We recognize that the purchasing practices of global companies can affect what happens in the supply chain, including excessive overtime, issues related to wages and benefits and unauthorized subcontracting to facilities with poor or unsafe working conditions. Better purchasing practices can help reduce these issues by supporting compliance with responsible labor practices and the protection of human rights in the supply chain.
Vendors comprising 90% of Gap Inc.'s business spend are invited to participate in Better Buying, with scores isolated across brands, working toward annual public reporting on purchasing practices improvements
Our previous goal applied to 100% of Gap Inc. vendors. In 2021, we decided to revise the goal to apply to the vendors comprising the top 90% of our business spend in order to focus on the vendors where we have the greatest influence and impact
We have taken steps to improve our purchasing practices, including our participation in Better Buying, an initiative that helps us understand the impact of our purchasing decisions and practices, as well as other aspects of the design and development process. Our sourcing teams use this information to develop systems that place orders depending on our suppliers’ capabilities to fulfil them.
We also integrate sustainability into our purchasing decisions by including social and environmental factors on our vendor scorecard, including Code of Vendor Conduct (COVC) compliance, Higg Index and P.A.C.E. While some of these programs are voluntary, this integration incentivizes our facilities to participate in these programs to increase their score and gives our Sourcing teams visibility into vendors’ performance on key metrics.
Our work to align sourcing decisions and accountability with our social sustainability goals has improved supplier performance in adhering to international labor standards. In 2019, an independent study by researchers at the University of Oxford and the University of Toronto confirmed that our approach is an effective model to improve supplier performance against our COVC criteria.
Looking ahead, we will continue to seek feedback on our purchasing practices through initiatives such as Better Buying. Based on those findings, we plan to seek new approaches in consultation with stakeholders to improve our purchasing practices and consider impacts on workers in our supply chain.
Our statement on cotton sourcing may be found here.