At the adidas Group, we have a long history of engagement with critical stakeholders as well as collaboration with partners. Our shared goal is to improve our industry.
To better illustrate what this means, I would like today to tell you more about our partnership with the non-profit organization Fair Labor Association (FLA).
The Fair Labor Association
The FLA brings together universities, civil society organizations and socially responsible companies dedicated to protecting workers’ rights around the world. The FLA places the onus on companies to voluntarily meet internationally recognized labor standards wherever their products are made. They deploy a collaborative approach allowing civil society organizations, universities and socially responsible companies to sit at the same table and find effective solutions to labor issues. They are a source of innovative and sustainable strategies and resources to improve employment, health and safety compliance systems. The FLA conducts transparent and independent assessments, for example in our supplier factories, which are published online, and they maintain the Third Party Complaint process, a mechanism to address the most serious labor rights violations. The FLA also fosters a strong multi-company collaboration to address difficult supply-chain challenges which no single company acting alone can solve.
Why the FLA?
There are a number of industry compliance initiatives out there, so why did the adidas Group chose affiliation with the Fair Labor Association? For a number of reasons:
• FLA company affiliates share hundreds of supplier factories, which facilitate collaborative work to secure harmonization of monitoring methodology to industry standards, and other innovative activities that address compliance issues in global supply chains.
• Accreditation by the FLA, meaning that our social compliance programs comply with the FLA standards, establishes credibility with the adidas Group’s university partners in North America. As you might know, adidas sponsors dozens of North American universities, and membership of the FLA is a key requirement for universities to choose their business partners.
• The FLA is the authoritative, external communication voice on social compliance issues, remediation and verification.
There are more than 1,000 companies and businesses that work with the FLA, including Nike, Under Armour, Pou Chen, Apple, Nestlé, H&M and Hanes. The majority of the adidas Group’s university partners in North America are affiliated to the FLA. You can find more about our partnership with the FLA on the corporate website.
We have been affiliated with the FLA since 1996, when brand Reebok started its membership, followed in 1999 by the adidas brand. It is clearly a mature and highly visible partnership, and it continues to be an effective mechanism bringing our industry to the next level of enforcing fair, healthy and safe work places.
This is not the only partnership
Indeed, this is not the only organization the adidas Group works with, so if you want to know a bit more, you can find some useful information here .