Stakeholder engagement is fundamental to our global sustainability strategy, as we look to build transparent, long-term, constructive relationships with key partners and create change within and beyond our business. We hope to build our dialogue into meaningful and productive relationships so that we can advance our sustainability strategy over time.
Equally important, we use a multi-stakeholder standards and guidelines like those developed by the United Nations (UN), Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) to deliver an approach that is credible and data driven.
To drive integrity and accountability, our new sustainability governance structure and our supplier Code of Conduct serve as the principles to guide our sustainability efforts across every C&A operating region. Our global Code of Ethics for employees emphasizes the promotion of honesty in relationships to support our strong company values.
Our new sustainability strategy reflects the input of many external and internal stakeholders. They help us identify our material issues—those topics that reflect our 2020 aspirations and what our employees and customers see as important—and we collaborate with key stakeholders to drive meaningful change in the industry. This means remaining transparent and making sure all of our stakeholders have the information they want about where and how we source materials, conditions in our supply chain, and the environmental footprint of our products. We also partner with other organizations to influence the industry towards a circular economy where materials are part of a closed loop and recycled into new products.
In 2015, we rolled out two important guides that outline our expectations for ethical behaviour among suppliers and employees. Our global supplier Code of Conduct provides a uniform set of expectations for suppliers on legal compliance, labour practices, and environmental performance. Our global Code of Ethics details our expectations for employee behaviour. Of course, ethics and respect for human rights has been central to our way of doing business since our founding.
Addressing the challenges we face as a society takes all of us working together in shared commitment. That’s why, during 2015, we became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact—a set of universal principles addressing human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. We also welcomed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a framework and guide for advancing sustainability towards 2030.