We want to spark movements for change that involve and inspire all of our stakeholders across the globe—our suppliers, partners, communities, customers, and workers. To do this, we strive for complete transparency regarding our achievements and our challenges. That’s why our approach is to share our policies, our standards, and our traceability maps.
We believe that all animals should be treated with care and respect. That's why we developed an Animal Derived Materials (ADM) Policy in consultation with Humane Society International to solidify our commitment to sourcing animal derived materials from suppliers that treat animals ethically and humanely. The policy prohibits the use of fur and endangered or exotic animal species in VF products. The ADM policy applies to all VF brands and supply chain partners involved in the procurement, sourcing and manufacture of any products on behalf of our brands.
In 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted rules intended to address the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals by armed groups to finance violent conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and neighboring African countries. We established a robust program to ensure compliance with these rules across our supply chain and are committed to sourcing materials from suppliers that align with our values on human rights, ethics and environmental responsibility. We report annually to the SEC on our program's efforts.
Due to concerns associated with established forced labor, child labor and militant groups for cotton farming in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Syria, we have banned the use of cotton from these countries. Our Cotton Fiber Sourcing Policy details mandatory steps that all VF suppliers must take to track the origin and flow of material through each stage of their cotton supply chains.
VF's focus on using responsibly sourced materials includes our commitment to protect the world's forests. In consultation with Canopy, Rainforest Alliance and Stand.Earth, we developed a Forest Derived Materials (FDM) Policy that covers the sustainable and responsible sourcing of forest products used in our supply chain. This policy aims to prevent any contributions to deforestation or to the degradation of forest habitats and indigenous populations.
To achieve the performance and functionality our consumers expect of our products such as waterproofing, heat resistance and breathability, sophisticated chemistry is sometimes required. Managing the responsible use of these chemicals to safeguard the health and well-being of our workers, suppliers and consumers is of utmost importance. Our Restricted Substance List serves as the foundation for our actions to prevent unwanted chemicals from entering our supply chain and provides guidance to our suppliers for compliance with local, national and international laws on chemical management, use and disposal.
VF respects the fundamental human rights of anyone who engages in work or other activities connected to our business operations and supply chain. Throughout VF, we champion the rights of everyone our business touches, including those who work in our global supply chain to help manufacture materials or products.
VF is committed to avoiding causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through our own actions and strive to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly linked to our operations or products.
The United States has adopted measures that create a presumption that all goods produced in whole or in part by North Korean labor, wherever located geographically, involve the use of forced labor and may not be imported into the United States. Authorized Facilities and their supply chains for VF goods may not use North Korean labor located anywhere, including outside of North Korea, unless it can be demonstrated by the Authorized Facility to our satisfaction in advance that the North Koreans employed in making the goods were not subject to conditions of forced labor. Goods acquired from Authorized Facilities may not consist of or contain, in whole or in part, materials, components or products from North Korea, including from any North Korean Special Economic Zone, and may not be wholly or partially assembled, processed, or manufactured in North Korea.
CHEM-IQ℠ is VF's innovative chemical management program. It was created to provide a simple, cost-effective and scalable method for identifying and eliminating unwanted chemicals before they enter our manufacturing process. We collaborated extensively with a network of stakeholders to develop the tool, including major chemical manufacturers, universities and NGOs such as Natural Resources Defense Council.
As an industry leader, we have a responsibility to conduct our business the right way - and we are deeply committed to doing so. That means treating everyone we encounter - inside and outside our company - with the highest levels of honesty, integrity and respect. Our Code of Business Conduct applies to all VF directors, officers and associates and outlines the principles that guide our daily operations.
Our Terms of Engagement govern our supplier relationships. The Terms include our policies on issues such as ethical standards and intellectual property rights so that our suppliers adhere to a single set of policies, despite cultural or legal differences. We require all suppliers to submit a signed Terms of Engagement document before they can begin work on behalf of our company.
Updated May 2019
Any supplier working with VF must adhere to the Global Compliance Principles included in our Terms of Engagement. These principles outline our expectations for how every business partner and supplier behaves and treats their workers. This includes criteria on human rights, ethical practices, health and safety, transparency, environmental requirements and subcontracting. We conduct routine Factory Compliance Audits at every contract supplier facility to confirm their adherence to these principles.
Updated April 2019
Based on our 16 Global Compliance Principles, The Facility Guidelines are a step-by-step guide that provides direction for our contract facilities to assist in compliance for our Factory Compliance Audit Program. This document is updated annually, providing clear requirements for our global audits.
VF’s Audit procedures are outlined to inform suppliers of VF’s auditing process, detailing that no production can take place in a facility until an inspection has taken place. Additional details regarding notification of the inspection, what will be addressed as well as the length of the audit is covered.
Updated August 2019
Our owned and operated facilities contribute to VF's overall environmental impact and to our associates' health and productivity. Our Green Building Standards require LEED certification and/or other sustainability criteria that is applied to all newly constructed buildings, whether they are offices, manufacturing facilities, distribution centers or retail stores.
Responsible use of water is an essential component of our environmental responsibility. We require our manufacturing partners to ensure the water used to produce our products is treated properly before returning it to the surrounding ecosystem and community. All manufacturing partners must follow our Global Wastewater Discharge Standards, which are in line with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) wastewater discharge standards.
At VF, our guiding principles are embedded in everything we do. We believe in partnering with others who share our values and who understand the importance of always conducting business ethically. We are committed to taking steps to end forced labor, whether in the form of human trafficking, indentured labor or otherwise. This statement outlines many of our efforts to eradicate forced labor from our direct supply chains.