Gap Inc.'s Ethical Procurement Practices


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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG103
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : 1997-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Gap Inc.
Industry : Retailing
Countries : US, India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"Gap Inc. has consistently pursued higher standards for their business practices - combining fiscal responsibility with responsible practices on environmental and social issues. In tough times, a strong reputation and a commitment to transparency, as Gap Inc. has demonstrated over the years, is an absolutely necessary part of doing business."1

- Jay Whitehead, Publisher and Editor of CRO Magazine, in March 2009.

"Since its inception in 1998, the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has galvanized a broad spectrum of corporations, NGOs and trade unions to bring about widespread change for workers around the world. We value Gap Inc.'s strong commitment to ETI and encourage the company to continue its leadership role on key issues such as integrating ethics into core business practices and encouraging stronger relationships between suppliers and worker organizations."2

- Dan Rees, Director, Ethical Trading Initiative3, in 2008.

"You don't find a situation where you produce the best quality results, but you treat people horribly. It just doesn't work that way. If I told you that this shirt was made in a factory where people were working 84 hours a week, beyond the human tragedy of that, what other concerns might you have? Quality. These things really are connected."4

- Dan Henkle, Senior Vice President, Social Responsibility, Gap Inc., in 2008.

Introduction

In April 2009, the US-based specialty clothing retailer, Gap Inc. (Gap), was identified as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies, by Ethisphere5.

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1] "CRO Mag Ranks Gap in 100 Best Corporate Citizens," www.fashionunited.com, March 09, 2009.
2] Gap Inc. 2007/2008 Social Responsibility Report.
3] Ethical Trading Initiative is an alliance of companies, NGOs, and trade union organizations committed to working together to identify and promote ethical trade.
4] Evan Clark, Ross Tucker, "Proving the Power of Ethical Practices," WWD: Women's Wear Daily, March 18, 2008.
5] The Ethisphere Council is an exclusive group of leaders and practitioners, who aim at raising the visibility of ethics and compliance and improving upon existing methodologies. The Council includes General Counsel, compliance, ethics, legal and finance professionals committed to corporate governance (http://ethisphere.com).


 

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