Materiality & Stakeholder Engagement

Evolving our strategy through dialogue
and partnership.

Engaging with our stakeholders has played an integral role in evolving our CR strategy. As a large apparel company with highly visible brands, we are in regular conversation with organizations and individuals interested in our approach to social and environmental issues. By communicating openly and listening to the things they care about, we gain valuable insights that help us to strengthen our program for greater impact.

Our stakeholder groups

We work with multiple stakeholder groups, including associates, investors, suppliers, workers in our supply chain, non-governmental organizations, industry associations, multi-stakeholder initiatives, labor unions, governments, communities, wholesale accounts and our end consumers. We engage with each group in a way that we believe responds to their questions effectively, supports our shared goals and leads to new efforts and improvements to existing ones.

Some of our stakeholder groups:

Associates

We regularly engage with our associates and communicate more broadly through engagement events, activities and internal communications to embed CR throughout our business. Associates also have opportunities to volunteer in their communities and contribute to philanthropic efforts.

Investors

We respond to CR-related queries from both socially responsible and traditional investors. Through our corporate website and CR report, we strive to communicate our CR efforts and how we manage social and environmental risks.

Suppliers and workers in our supply chain

We aim to move beyond compliance by expanding our assessment program to focus on capacity-building. We openly communicate and take a partnership approach with suppliers to resolve social and environmental issues.

Non-governmental organizations ("NGOs")

We respond to inquiries from NGOs regarding CR policies and practices, as well as significant events in the industry. We undertake projects in partnership with NGOs to address specific social and environmental issues.

Industry associations and multi-stakeholder initiatives

We work closely with peer companies and other industry participants to address industry-wide issues and work towards long-term solutions. We also engage directly with working groups globally and in key manufacturing countries to promote and strengthen compliance and broaden CR focus areas across the industry.

Labor Unions

We partner with labor unions through multi-stakeholder forums and direct engagement on initiatives that impact the workers in our supply chain.

Governments

We engage with governments on specific issues, like freedom of association, fair compensation and building fire and structural safety. For instance, we are liaising with various levels of government to help build a best-in-class apparel manufacturing industry in Ethiopia.

Communities

We invest in local communities through partnerships with non-profit organizations, associate volunteerism and contributions.

Wholesale accounts and consumers

Wholesale accounts and consumers are increasingly interested in CR issues. We communicate our CR approach and performance to them through our corporate website, CR report and, to a lesser extent, other communication vehicles including social media and point-of-sale marketing. We also engage in direct discussions with wholesale partners to work toward our respective CR goals.

Defining our key material issues

In 2015, we conducted a materiality assessment in line with the GRI G4 guidelines. Building on our 2013 materiality assessment, we identified and prioritized the CR topics that are most material to our business and stakeholders, including by seeking input from stakeholders. We evaluated each topic according to the level of risk and opportunity it presents to our business. This helped to inform our new CR strategy and will be integral to long-term strategy development and reporting.

The stakeholders participating in the assessment included associates throughout our organization and partners including the Fair Labor Association (“FLA”), Better Work, the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (“ZDHC”) group, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (“SAC”) and New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. We sought their views through an online survey and in-depth interviews, and conducted a roundtable before finalizing the prioritization of key topics with senior executives.

Looking forward, we will continue to assess and refine our material topics with our stakeholders as required.

Material topics

The following CR topics were identified through our materiality assessment as important to our business. This table shares both the topics as well as the areas of our value chain where we consider their most relevant impacts.

Material Topic Source Make Sell {Re}use Responsible
Business
Human rights
Factory fire and structural safety
Responsible sourcing by PVH business units
Supplier capacity building
Chemicals management
Bribery and corruption & corporate governance
Health, safety and wellbeing1
Talent management/learning and development
Community investment
Inclusion and diversity
Water stewardship
Compensation and benefits
Associate engagement
Sustainable materials
Living wage
Responsible entry and exit of factories
Packaging and packing
Greenhouse gas emissions
Waste
Associate volunteering
Sustainable product design and manufacturing

  • (1)Defined as “efforts to provide our associates with safe working environments, as well as initiatives and benefits that promote health and wellbeing and foster a positive work-life balance” for the purpose of this assessment.

Our Approach Articles