How We Report Leading industry standards and a balanced view

2016 marks the second year of reporting under our 2020 Global Sustainability Framework.  C&A is aligned around our global sustainability goals and continues to make progress toward 2020.  To access our 2015 Global Sustainability Report click here.

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About our report

We've prepared this report in keeping with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Core guidelines, the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Unless stated otherwise, all data relates to our global performance for the calendar year 2016. Our data is based on science; where unavailable, we take a precautionary approach. 2015 is our baseline year for measuring progress against our goals. Where possible, we have compared our performance to that of previous years and reported regional and global figures. We’ve also tried to present a more balanced view; for every major topic we talk about our challenges as well as the progress we’ve made.

Reporting scope and boundaries

As a privately-held company, we do not report on economic performance. We strive to report on all other standard disclosures as specified in the G4 guidelines.

Unless otherwise specified, we report on our entire value chain. We work with our tier-1, tier-2 and tier-3 suppliers to disclose information, where available. We are working closely with supply chain partners to create a closer link between farmers and farm groups and our tier-3 & 4 supply chain.  


We strive to provide accurate and precise data. However, there are inherent uncertainties in certain data sets. All our data has been collected and consolidated with Credit 360. Internal subject matter experts have validated data points. We have used state-of-the-art Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methods to calculate greenhouse gas emissions and water use data, however, uncertainties may rise due to the assumptions used in the model.

Read more about our life cycle assessment work

We used data based algorithms to determine the high and low point estimates for our carbon footprint with a standard deviation of 913 tonnes (scope 1), 7256 tonnes (scope 2), and 1.7 mega tonnes (scope 3), respectively.  In all instances, we use the best reasonable judgement and industry standards to collect, consolidate, and validate our data.

Standards of practice

When collecting data or calculating impacts, we only use industry recognised or multi-stakeholder developed guidelines and standards:

  • Employee data – Attained from our transactional Human Resource systems. Practices follow industry standards for identification of gender, management levels and contract types. The employee engagement survey was rolled out to more than 25,000 colleagues by an independent third party to ensure anonymity and confidentiality.
  • Cotton and raw material data – Attained from our internal systems for order placement and sales. 
  • Climate and carbon footprint data – Attained from core financial data and modelled using hybrid, input/output Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methods, combined with C&A business data, using LCA software SimaPro by Aligned Incentives. All methods used followed the WBCSD/WRI Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard. In the case of water, we applied both the Aligned Incentives hybrid LCA methodology and the Water Footprint Networks methodology for green, blue and grey water impacts.
  • Customer Data – Attained through interviews of 6,000 consumers in our major markets. Survey design and analysis was conducted by GlobeScan.
  • Human rights information – We work to identify human rights issues through our internal SSC processes and by employing third parties like Deloitte to conduct independent reviews. Our human rights due diligence follows the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.
  • Chemicals data – Audits are completed by our compliance team who assess 100% of our suppliers' production units, conducting approx. 3,500 audits each year.
  • Materiality – Our analysis follows the GRI definition of materiality. We have not used the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) definition in determining material aspects.  We reassess materiality each year.  The material aspects of our work have not changed in 2016 from 2015.  Please see our materiality assessment for 2015 here.



What we mean when we say...

C&A is a buying and retailing organisation; we do not own our own factories. It is important to understand what we mean when we use the following terms:

  • C&A, the company, us or we – This refers to our owned legal entities that fall under the C&A brand. Unless specified it refers to all retail and sourcing markets for C&A. It does not refer to our holding entity, COFRA Holding AG or any of their non-C&A-related subsidiaries. 
  • C&A Foundation – C&A Foundation is a private corporate foundation associated with the C&A brand. Their work supports the entire apparel industry, of which C&A is a part.
  • Suppliers – This refers to independent third parties that we have a contractual relationship with. Our suppliers operate their own businesses and manage factories.
  • Factories or production units (PUs) – These are the actual locations where garments are produced under the control of our contracted suppliers.
  • Global Sustainability Team – This includes our leadership team comprised of our top internal leaders in sustainability and our retail market colleagues. This team owns the global sustainability strategy and the policies that govern our risk management and compliance.
  • Sustainable Supply Chain (SSC) – This refers to our social and environmental auditing function that reports into the Chief Sustainability Officer and the Chief Merchandise and Sourcing Officer in Europe. SSC is an execution function that is governed by second and third-party oversight.
  • Sustainable Chemicals Management (SCM) - Refers to the programme and the team responsible for implementing our commitment to Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) by 2020.




We believe that being transparent helps to drive better practices across the industry. Transparency is important to our stakeholders and is becoming increasingly important to our customers.   In this report, we strive to cover not only positive progress and detailed analyses of our supply chain, but also the challenges that we have faced along the way. 

In this light we have been ranked 28 out of 198 brands, including 734 of their suppliers, who were assessed in the third annual Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI).

We collaborate and share information with our partners, suppliers and other brands. Last year, we published our suppliers' tier-1 factory list. This year, in 2017, we have published our suppliers' tier-1 and tier-2 factories in Europe, Brazil, Mexico and China.

For our full list of our suppliers' factories read more here

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