We recognize our responsibility, as one of the world’s largest apparel companies, to address the social and environmental impacts of our industry and contribute toward a fair, healthy future for all. We believe that CR helps strengthen our organization by managing risk, maximizing efficiencies and driving value in a rapidly changing world.
We have continuously evolved our CR program, even as we have grown our company significantly and faced major macro-economic challenges around the world. In 2016, we celebrated 25 years of A Shared Commitment, our code of conduct for suppliers and business partners. We have continued our leadership on human rights and expanded our philanthropic efforts, which are focused on supporting women and children and building upon our longstanding partnership with Save the Children.
In 2013, we embraced a more holistic approach to CR by developing our Source to Store vision to create positive impacts across our value chain, with a focus on empowering people, preserving the environment and supporting communities. In 2014, we laid the foundation to put this approach into action, and, in 2015, we began to optimize our CR program. In 2016, we enhanced our CR strategy, defining ten commitments to address the social and environmental issues that matter most to our business and our stakeholders.
We have been collaborating with teams across the company and partnering with our suppliers, to put our ten commitments into practice – from design and materials sourcing to manufacturing, distribution and retail. We are proud of how our CR efforts evolved in 2016.
Strong leadership on CR, and senior sponsorship of our CR efforts, is central to our ability to create positive change. At PVH, oversight of our CR program begins at the highest level – with the PVH Board of Directors and the PVH leadership team. Our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Emanuel Chirico, demonstrates his support by placing CR at the heart of everything we do. In 2016, CR Magazine recognized his commitment by awarding him its “Responsible CEO of the Year – Lifetime Achievement" Award.
In an interview with CR Magazine, Mr. Chirico, who has been with PVH for over 20 years and has served as our CEO since 2006, describes his “light bulb moment,” when he realized that building CR into our sourcing strategy and business processes – and holding ourselves accountable – would be vital to remaining commercially successful. The business case for CR is clear, he believes. “Our brands are our most important assets,” he said, adding that doing business in the right way creates a “virtuous circle,” whereby our ongoing financial success is strengthened by a CR strategy that makes commercial sense.
Mr. Chirico highlights the importance of “walking the talk” and has further embedded CR together with the Company’s core values and our corporate culture. This began with the founders, the Phillips family, who set a powerful precedent for our focus on human rights and supporting communities.
PVH’s CR factory assessment program has been the cornerstone of our CR work for over 25 years. To continue to drive positive, enduring change within our supply chain, we are making two important enhancements to our assessment program:
Expanding our participation in collective action is a meaningful way for business to further influence positive change amid global political shifts. It is also the next natural step in the evolution of our CR efforts. Acting together should accelerate progress toward our goals and amplify our own positive impacts from Source to Store. In 2016, PVH committed to support three major UN-led initiatives that seek to harness the power of business as a force for positive change:
Importantly, we believe that creating a sustainable business can only be achieved through a holistic, interconnected approach. By joining the global movement of companies, governments, NGOs and citizens supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”), we can better effect change. Our CR strategy supports 14 of the UN’s 17 SDGs, from responsible water use to building safety, greenhouse gases, improved labor conditions, supporting women and providing education to all children. Addressing social, environmental and economic issues together will deliver better, more long-lasting solutions for the communities we touch.
This concept of interconnection is central to our Source to Store vision. For example, by improving chemical management in factories, our suppliers’ waste water does not pollute local ecosystems, and workers are less likely to be exposed to hazardous chemicals. We look to further draw these connections across our commitments.
As we evolve our CR program, we will continuously strive for greater transparency within our supply chain, promote strong leadership and empower our teams, suppliers and partners to promote and drive positive change. In particular, we will build upon our historical commitment to human rights, strengthen our environmental commitments and continue to give back to the communities where we work and live. Increasingly, we will seek opportunities to lead collective efforts on the social and environmental issues where we stand to make the greatest positive impact.