Each year we report our performance against our 2020 Global Sustainability Framework using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2017, we transitioned from GRI G4 Guidelines to GRI Standards and have applied the GRI Standards to our 2018 report as well.
About our report
Unless otherwise stated, all data relates to our global performance for the business year 2018. Our data is based on science – and where that is 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 GRI Standards.
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 and tier-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 Credit360. Internal subject matter experts have validated the data. 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.
In 2017, we used data from garment care instructions and a customer survey on garment use. This information helped significantly reduce uncertainty compared to last year. The customer survey collected data on actual (1) washing/drying habits of C&A customers by garment type, (2) washing machine technology used, and (3) the number of wears per wash for high impact garment categories. Assuming a random sample, the margin of error for each of these parameters was quite small (+/-3% or less depending on the market). The survey was not repeated in 2018.
The carbon and water footprints associated with cotton, specifically Better Cotton (sourced via a system of mass balance and self-reported by fabric mills) is derived from a weighted average of BCI’s results indicators. The methodology used and results presented have not been verified by BCI.
Standards of practice
When collecting data or calculating impacts, we only use industry-recognised or multi-stakeholder-developed guidelines and standards:
What we mean when we say...
C&A is a buying and retailing organisation; we do not own any factories. It is important to understand what we mean when we use the following terms:
We believe that being transparent helps to drive better practices across the industry. In addition, 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 we have faced along the way.
To this end, we have been ranked second out of 55 brands assessed in the fourth annual Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI).
C&A also placed in the number 4 spot among the most transparent brands in the 2019 Fashion Revolution Transparency Index, a review of 200 global fashion brands and retailers according to their level of disclosure about social and environmental policies, practices, and impact. We increased our overall score since the previous index and once again received high scores for our commitments, governance, gender equality, sustainable materials, and other disclosures. In addition, C&A Brazil was recognised in the number 1 spot for 2018 in that country’s Fashion Revolution Transparency Index, which analysed 20 fashion brands. C&A ranked #1 for policy, commitment, and governance, and scored high in other categories, such as traceability. 
We collaborate and share information with our partners, suppliers, and other brands. Each year, we publish a list of our suppliers’ tier-1 and tier-2 factories and locations.
See the full list of our suppliers’ factories here.
 C&A Foundation is a core funder to Fashion Revolution and the index.