We consider collaboration and partnership activities with other brands or buyers as crucial for improving workplace conditions in shared factories. Collaboration activities include sharing audit reports, conducting joint audits or working together on remediation and capacity building.We use the Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FCC) as our compliance database, storing our suppliers’ compliance performance information. The FFC is an external, non-profit programme which uses technology to share information between members. Since 2008, we have shared factory audit reports, corrective action plans and other related documents with other FFC member companies.Through the FFC, we can work with the factory and other brands to create a harmonised or common corrective action plan. This allows a factory to singularly fulfil all its customers’ requirements so it is more efficient, both for the supplier and the customers. In 2011, we increased collaboration with other brands by harmonising or creating common corrective action plans in shared factories in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Honduras, Turkey, Egypt and Israel. In the non-athletic and business shoes category, 2011 marked the third year of the Brown Shoe Industry Collaboration, an initiative which brings together nine buyers from one of the world’s largest brown shoe manufacturers. The collaboration has focused on developing common actions plans and shared remediation. The initiative has now extended beyond labour and health and safety to consider the suppliers’ environmental performance.
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