In fabric and trimmings production, chemicals are particularly used in so-called wet processes, which include for example dyeing, washing, bleaching and tanning. The same applies to the production of cotton, synthetic or recycled fibers. If chemicals are released in the production processes, this can lead above all to a negative impact on the water quality and water supply of local communities in the vicinity of the respective production site. HUGO BOSS consequently makes its suppliers aware of the need for the responsible handling of chemicals.
Environmental concerns in the supply chain are managed by the central Global Sustainability division. Its guidelines on adherence to corresponding environmental standards are implemented by the operational sourcing units in cooperation with the suppliers. Thus, for example, the HUGO BOSS Social Standards, which form an integral component of the contractual agreements, also include guidelines on adherence to environmental protection requirements. Adherence on the part of the suppliers is continuously reviewed by HUGO BOSS and independent third parties. The Managing Board and relevant employees are regularly informed about the outcome of the work.
Analyses by HUGO BOSS to evaluate natural capital demonstrate that the environmental impact of wet processes is particularly high. Therefore, the Company's objective is to further reduce the environmental impact of the wet processes on the supplier's side.
Within the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) program, HUGO BOSS joins with other companies in the apparel industry to eliminate hazardous chemicals in the textile supply chain. In future, for instance the audit protocol of the ZDHC program will help in the exchange of information on important environmental topics between the Company and its suppliers and will in particular enable standardized evaluation of the suppliers’ chemical management. The audit protocol of the ZDHC program follows a similar logic as the Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP) previously followed by HUGO BOSS, but it is specifically geared to the wet processes. In 2018, the focus was on, among other things, supporting suppliers with wet processes in improving their environmental performance. In 2018, moreover, the Group prepared to migrate to the ZDHC program audit protocol. This migration is to be completed in 2019. For 2019, the Company also plans to promote the application of the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines, to prevent the release of water-hazardous substances in the supply chain. With the Environmental Commitment published on the Company’s website, HUGO BOSS also aims to reduce the environmental impacts in its supply chain. group.hugoboss.com