Engaging Stakeholders Working together for greater change
We know that we can’t tackle many of the challenges we face on our own, and engaging stakeholders is a critical component of our social and environmental strategy throughout the world. We work with highly diverse people and organizations to foster a clearer understanding of complex issues, as well as local conditions in the countries where we do business and our products are made. The insights we gain through this ongoing dialogue not only help us improve our programs, but enable us to continually refine our strategy as conditions and challenges evolve in our industry.
We are developing a more proactive, systemic approach that addresses root causes and better accounts for all who may be affected by an issue.
Some of our key stakeholders include: the people who make our clothes, customers, suppliers and factories, employees, unions, governments, multilateral institutions, non-governmental organizations, 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 that bring together organizations and people from different sectors 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.
We develop issue maps and models to identify and prioritize the issues that matter most to stakeholders and our business. These tools take into account such factors as the level of public awareness about an issue, expert opinion and consensus, the magnitude and timing of impact, expectations for our business and our ability to influence issues.
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.
We are evolving our strategy for engaging stakeholders to take a more proactive, systemic approach that addresses root causes and better accounts for all of the people and organizations that may be affected by an issue. We are working to balance our efforts to respond to specific issues with our overall goal to help build a more sustainable garment industry.
A key aspect of our stakeholder strategy includes cultivating medium- and long-term thinking in our business and integrating sustainability more deeply into our business strategy. We are also creating solutions that matter most to workers and contribute most directly to improving their lives. Examples include our partnership in Better Work’s Workplace Cooperation Program and support for the Project on Sustainable Labor Practices in Global Supply Chains, as described in the section on New Collaborations.