Managing Risks

Managing Risks Protecting people and our business

Gap Inc. has developed systems and procedures focused on identifying and managing risks—including those related to sustainability. 

At the enterprise level, our Internal Audit team conducts annual risk-assessment interviews with more than 60 of the company’s top executives and Board members. The team interviews a subset of these executives every quarter to track changes in the company’s risk profile. Our Internal Audit team uses these risk-assessment interviews, as well as a consideration of external factors affecting our company and industry, to develop heat maps that identify the most significant risks to the company. The team prioritizes risks based on the likelihood and severity of their potential impact on meeting the company’s strategic initiatives and maintaining business operations. We then monitor these areas for trends. Our executive leadership team and the Board review and sign off on enterprise risk assessments.

Managing risk

We use tools to help prioritize risks and opportunities, including a sustainability materiality assessment, assessment of representative products and a stakeholder engagement process.

In addition, our Global Sustainability team works with business partners and experts to assess the importance of potential social and environmental risks and opportunities to our business and external stakeholders, including suppliers and the people who make our products. These include the risks that climate and environmental impacts could pose to our business. The team uses tools to help prioritize risks and opportunities, including a sustainability materiality assessment, assessment of representative products and a stakeholder engagement process. For these materiality and other risk assessments, we consider such factors as the magnitude, likelihood and time horizon of potential impacts on our business and stakeholders. 

In 2016, our Internal Audit team conducted comprehensive risk assessments of the management of social and environmental issues at both tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers. Their goal was to identify risks impacting our business and evaluate the response in place to mitigate those risks. These results have been integrated into our programs and are detailed throughout this report. 

At the physical asset level, our Business Continuity Planning (BCP) team analyzes, prioritizes and helps mitigate risks to our owned and operated facilities and stores resulting from extreme weather, natural hazards and other external events. The BCP team uses predictive and actual models from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other national and international agencies, which are overlaid against all of Gap Inc.’s facilities for tracking potential and actual impacts. The team uses a risk-assessment tool to determine the event and company risk and the residual risk remaining after preparedness plans are developed.