Year: 2014
N. of pages: 27
Language: english

A survey about sustainable procurement policies and CSR governance in European and American brands.

The Sustainability-lab 2014 Fashion Brands Sustainable Procurement Survey involved 18 European and American brands accounting for over €50 billion in sales. The Survey findings fall into four areas addressed in the main four chapters of the report:

Brands' sustainable procurement impact on suppliers
The 18 brands commitment to Company Sustainable Procurement (CSP) has a huge impact on suppliers, all but one brand has included specific sustainability compliance requirements in purchasing contracts, a large share of brands’ purchases of fabrics and accessories is subject to formal sustainability assessment and the adoption of preferred suppliers Green Lists based on sustainability criteria is widespread.

Organizational models for sustainable procurement
In this field, the one size fits all concept does not hold true. A cluster of larger brands was found to follow a formalized management style, with the CSR department acting as watchdog for CSP. These brands established a Green List of preferred suppliers and assess a high share of fabrics and accessories purchases. Other brands historically engaged in sustainability, especially in the luxury segment have adopted a more informal approach, without a clear role for the CSR function. Finally, a third cluster is still in a phase of organizational evolution with a mix of roles for the CSR department and expectations for future adoption of formalized
sustainability evaluation tools.

The dimensions of sustainability brands are focusing on
Elimination of hazardous chemicals, traceability and ban of cruel practices towards animals are the most considered dimensions. These findings witness a higher level of maturity, beyond what we can define phase one of sustainability management almost exclusively focused on CO2 emissions cuts. The ranking of sustainability attributes reveals a close connection with some of the influential high-profile campaigns launched in recent years by environmental, workers' rights advocacy and animal welfare NGOs. Citizens through NGOs more than consumers through their wallets appear to be the driving force pulling fashion brands into the sustainability journey.

The value of certification labels
CSR managers value certification labels, especially when they compare best suppliers. Just a few of them consider certifications mandatory though. Brands with established CSP place less value on certifications. Most valued labels are Oeko-Tex100 / 100plus, GOTS, SA8000 and Bluesign