Engaging Stakeholders Working together for greater change
Advancing progress on issues such as water access and climate change, women’s empowerment and inclusive economies and safe and fair working conditions demands collaboration and jointly developed solutions. These issues are systemic, complex and intertwined and cannot be solved by any one actor alone.
Engaging stakeholders and establishing partnerships is a critical part of our sustainability strategy.
Engaging stakeholders and establishing partnerships is a critical part of our sustainability strategy. We work with diverse groups of experts and organizations to foster clearer understanding of complex issues, as well as local conditions in the countries where we do business. As conditions and challenges evolve in our industry, these dialogues give us insights to improve our programs and refine our strategies. The dialogues also reveal unexplored issues and encourage us to expand our ambitions.
We have many key stakeholders: the people who make our clothes, our customers, suppliers and factories, employees, unions, governments, multilateral institutions, NGOs, industry associations, investors, communities and others. We also belong to a number of organizations that enable us to more effectively collaborate with and learn from stakeholders. Multi-stakeholder initiatives bring together organizations and people from different sectors that play a key role in finding new approaches and creating collective action. To see a list of organizations and initiatives that we belong to or partner with, click here.
To create the change we’re after, we can’t do this work alone. We partner with organizations large and small to make this work happen. The United Nations is one of them. For years, we’ve supported the UN Global Compact and its guiding principles.
Our latest collaborations take an innovative approach to our industry's challenges. In 2016, we formed the five-year Women + Water Global Development Alliance with the United States Agency for International Development. Through this alliance, we will expand our P.A.C.E. programs to advance the health and well-being of women, families and communities touched by the apparel industry—with an emphasis on access to sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services, as well as the effective management of water resources. Alliance partners will apply a systemic, gender-sensitive and flexible approach to maximize progress on our shared goals.
We are also collaborating on solutions that matter most to workers and our suppliers' facilities . For example, with the ILO's Better Work program, we have developed Gap Inc.’s Workplace Cooperation Program, which gives workers and management the skills they need to resolve workplace issues, engage in respectful collaboration and drive continuous improvement in the workplace. Through other partnerships, we developed our Workforce Engagement Program to measure and improve the degree to which garment workers feel valued and engaged at work.
Looking forward, we will continue to engage our stakeholders and partners in taking a proactive, systemic approach that addresses root causes and accounts for more of the people and organizations who may be affected by an issue.