November 2016 - On November 18, 2016, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) presented HUGO BOSS with its Corporate Consciousness Award. The accolade was conferred for the company's outstanding commitment to promoting animal protection within its product sustainability strategy.
The prize specifically marks the HUGO BOSS decision to exclude all forms of farmed fur from its collections as of 2016. Instead it is increasing its focus on product innovations and alternative materials.
In 2015 HUGO BOSS had already decided to discontinue the use of exotic leathers and angora wool in its collections. Animal-friendly techniques of obtaining down have also become fixtures within its sustainability strategy.
For many years HUGO BOSS has been cooperating with animal protection and consumer groups such as Peta and HSUS with the goal of advancing animal rights. Boasting over 10 million members, HSUS is the world's largest animal welfare organization.
October 2016 – Building up on the Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) conducted for a series of supply chains of various products (shoes, jersey, knitwear, shirt, t-shirt, jeans, etc.), HUGO BOSS explored the framework called “Natural Capital Protocol” as partner of the deep dive program of the “Natural Capital Coalition”. The protocol offers a standardized framework to identify, measure, and value impacts and dependencies on natural capital
The application of the Natural Capital Protocol allows HUGO BOSS to translate the environmental impacts (e.g. Climate change (kg CO2-eq), Freshwater ecotoxicity (CTUe), etc.) that were detected in the LCAs into monetary values. Thereby, the Company is now able to compare the impacts against one another and to identify the major environmental hot spots of the analyzed supply chains. When taking the supply chain of a cotton t-shirt as an example, the largest effects on the environment result from the process of cotton cultivation and its chemical refinement. This knowledges puts HUGO BOSS in the position to define appropriate mitigation strategies in the future.
Details of the analysis were published in a White Paper, which is available on our website here.
October 2016 - In October 2016, HUGO BOSS invited to its first international Bad Urach Dialog taking place in the monastery of Bad Urach. Apart from HUGO BOSS CEO Mark Langer, about 20 external stakeholders as well as internal experts from different department attended the event.
The main purpose of the first Bad Urach Dialog was to give relevant stakeholders and organizations the opportunity to state their perceptions and opinions on the HUGO BOSS approach to sustainability. Besides, the Materiality Analysis, possible cooperations with universities and alliances as well as existing customer expectations were discussed. The open dialog has provided us with valuable and constructive feedback with regards to the refinement of our sustainability strategy.
Further information concerning the dialog can be found on our website.
October 2016 - In this year’s survey on climate change run by the international non-profit organization CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), HUGO BOSS achieved a score of “A-“. With this score, HUGO BOSS achieved the status of "Sector Leader Consumer Discretionary" in the DACH Region as well as "Index/Country Leader in the MDAX". This means that HUGO BOSS belongs to the best companies in the Consumer Discretionary Sector in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as in the MDAX.
As a Sector- and Index/Country Leader, HUGO BOSS demonstrates a high level of transparency with regards to the actions taken in the field of climate protection, such as the definition of targets, the reduction of emissions and/or the verification of the data reported. CDP Climate Scores range on a scale from A to F (A, A-, B, B-, C, C-, D, D-, F). A score of A- is an indication for the above-average performance of a company (compared to its sector, region and index). The award underscores the responsible business behavior of the HUGO BOSS Group, which has been promoting environmental protection as well as the preservation of natural resources in various projects for many years.
October 2016 – During this year’s annual index review, HUGO BOSS was confirmed as a member of the STOXX Global ESG Leaders Index. The STOXX Global ESG Leaders Index is part of the STOXX indices, which are managed by the Deutsche Börse Group. The Deutsche Börse Group also manages the DAX indices. The STOXX ESG Leader Index is composed of the leading global companies in the area of sustainable management and therefore represents a relevant basis for decision-making for sustainable investments.
The selection of the companies is based on an extensive evaluation of various sustainability indicators in regards to environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects. During the evaluation process, a high level of transparency and comparability in terms of the examination of the underlying criteria is assured. Being a member of the STOXX ESG Leader Index allows HUGO BOSS to demonstrate the progress achieved in the past year in the areas of corporate citizenship and sustainability management. Moreover, it also enables the Group to credibly position itself in the sustainability investment market towards institutional and private investors, as well as to the general public.
July 2016 – HUGO BOSS has been included in the FTSE4Good Index Series. The FTSE4Good Index, one of the leading sustainability indices at the international stock markets, is managed by the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE). It is designed to represent the performance of the leading companies worldwide in terms of sustainable management.
The selection of companies is based on an extensive evaluation of various sustainability indicators in regards to environmental, social and governance aspects, which is conducted by the independent body Ethical Investment Research Service (EIRIS). Companies included in the FTSE4Good meet stringent criteria in the areas of environmental management and climate change, sustainable supply chain management (including the protection and assurance of human and labor rights) as well as the fight against corruption.
With its high level of transparency as well as the clear definition of the underlying criteria, the FTSE4Good represents a relevant basis for decision-making for sustainable investments. The index inclusion allows HUGO BOSS to demonstrate the progress achieved in the past years in the areas of corporate citizenship and sustainability management. Moreover, the inclusion enables the Group to credibly position itself in the sustainability investment market towards institutional and private investors, as well as to the general public.
Further information from the index provider:
“FTSE Russell (the trading name of FTSE International Limited and Frank Russell Company) confirms that HUGO BOSS AG has been independently assessed according to the FTSE4Good criteria, and has satisfied the requirements to become a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index Series. Created by the global index provider FTSE Russell, FTSE4Good is an equity index series that is designed to facilitate investment in companies that meet globally recognized corporate responsibility standards. Companies in the FTSE4Good Index Series have met stringent environmental, social and governance criteria, and are positioned to capitalize on the benefits of responsible business practice.“
June 26, 2016 - HUGO BOSS considers the use of recycled materials, which is increasingly important in the textile industry, as part of its product sustainability strategy. Especially paddings for jackets within the range of fall and winter clothing were relevant for this field of application across all brands. The new materials provide high functionality and a unique wearing comfort.
The sustainable paddings consist partly of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate)-material, which is processed into high-quality polyester fibers. With this approach, HUGO BOSS combines excellent product quality with sustainability aspects. Starting with its 2017 fall/winter collections, HUGO BOSS has decided to exclusively use these more sustainable materials for padded jackets.
June 27, 2016 - This year, HUGO BOSS was awarded as second-best employer by TextilWirtschaft, a German fashion industry trade magazine. The study “Working in Fashion” was developed in cooperation with the IMA Media-Service Institut für Markt- & Mediaanalysen, which deals with market and media analysis. In an online survey, 3,426 participants, including students/trainees, graduates, young professionals, professionals, and job applicants from TW-jobs, were asked for their criteria in relation to a top employer. HUGO BOSS received its seal for the criteria overall image and thereby ranges up front in the circle of the 40 considered employers.
June 7, 2016 - Once a year, the American Forbes Magazine analyzes the trustworthiness of companies. In cooperation with MSCI ESG Research, the world’s largest provider of environmental, social and governance research data, more than 1,100 publicly-traded-non-financial European companies were screened. Considered were companies with market caps of $500 million (in U.S. dollars) or more, whose economic activity lies in the production of market-determined goods or the provision of non-financial services. According to Forbes, HUGO BOSS was selected among the Top 50 and thereby counts as one of the most trustworthy companies. More
HUGO BOSS publishes 2015 Sustainability Report
May 23, 2016 - HUGO BOSS AG has published its third sustainability report. In this, the Group presents its extensive sustainability program, its sustainability goals up to and including 2020, and their current status of implementation. Beyond this, the report comprehensively documents the actions taken and progress achieved during the past business year. HUGO BOSS has based its reporting on the revised G4 guidelines issued by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). With the expanded range of information covered, the Group is increasing its transparency on central sustainability issues for a range of stakeholder groups.
"Our sustainability management program lays the foundations for the long-term success of HUGO BOSS while simultaneously satisfying public interest in greater transparency and responsibility," explains Mark Langer, CEO of HUGO BOSS AG.
Further details of the Group's initiatives can be found in the Sustainability Report:
May 20, 2016 - We would like to respond as follows to the comments made by Dr. Burckhardt concerning manufacturing in India:
Ms. Burckhardt mentions that HUGO BOSS only has audits conducted for 30% of the companies manufacturing for the Group. This is, however, not correct. The number of 617 companies mentioned in the 2014 Sustainability Report does not only refer to our manufacturers. It also includes our direct suppliers for raw materials and finished goods, where we have anchored our Code of Conduct and social employment requirements contractually. Moreover this number incorporates all of the creditors registered in the system. This means that individual production companies may be listed, and therefore counted, multiple times through our various product divisions. Adjusted accordingly, the actual auditing rate for our producers is 94%. To prevent any further confusion, we will try to find a different way of explaining our auditing rate in 2016.
Nor is it true that HUGO BOSS AG has goods manufactured by the companies cited, namely Arvind and TRIO Apparel. HUGO BOSS has no direct working or contractual relations with either of these two companies. It is, however, true that HUGO BOSS suppliers derive woven goods from Arvind. This similarly applies to TRIO Apparel. Here too no direct contractual agreement exists. For this reason, these companies are not listed by HUGO BOSS.
Naturally, these two companies are nonetheless known to us, and they were also reviewed. We were particularly surprised at the criticism of Arvind. We would therefore like to provide further information on this company here:
Arvind is a leader in the realm of sustainability in India. It is a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), where it is working to improve standards through the Social and Labor Convergence Project. Arvind is also certified in accordance with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and a partner of Social Accountability International (SAI) as well as numerous other initiatives.
Arvind is further certified in line with standards such as the Social Accountability Management System (SA 8000), and pays employees in excess of the minimum wage requirements. Working times are properly regulated and overtime, which is voluntary, is remunerated according to clear regulations. The employees are local and therefore live in their own accommodation. The company offers crèche facilities for its women staff; moreover, it enforces clear-cut guidelines against sexual harassment and discrimination, and operates centers that employees can approach for help at any time. Additionally, employees enjoy freedom of association within the existing trade unions.
In view of this verified information, we must assume that Ms. Burckhardt's allegations refer to the textile industry in India generally, rather than to the companies she has linked with HUGO BOSS. The Group is happy to engage in further discussions on this important issue.
May 17, 2016 - In the fall of 2015, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) conducted an assessment of the HUGO BOSS production plant in Izmir, Turkey. As a member of the FLA since 2014, the company had decided to initiate this voluntarily.
HUGO BOSS has taken the FLA audit’s findings and recommendations very seriously and addressed the points raised. The Company has already incorporated 85% percent of these recommendations. It will be launching the still outstanding measures during the weeks and months ahead.
The report on the FLA website can be viewed here.
HUGO BOSS subsequently published a summary of the main findings of the assessment and the current status of the actions being taken.
HUGO BOSS has commented on some of the main points of criticism of the FLA Audit in the following and explained them in their respective context. The remarks have been divided into five sections for this purpose and the nine focal points have been classified accordingly.
PROVISIONS CONCERNING EMPLOYEES
HUGO BOSS has already reviewed and introduced changes to remedy the majority of points raised in the categories “Factory Overview”, “General Training for new Employees”, “Written Policies on Recruitment, Hiring and Personnel Development” and “Wage Deduction”. Where the FLA expressed concerns that, in its opinion, provisions of employment agreements were not fully compliant with Turkish law, HUGO BOSS has revised workers’ contracts accordingly. This also applies to the voluntary program launched by HUGO BOSS and the Izmir employment office (ISKUR) to provide training in textile-related work for women from economically deprived backgrounds. The changes included adjustments to wages.
Concerns were also raised on the subject of “Wage Deductions”. However, the company had yet to take action in connection with the points in question; in the interim the relevant provisions have been amended to prevent any future misunderstandings.
With regard to the legal obligation to pay wages in euros in Izmir’s free trade zone, HUGO BOSS had conducted a survey of employees in 2004 and decided to pay wages in Turkish lira rather than euros, in line with an exemption from the competent government ministry. Receiving wages in the domestic currency ultimately enables employees to plan their lives with greater confidence, because their earnings are not subject to fluctuations. This avoids disadvantages for company personnel, and for this reason HUGO BOSS is planning to continue its practice of paying wages in Turkish lira.
To comply with the stipulations of the assessment, changes were effected and relevant steps taken in the areas “Written Policy on Grievance System”, “Written Policy on Termination and Retrenchment” and “Disciplinary Systems”. These have now been completely implemented. In one case the internal guidelines did not comply with the HUGO BOSS Code of Conduct. This exception is founded on a relevant rule of Turkish law. HUGO BOSS has therefore not violated any laws. Although the provisions in question had never been applied to the detriment of employees, they have now been updated.
HUGO BOSS has revised the training concept at the Izmir site and augmented it with modules that reflect the requirements specified in the FLA audit. Regular training sessions have been introduced for employees and management covering the HUGO BOSS Code of Conduct and, in particular, the topics of freedom of assembly and unionization. In addition, the existing training on work safety has been extended and made mandatory for all employees.
HEALTH & SAFETY AT WORK
HUGO BOSS has scrupulously addressed the findings relating to the areas “Working Time”, “Fire and Emergency Actions”, “Implementation of Workers Protection”, “Maintenance Safety“ and “Implementation of Health and Safety Practices Related to Chemicals” and taken steps designed to ease and improve day-to-day working conditions. In the cases where criticism was raised that working hours were being exceeded, these cases were typically due to exceptional circumstances (e.g. water damage in the production areas). As such, HUGO BOSS had not made decisions or taken action against the will of its employees. For future purposes, HUGO BOSS has laid down more specific guidelines and instructions for these areas and made them binding for members of staff.
When production operations were expanded, improvements were made to the alarm system so that it is audible throughout the work area. In the process, the system was tailored to the requirements of the extended production premises. Almost all of the improvements relevant to the issues in this section have already been completed.
HUGO BOSS has already found solutions to the four findings in the category “Implementation of Environmental Management Systems Outside of the Factory” with the goal of preventing any corresponding recurrences in the future.
Freedom of association, which HUGO BOSS guarantees to all its employees worldwide, is a central principle of the Company’s Code of Conduct. HUGO BOSS is therefore making every effort to respond fully to any related findings.
With reference to the clarification of criticism in conjunction with “Union(s) and Worker Representation” and “Relationship between Management and Worker Representative(s),“ HUGO BOSS has called in an arbitrator (Auret van Heerden) to facilitate ongoing discussions with the FLA representatives and the relevant trade union, and to help to find appropriate solutions quickly. In this context several meetings have already been held with the Turkish trade union TEKSIF in Istanbul.
With reference to complaints about individual employees being dismissed in the past, allegedly in connection with their membership in Turkish trade unions, HUGO BOSS has presented comprehensive information to rule out any misunderstandings and determine the facts. Since the complaints were first filed in 2011-2012, the arbitrator called in by HUGO BOSS has conducted detailed discussions with the individuals in question with the goals of objectively establishing the facts and mutually finding solutions. These have included reviewing potential reinstatements and discussing this possibility with the individuals concerned. Beyond this, the company has taken the following additional steps:
· Personnel changes in the management of the production facility
· Closer liaising between management and the Company’s headquarter in Germany
· Seminars on freedom of association held by a recognized trainer
· Publication of regulations such as the Code of Conduct
· Articles on issues such as freedom of association in the employee magazine in Izmir
· Democratic election of a Communication Committee
· Appointment of a Social Compliance Officer
HUGO BOSS is working hard to deal with the allegations properly and, on this basis, is confident of finding consensual solutions with all the parties involved.
For further information please contact
May 17, 2016 - HUGO BOSS will become member of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (ACCORD) by 1 June 2016. The Company is working with only two textile suppliers there/locally. By means of the accession, HUGO BOSS wants to set a difference in improving standards and play a part in workers rights and increased transparency.
The ACCORD was created 15 May 2013 in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza building collapse as an independent, legally binding agreement. It involves global brands, retailers and trade unions and is set up for five years for a start. It is designed to build a safe and healthy Ready Made Garment (RMG) Industry in Bangladesh. For this, a safe and working environment with appropriate health and safety measures shall be created. Important aspects in this regard are the independence of the alliance, the commitment of the companies to financial funds/support and increased transparency and the democratic focus on strengthening workers rights.
March 10, 2016 - HUGO BOSS has been nominated by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to receive the Henry Spira Humane Corporate Award. The prize aims to congratulate the company for its sustainability efforts and in particular its decision to go fur-free in all collections from 2016 onwards.
The HSUS is a non-profit organization whose objective is the protection of animals and the engagement for their welfare. Via their Henry Spira award, the organization grants special recognition to companies and individuals who pursue the objective of contributing to the progress on animal issues.
By going fur-free and choosing animal-friendly alternatives, HUGO BOSS has become a fashion leader in animal welfare the HSUS states. Awarding the company with the Henry Spira Corporate Progress Award aims to inspire other businesses to include humane concern for animals as a core aspect of corporate social responsibility likewise.
HUGO BOSS supports the preservation of biodiversity and rejects animal experiments, not welfare-farming and animal husbandry practices. For many years HUGO BOSS stands in exchange with individual animal welfare and consumer protection organizations.
More details on HUGO BOSS’ sustainability policy can be found in the sustainability report: http://group.hugoboss.com/en/sustainability/sustainability-report/
February 20, 2016 – In line with its commitment to environmental responsibility, HUGO BOSS has actively liaised with the environmental organization IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, to identify the mid- and long-term environmental challenges facing the Group throughout its value chain. With more than 1,300 members encompassing both governmental and non-governmental bodies, IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest globally operating environmental organization.
The goal of partnering with IUCN is to continuously evolve environmental management at HUGO BOSS. Additionally, long-term sustainability risks and opportunities will be identified and assessed. The joint study “Biodiversity Risks and Opportunities for the Apparel Sector” provides the data and background information needed to represent the impact on the environment and society across the value chain. This in turn creates a platform for developing effective ways and means of managing these risks in the long term.
Beyond this, HUGO BOSS is one of ten companies who have volunteered to thoroughly test the “Natural Capital Protocol” pilot project run by the Natural Capital Coalition (NCC) for their specific business applications. The Natural Capital Coalition has brought together – through two consortia led by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – the world’s leading institutions from business, accountancy, consultancy, financial institutions and NGOs.
With the aid of the Protocol, direct and indirect environmental impacts along the supply chain are evaluated and assessed from a monetary perspective in order to pinpoint optimization potential. HUGO°BOSS will pay particular attention to environmental factors in the areas of raw material procurement and finishing processes, with the goal of gaining new insights into how to consolidate its excellent environmental protection operations throughout the supply chain.
Further information can be found in IUCN’s own report at
February 16, 2016 – In support of the program “We Together – German Industry Integration Initiative,” HUGO BOSS has pledged to make a concrete, sustainable contribution in order to support refugees in Germany. The goal is to promote the inclusion of refugees within society at large and in the Metzingen-area labor market.In cooperation with local authorities, HUGO BOSS will be supporting a swift and non-bureaucratic initiation of contacts and exchange of information between employers, asylum seekers and refugees with the aim of identifying relevant career opportunities. As part of these efforts, HUGO BOSS will also be offering apprenticeships and jobs within the company. In addition, its employees will be engaging in the company-sponsored German courses and integration services provided for the refugees, and also act as facilitators when it comes to seeking employment and information. The total sum collected in a dedicated donation drive is doubled by HUGO BOSS and used toward funding additional language courses and further education offerings for the refugees and asylum seekers.
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