protecting workers' rights in the construction industry in the Middle East: A group of migrant workers in a construction site in the Middle East use WhiteBox to report abusive working conditions, including long working hours, low wages, and physical abuse from their supervisors. Their report will lead to an investigation, and the construction company can be forced to improve its labor practices and compensate the affected workers.

    Middle East

    Construction

    Who administrates reports on WhiteBox?

    Reports are administrated by designated staff of individual companies or by external consultants hired by these companies. In either case companies guarantee WhiteBox that the administrators utilising the platform have undergone an appropriate training and are put under obligations such as impartiality and confidentiality. Consulting firms that want to offer their services through WhiteBox have to become a certified partner.

    Grievances

    According to the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, Handlers of Grievance-Reports must be available in time, provide a guarantee of impartial action, be independent and not bound by instructions (no conflicts of interest), be obliged to maintain confidentiality, and be appropriately trained.

    Supply Chain Due Diligence Laws

    Whistleblowing

    According to the EU Whistleblowing Directive, Handlers of Whistleblower-Reports must be independent. Furthermore, companies must ensure that other (operational) tasks and duties do not lead to conflicts of interest and that they have the necessary expertise.

    Whistleblower Protection Laws

    resources for value-chain stakeholders

    Information for all that want to file a report

    We've compiled a range of resources to support our stakeholders in reporting incidents of misconduct through our platform, WhiteBox. Our resources include comprehensive platform policies, step-by-step guides on how to file a report on our platform, and up-to-date information on relevant laws and regulations related to grievances and whistleblowing. With these resources, we hope to make it easier for our stakeholders to take action to promote transparency and accountability in the supply chain.
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    Frequently Asked Questions
    Answers to Your Most Common Questions: Frequently Asked Questions About the WhiteBox Platform
    a secure portal for affected people globally to report human rights or sustainability violations and risks in the supply chains of European companies