Partners. “Working together responsibly”
Focus areas of the sustainability management at HUGO BOSS are social compliance and environmental protection. Therefore, compliance with human rights and environmental standards is of central importance to the Group.
HUGO BOSS commits itself and its suppliers 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 HUGO BOSS social standards are a fixed component of contracts with suppliers. Before the Company enters into a business relationship with a new supplier, they are always assessed with regard to compliance with social standards. This is done either in the form of an audit or a self-assessment. The social standards regulate the following aspects: compliance with local laws, 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 responsible care for the environment. Should there be gaps in local legislation where, for example, working hours or wages are not defined, the HUGO BOSS’ social standards become the minimum standard.
In order to ensure that good and safe working and social conditions are implemented as effectively as possible and to address the request for more transparency to an even greater extent, the Group started a partnership with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) in fiscal year 2014. By cooperating with other companies and NGOs in the context of the multi-stakeholder initiative, it is possible to learn from best practices and collaborate towards improving working conditions. Furthermore, the Fair Labor Association has initiated projects for more widespread fair compensation, which HUGO BOSS supports and is a contributor.
To be able to address the topic of appropriate compensation even more fully, the Group is in direct dialogue with the International Labour Organization (ILO).
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 Group’s internal auditors and by external, experienced service partners. They ensure compliance with HUGO BOSS social standards and serve to assist the efforts of HUGO BOSS’ suppliers to make improvements in the area of social compliance management. The audit findings are included in a bi-annual supplier evaluation. Should any infringements of the HUGO BOSS’ social standards or legal requirements be identified, a binding package of measures is agreed upon with the supplier and a re-audit scheduled. In exceptional cases, such as repeated warnings and should there be no indication of improvements being initiated, or serious breaches of HUGO BOSS’ social standards, HUGO BOSS reserves the right to terminate the business relationship. In principle, however, the Company places an emphasis on mutually defined and continuous improvement measures, in order to enable long-term partnerships.
Moreover HUGO BOSS’ social standards oblige all suppliers to comply with local and national environmental legislation, as well as to promote environmental stewardship at their sites, in order to continuously reduce environmental impact. In 2014, the environmental module of the GSCP (Global Social Compliance Programme), an open standard based on best practices, was piloted successfully worldwide at selected suppliers. In 2015, the module will be used as an additional measure to reduce the environmental impact along the supply chain. Moreover, HUGO BOSS supports partners wherever possible, in order to ensure an ongoing knowledge transfer.