Alignment on reporting across our retail markets

This, C&A’s first global sustainability report, reflects our new global sustainability strategy and shares 2015 progress towards our 2020 commitments. Two of our regions, Europe and Brazil, previously published their own sustainability reports.

We've prepared this global sustainability report in keeping with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Core guidelines and the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact. All data, unless otherwise specified relates to calendar year 2015. This is our baseline year for measuring progress against our goals, but where possible, we have compared our performance to that of previous years. See the GRI index for more.

Reporting scope and boundaries 

While we aspire to a GRI G4 report, there are several areas that we do not report.  Because C&A is a privately held company we currently do not disclose economic performance indicators EC-1 through EC-9.  In all other cases we strive to report on all standard disclosures as specified in the G4 guideline.  

We report across our value chain where our sphere of influence is established.  Unless specified otherwise our disclosure includes our entire value chain.  In our supply chain we are striving to work with our tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers and will disclose information available.  While we partner with C&A Foundation on a variety of farm level initiatives, we lack credible data on farm level social impacts.  Over time we aspire to create closer connections with farmers and ginners that supply fibres to our tier-2 suppliers.


While we strive to provide accurate and precise data there are inherent uncertainties in certain data sets.  All of our data has been collected and consolidated with Credit 360. Data points have been internally validated by subject matter experts.  Greenhouse gas emission and water data, while using the state-of-the-art hybrid Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methods can be uncertain due to to the assumptions used in the model. We used Monte Carlo simulation to determine the high and low point estimates for our carbon footprint with a standard deviation of 1.5 megatonnes—most of this uncertainty lies in the consumer use of our products. We plan to have third-party assurance of this data as we progress over time. In all cases we use best reasonable judgement and industry standards to collect, consolidate, and validate our data.

Standards of practice

When collecting data or calculating impacts we only use industry recognised or multi-stakeholder developed guidelines and standards.

  • Employee Data – Attained from our transactional Human Resource systems. Practices follow industry standard for identification of gender, management levels, and contract types.
  • Cotton and Raw Material Data – Attained from our internal systems for order placement and sales.  
  • Climate and Carbon Footprint Data - Attained from core financial data and modelled using hybrid, input/output LCA methods using LCA software Simapro by Aligned Incentives.  All methods follow the WBCSD/WRI Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard. In the case of water we applied both the Aligned Incentives hybrid LCA methodology and the Water Footprint Networks methodology for green, blue and grey water impacts.
  • Customer Data – Attained through interviews of 7,600 consumers in our major markets.  Survey design and analysis conducted by GlobeScan.
  • Human Rights Information – We work to identify human rights issues through our internal SSC processes and by employing third parties like Deloitte to conduct independent reviews.  Our human rights due diligence follows the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.
  • Materiality – Our analysis follows the GRI definition of materiality.  We have not used the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) definition in determining material aspects.

What we mean when we say...

It is important to understand that C&A is a buying and retailing organisation that does not own its own factories. To be clear in the interpretation of this document, it is important to understand what we mean when we say the following:

  • C&A, the company, us or we – This refers to our owned legal entities that fall under the C&A brand. Unless specified it refers to all retail and sourcing markets for C&A. It does not refer to our holding entity, COFRA Holding AG or any of their non-C&A-related subsidiaries.
  • C&A Foundation – C&A Foundation is a private corporate foundation associated with the C&A brand. Their work supports the entire apparel industry, where C&A is a part.
  • Suppliers – This refers to independent third parties that we have a contractual relationship with. Our suppliers operate their own businesses and manage factories.
  • Factories or Production Units – These are the actual locations where garments are produced under the control of our contracted suppliers.
  • Global Sustainability Team – This includes our leadership team made up of our top internal leaders in sustainability and our retail market colleagues. This team owns global sustainability strategy and the policies that govern our risk management and compliance.
  • Sustainable Supply Chain (SSC) – This refers to our social and environmental auditing function that reports into the Chief Sustainability Officer and the Chief Sourcing Officer in Europe. SSC is an execution function that is governed by second and third-party oversight.


Forum for the Future, the sustainability non-profit organisation, has provided an independent view on our performance and reporting.

Translations available

A summary of this sustainability report can be downloaded in English, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Mandarin. 

If you have questions or feedback, we want to hear from you: sustainability(at)

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