The HUGO BOSS Supplier Code of Conduct forms the basis of cooperation with suppliers. Social standards are an important framework for partners, especially in countries where national legislation does not adequately protect workers.
The HUGO BOSS Supplier Code of Conduct is based on internationally recognized standards such as the Core Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Among other things, it prohibits child and forced labor and prescribes decent working conditions and adequate wages. The Supplier Code of Conduct also guarantees the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. In addition, it contains provisions on environmental standards to be observed. The Supplier Code of Conduct is reviewed regularly to ensure that it is up to date. In this process, feedback from various stakeholders is taken into account.
An important instrument for fulfilling our due diligence obligations along the supply chain is our Supply Chain Sustainability (SCS) program, which is based on the key elements of the Supplier Code of Conduct. With its three modules ‘Social Compliance Management’, ‘Environmental Management and "’Governance’, it combines environmental and social topics and is currently aimed at all our direct finished goods and fabric and trimming suppliers. In this way, HUGO BOSS has established a binding framework for fair working conditions and human rights in its supply chain. For example, child and forced labor are to be excluded. Guidance on processes to prevent child and forced labor, for example, is explicitly set out in our Child Labor Policy. The Environmental Management module focuses on measures to limit climate change, protect water and soil, and prevent air pollution. The goal of the Governance module is to provide suppliers with tools that enable them to take on increasing responsibility for their own supply chain in accordance with the regulations in the Supplier Code of Conduct, while reducing their own environmental and social supply chain risks.
Only those suppliers who pass the three-stage selection process are included in the supplier portfolio. In addition to formal recognition of the Supplier Code of Conduct, this includes the submission of valid certificates or, if these documents are not sufficient, the submission of a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ). Depending on the results, the supplier may also be audited before entering into an active business relationship. The company uses SAQs in particular to verify compliance with the social standards specified by HUGO BOSS for fabric and trimmings suppliers before the start of the partnership. A check of whether new partners meet the standards specified by HUGO BOSS is not only carried out when they are selected. As part of our Social Compliance Check, a social compliance audit is carried out between one and twelve months after the start of the business relationship, depending on the country risk. The social compliance audits are repeated regularly over the course of the business relationship – partially announced, unannounced or in form of self-assessments. Each audit is followed by an extensive report. Detailed information about the requirements, along with training courses, help the suppliers comply with the standards. If a supplier been classified in one of the two best result categories in three consecutive audits, a Remote Risk Assessment, implemented in the form of a questionnaire, can replace the next scheduled audit.
Support for improvements
If violations of the Supplier Code of Conduct are discovered, corrective action plans are developed together with the supplier to rectify the situation. Their implementation is reviewed and documented in defined audit cycles (see our supplier factsheet for more information). If no improvement has been made, HUGO BOSS will ultimately end the partnership with the supplier as a last resort.
Ending business relationships with suppliers
At HUGO BOSS, we place great value on long-term partnerships. Nevertheless, in exceptional cases and for various reasons, it may happen that a business relationship with a supplier has to be terminated. In this case, it is important for us to proceed in a responsible manner. The supplier should have sufficient time to build up a new customer base. To this end, order volumes are reduced over time so that the supplier can gradually acquire orders from other customers that will fully utilize their capacity. For a detailed overview of possible reasons for terminating a business relationship and the factors to be considered, see our factsheet on responsible exit.