Partners. “Working together responsibly”
Social compliance and environmental protection are the focal points of commitment to sustainability in the global supply chain of HUGO BOSS. Ensuring compliance with human rights and environmental standards especially in emerging markets is of central importance to the Company.
Accordingly, HUGO BOSS subjects itself and its suppliers to the obligation to comply with internationally recognized labor and social standards following the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations. The resulting social standards are a fixed component of contracts with suppliers. Before the Company enters into ongoing business relationships with new suppliers, they are always audited with regard to compliance with social standards. The social standards govern the following points: compliance with local law, prohibition of child labor, prohibition of forced labor, maximum working hours, humane working conditions, prohibition of discrimination, payment of fair wages, healthy and safe working conditions, freedom of association and collective wage bargaining and conscientious use of the environment. If there are deficiencies in local legislation where, for example, working hours and reasonable wages are not specified, HUGO BOSS’ social standards become the minimum standard.
Contract manufacturers and suppliers of merchandise that generate a relevant level of sales with HUGO BOSS are reviewed worldwide in regular audits. These audits are performed both by the Company’s own auditors and by external, experienced service partners. These audits ensure compliance with social standards and serve to assist the efforts of HUGO BOSS’ suppliers to make improvements in the field of social management.
The audit findings are included in a bi-annual supplier evaluation. If infringements of the social standards or legal regulations are identified, a binding package of measures is agreed with the supplier and a repeat check of implementation scheduled. In exceptional cases, such as repeated warnings without improvements being initiated or serious breaches of the social standards, HUGO BOSS retains the right to terminate cooperation. In principle, however, the Company places an emphasis on mutually defined, ongoing improvement measures as part of supplier development within the scope of long-term partnerships.
HUGO BOSS’ social standards oblige suppliers to comply with local and national environmental legislation and to establish a conscientious mindset at their sites that seeks to continually improve the environmental footprint. In doing so, HUGO BOSS provides advice to its partners wherever possible in order to ensure an ongoing knowledge transfer.
In order to have even more influence on compliance with good working and social conditions, the Group is striving towards having HUGO BOSS’ social standards introduced into the transparent and universally binding standard of a social compliance initiative and jointly working towards compliance with it in HUGO BOSS’ global supply chain. For this reason, HUGO BOSS is planning to sign up to such an initiative in the course of 2014.