Integrity of the supply chain


Stable and sustainable supply chain
Specific objective 2014: Implementation and strengthening of the “Strategic Plan for a stable and sustainable supply chain 2014-2018”
2018 Year:the objective will be to consolidate the protection of fundamental labour rights of all workers involved in the production of products that Inditex commercializes and to ensure the sustainability of the supply chain.

Material issues

2 Code of Conduct and Responsible Practices
18 Traceability in the supply chain
19 Capacity building and continual improvement of the supply chain
22 Human rights and working practices in the supply chain
23 Health and safety in manufacturers and suppliers
25 Responsible purchasing practices
30 Dialogue and commitment with the stakeholders

The Code of Conduct for Manufacturers and Suppliers, along with the Compliance Programme guaranteeing its implementation, form the cornerstone of the work carried out by Inditex to manage and strengthen the supply chain. Based on this, in 2013 Inditex approved its Strategic Plan for a stable and sustainable supply chain 2014-1018, which continues to expand the Group’s work over recent years and develops lines of action based on the compliance of four general objectives: monitoring, capacity building, continual improvement and commitment to stakeholders.

The plan’s lines of action include identifying and getting to know suppliers and manufacturers in depth by performing exhaustive assessment and helping them to improve and optimize the social and working conditions of their employees. This makes it possible to ensure that they are sustainable and comply with all the standards required by Inditex, creating stable, long-term business relations.

Strategic plan for a stable and sustainable supply chain 2014-2018

The Strategic Plan has a global scope, implemented on the local level in all countries where Inditex produces goods. To this end, Inditex has established CSR teams located in 10 key production regions (Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Turkey, India, Bangladesh, South East Asia, China, Argentina and Brazil). These teams are made up of local experts who create spaces for dialogue within communities which are known within Inditex as supplier clusters. These clusters ensure that the guidelines contained in each policy and programme have the same shared objective of guaranteeing the sustainability of the supply chain and the welfare of the workers within that chain. The supplier clusters are also adapted to each of the regions where production takes place.

The following pages describe the four lines of the Strategic Plan and the specific activities that were held in 2014. Each of the lines contains information on the main spheres of work related to the Plan’s strategic objectives.

Principles behind the Strategic Plan

Inditex’s Strategic Plan for a stable and sustainable supply chain 2014-2018 arises from the Group’s conviction that businesses have an important role to play in promoting and protecting human rights, fundamental labour rights and the standards set by the most relevant institutions on corporate social responsibility.

Guiding Principles of the United Nations Ruggie Framework

With its Strategic Plan, Inditex reiterates its commitment to the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights developed by the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework, better known as the Ruggie Framework. With a view to applying these principles, Inditex has developed policies and procedures aimed at defending and promoting human rights both in its operations and those of its stakeholders.

The guiding principles establish a route map which aims to ensure that enterprises respect and protect human rights in all their operations: these are the so-called operational principles.

The Operational Principles of the Ruggie Framework in Inditex

The Operational Principles of the Ruggie Framework Application of the principles in Inditex
Policy commitment “Business enterprises need to strive for coherence between their responsibility to respect human rights and policies and procedures that govern their wider business activities and relationships”. The Code of Conduct for Manufacturers and Suppliers protects fundamental labour rights and compliance with the Code of Conduct is mandatory for each and every one of Inditex’s suppliers and manufacturers.
Due diligence “Business enterprises should carry out human rights due diligence. The process should include assessing actual and potential human rights impacts, integrating and acting upon the findings, tracking responses, and communicating how impacts are addressed”. Identification and assessment of the supply chain by means of the Compliance Programme and the activities implemented as part of the Strategic Plan for supply chain management
Remedy “Where a business enterprise identifies such a situation, whether through its human rights due diligence process or other means, its responsibility to respect human rights requires active engagement in remediation, by itself or in cooperation with other actors”. Optimization of the supply chain by means of Corrective Action Plans and collaboration with stakeholders.
Issues of context “All business enterprises have the same responsibility to respect human rights wherever they operate. Where the domestic context renders it impossible to meet this responsibility fully, business enterprises are expected to respect the principles of internationally recognized human rights to the greatest extent possible in the circumstances, and to be able to demonstrate their efforts in this regard.” Inditex’s policies concerning supply chain management are global in nature, but are applied locally and adapted to the needs and legislation of all countries where the Group manufactures products by means of supplier clusters.

Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code

As a member of the ETI since 2006, Inditex recognizes the principles contained in the ETI Base Code, which is based on International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions and is an internationally recognized code of labour practices.

UN Global Compact principles

Since Inditex joined the platform of the United Nations Global Compact in 2001, the brand has renewed its commitment to the Global Compact’s 10 principles, achieving the highest level of adherence to the Compact and assuming an active role in initiatives such as the Advisory Group on Supply Chain Sustainability and the Human Rights Working Group of the Global Compact Network Spain.

Fundamental labour standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO)

The ILO has set out a series of fundamental labour standards, which establish the bases regulating dealings with workers:

  • Freedom of association.
  • The prohibition and elimination of all forms of forced labour.
  • Minimum age for admission to employment.
  • Acceptable working conditions.
  • The elimination of discrimination in the workplace on any grounds.