Gap Inc. Joins Ceres Network of Companies
Company Credited for Tackling Labor & Factory Conditions
BOSTON – Citing the company’s focus on improving labor standards and factory conditions in its extensive supply chain, the Ceres board of directors today announced that is has approved apparel giant Gap Inc. as a Ceres company.
The San Francisco-based company is among several apparel and footwear manufacturers, including Nike, Timberland, and Eileen Fisher, that have joined Ceres, a leading coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations working with companies to address environmental and social challenges. Gap is among more than 70 companies in the Ceres network, including 20 Fortune 500 companies.
“Gap’s focus and attention on improving working conditions and labor standards in their supply-chain is commendable in an industry where the bottom line so often compromises the welfare of its workers,” said Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres. “We look forward to working with Gap in the future to further integrate sustainability issues into their business practices.”
Gap issued its first corporate social responsibility (CSR) report in 2004. The 40-page report focused on the company’s programs to improve working conditions in approximately 3,000 factories around the world, including its factory approval process and factory monitoring protocols. The report also outlined the company’s community involvement programs and environmental issues such as energy consumption and waste reduction. Through discoveries of supply-chain infractions, Gap reported that it pulled its business from 136 factories and turned down bids from 100 others that failed to meet its labor standards. Gap plans to issue its next sustainability report in 2007.
“We are proud to be recognized as a Ceres company because our visions are so closely aligned,” said Dan Henkle, Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility at Gap Inc. “We’ve had considerable experience addressing labor issues in the supply chain, and we look forward to further evolving our CSR efforts by working with Ceres on our environmental strategy and program.”
Companies that join Ceres must commit to making the company’s sustainability mission or values publicly available, engage in stakeholder and shareholder discussions, disclose environmental and social commitments and results, and strive for continuous improvement. Ceres facilitates companies’ progress by convening stakeholder groups consisting of investors, non-governmental organizations, peer companies, and other participants suggested by the company.
Founded in 1989, Ceres is a leading network of investors, environmental groups, and other public interest organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk, comprised of more than 50 institutional investors who collectively manage $4 trillion in assets. For more information, visit www.ceres.org.
Gap Inc. is an international specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories and personal care products for men, women, children and babies under the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Forth & Towne brands. The company operates more than 3,000 retail stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland and Japan. In 2006 Gap employed over 150,000 people and earned revenues of $15.9 billion.