With 176 years of history, our values are an important foundation for how how we do business everyday with our colleagues, customers, and suppliers.
Our values are embodied in the following 5 principles:
Sustainability is something we do together, every day. It’s important that our employees, partners, and suppliers share our values. In 2015, we updated our global supplier Code of Conduct and have implemented it throughout our supply chain.
The code provides a uniform set of expectations for suppliers on legal compliance, labour practices and environmental performance, supported by a comprehensive set of guidelines. The code itself focuses on compliance, but our approach goes further: building capacity amongst our key suppliers so they can proactively take ownership of key issues. Our Supplier Ownership Programme includes a strong focus on capacity building and management systems to drive our approach beyond auditing. This is supported by capacity building programmes amongst employees: giving them the support they need to report and act on key issues that affect them.
We have also revised our audit programme. With more than 90 members, our compliance team is able to audit 100% of our suppliers’ production units – conducting approximately 3,500 audits each year. They also work closely with suppliers to improve their performance and leadership over time.
Holding ourselves to high standards
Our Employee Code of Ethics creates a single set of requirements for how employees should behave. Our leaders are responsible for creating a working environment that encourages appropriate conduct and must lead by example in ethical behaviour.
We want to create products everyone can enjoy, regardless of age or size, and recognise the need to reflect this in our advertising campaigns. When we develop new advertising campaigns, we will continue to avoid content that could be seen as discriminatory, defamatory, or hurtful.
Respecting human rights
C&A respects the human rights of everyone who contributes to our business. In partnership with C&A Foundation, we’re working hard to drive better practice across the entire industry. Our Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics are guided by best practice on human rights, including the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation. For instance, our approach to underage workers sets a standard that is higher than national legislation and many leading brands.
We have conducted a human rights gap assessment and are determining how our sourcing practices could affect those in our supply chain. This due diligence currently includes our sourcing and buying practices and will be expanded to encompass our products, employees, and the communities we serve.
Promoting fairness and transparency
We work in a fair and transparent manner, and expect the same of our suppliers. For 10 years, our compliance hotline, which we call the Fairness Channel, has enabled us to deal with any issues that arise about situations in our offices, stores, or supply chain. In 2015, we developed a plan to update the Fairness Channel to accommodate our more rigorous supplier Code of Conduct and employee Code of Ethics.
Our stores clearly display the names of C&A contacts, who can be contacted regarding concerns or questions. We deal with any issues rapidly, seeking the best solutions for all parties.