Our Approach

Sustainability has always been a key part of our corporate culture and today provides a guiding framework for how we manage our environmental impact while contributing to the social and economic development of the societies and communities in which we operate.

Our corporate sustainability strategy integrates actions that aim to improve the sustainability of our own operations and facilities and the work we do with suppliers, customers and industry partners to continually upgrade the sustainability of our global supply chain. In short, our vision is to use resources efficiently; to add business value for our customers and their suppliers; to focus on the health and wellbeing of our colleagues; and to positively impact our communities and societies.

In today's globalized world, businesses such as ours grow by responding to new opportunities, addressing complex challenges and innovating to deliver our products and services responsibly for the benefit of our business, stakeholders and communities around the world. Our operations span over 40 economies and 2012 marked the first full year of integrating our Trading, Logistics and Distribution networks.

How we address risk in our business and meet the needs of our stakeholders is evolving and requires us to consider the social and environmental aspects and conditions of where we source, which materials are used in our products, the conditions under which they are made and how they are delivered and consumed. In 2009 we formalized our approach to addressing these important issues in our comprehensive Sustainability Strategy. For three full years now, our Strategy has been engaging all of our colleagues globally to enhance our performance in that respect. It guides us to improve social, environmental and economic conditions in our supply chain, reduce the environmental footprint of our own operations, enhance the health and well-being of our colleagues, and contribute to the sustainable development of the diverse communities where we operate. To drive specific actions, we have 10 Commitments that cover all the areas of our Strategy and include quantitative targets that motivate us to improve and help us measure our progress. Our performance is also reviewed quarterly by the Risk Management and Sustainability Committee of our Board.

2012 was a year of deepening our initiatives to reduce our environmental footprint, to formalize our approach to conducting business ethically and responsibly for our own operations and in our supply chain, and to engage our multi-stakeholders. We continued to invest and support our colleagues to be more resource efficient and, based on the results of a global survey, to measure the contributions that we are making with our sustainability initiatives and our engagement with the communities in our global network.

We rolled out our updated Code of Conduct and Business Ethics for our colleagues, which is available on our website and supported by policies and guidelines, internal training and awareness-raising initiatives. In 2012 we launched "The Ethical Zone", an internal platform for sharing practical examples and solutions on how to respond to potential ethical dilemmas. In response to the feedback we received from our 2011 global employee engagement survey, we launched our Connect, Appreciate, Respond and Encourage (C.A.R.E.) program. A variety of C.A.R.E. activities were launched to engage and support our colleagues, ranging from handbooks, enhancements to employee communications through our One Family intranet portal, learning events and social activities, to a new, online performance review and professional development management system for all of our colleagues.

We also expanded our collaboration and partnerships with our suppliers, customers and industry partners on supply chain sustainability. In January, we launched our revised Code of Conduct for Suppliers and its companion Supplier Compliance Manual, which are based on industry standards and clearly outline the Standards required for doing business with Li & Fung. To support the roll out, we conducted internal training for our global compliance and sourcing colleagues, we expanded the training and guidance that we provide to our suppliers and we partnered with key customers on tailored programs for strategic suppliers. These programs have focused on issues of particular concern and relevance in our sourcing countries, with topics ranging from working hours, underage labor and fire safety to environmental efficiency and lean manufacturing.

While we have made progress in integrating sustainability in our own operations and our supply chain, we recognize that this journey is long and the challenge bigger than we alone can address. Occurrences such as the tragic fire at the Tazreen garment factory in Bangladesh in November bring to the forefront the need to raise standards across the industry, with workplace safety placed above all other considerations. In 2013 and going forward, we will continue to collaborate with the relevant multi-stakeholders to improve standards and working conditions, to source from suppliers that are committed to improving their workplace safety and sustainability performance and to providing focused resources to support these ongoing priorities.