BVD: Adidas recognised for efforts to tackle slavery in supply chain
Adidas has topped a list of global clothing and footwear corporations rated on their initiatives to eradicate forced labour from their supply chains.
The benchmark was created by Know the Chain, a resource for businesses and investors who want to better understand and address labour abuses in their supply networks.
Twenty apparel and footwear companies were analysed for the latest benchmark, in categories including commitment and governance, purchasing practices, worker voice, recruitment and monitoring.
Adidas scored 81 out of 100 points, putting it slightly ahead of Gap (77). H&M (69), Lululemon Athletica (69) and Primark (63) completed the top five.
Discussing its findings in detail, Know the Chain said Adidas had demonstrated strong disclosure of its approach to risk management related to forced labour in its supply chain. The company achieved a higher score than any of its fellow clothing and footwear firms on the themes of recruitment and worker voice.
One of the positive practices Adidas has introduced is training its suppliers on forced labour issues. This has helped to ensure that workers sign contracts directly with suppliers and enabled remediation to take place when rights are violated.
Bill Anderson, vice-president of social and environmental affairs at Adidas, told Supply Management: “As part of our self-governance model we have trained our strategic suppliers, which account for over 80 percent of our global production volumes, to disclose and audit subordinate suppliers.”
He added: “We have significantly less leverage [over tier-two suppliers], and hence need the support of tier-one suppliers who hold the primary buying relationships.”
Average scores for all 20 companies in the latest Know the Chain benchmark were highest in the commitment and governance category and lowest in recruitment, suggesting that many clothing firms could improve their approach to issues such as exploitation by staffing agencies.