Gap Rates Suppliers on Social Issues

May 11, 2004 ( - For the first time, a prominent national clothing retailer has publicly rated the way its overseas factories treat their employees.

Gap Inc.’s new Social Responsibility Report presents a rating system for evaluating supply factory compliance with the company’s code of conduct and uses a quantitative ranking system to examine whether suppliers use physical punishment or coercion, protect their workers’ right to freedom of association, pay at least the minimum wage, or require excessive overtime, according to a news release.

In addition to a scored ranking system, Gap’s Social Responsibility Report provides regional compliance indicators relative to all major elements of the company’s code of conduct for suppliers. The report also reveals the number of supplier facilities audited by region and discusses central issues related to non-compliance.

“Today, there is no generally accepted reporting format for supply chain compliance. The Gap report is an important step in the direction of a model format that other companies can adapt and improve upon,” said David Schilling, Director of Global Corporate Accountability for the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR).

ICCR is a member of the shareholder group that tried to convince the company to make the move, along with Domini Social Investments, the As You Sow Foundation, the Calvert Group, and the Center for Reflection, Education and Action (CREA).

Gap’s report is available online at .