VF Corporation, a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, footwear, and accessories, today announced its commitment to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and the Women’s Empowerment Principles.
The UN Global Compact provides universal language for corporate responsibility and a framework to guide all businesses regardless of size, complexity, or location. The voluntary initiative is based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and take the necessary action to support human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption goals, as outlined in the UNGC’s Ten Principles. The Women’s Empowerment Principles represent seven principles produced by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) designed to advance equality and empower women. Both initiatives align with and help further the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The social and environmental issues exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have been extraordinary and we believe, now more than ever that business has a crucial role to play in respecting human rights and protecting the environment,” says Julie Sutton, Senior Director, Government Affairs and Global Impact, and the Human Rights lead for VF Corporation. “We are proud to raise awareness of the necessary human rights and sustainability work needed to help our industry build back better from this remarkable time. In honor of Human Rights Day, we are reinforcing VF Corporation’s focus on bettering people and the planet by formally committing to these important United Nations initiatives.”
Leading with Purpose via the UN Global Compact
VF prioritizes adherence to the UNGC principles throughout its value chain. As a signatory, VF will continue to embed the ideologies into all facets of its strategy, culture, and day-to-day operations. The company commits to engaging in collaborative projects that advance the broader development goals of the United Nations, particularly toward the achievement of the SDGs.
In accordance with key requirements for participation in the UN Global Compact, VF will submit annual Communications on Progress, which describe the company’s efforts to implement the UNGC’s Ten Principles.
Driving Gender Equality through the Women’s Empowerment Principles
VF’s commitment to the Women’s Empowerment Principles will enhance the company’s existing programs aimed at achieving equality for women across its global business.
This commitment complements the company’s existing women’s empowerment programs and builds on the efforts of its Worker and Community Development program, which focuses on elevating women throughout its global supply chain. In addition, VF joined the Paradigm for Parity coalition four years ago, pledging to reach organizational gender parity at the Director level and above by 2030. VF’s family of brands also focuses on women’s initiatives, including The North Face® brand’s “She Moves Mountains” campaign, and efforts to add more women-led companies to the overall supply chain such as a Jordanian-led, all-female factory that opened in February 2020 with the support of the United Nations and now employs nearly 500 women.
“We believe when women are empowered, the world is empowered. We view the Women’s Empowerment Principles as a natural evolution of VF’s existing efforts to advance women’s equality. We are excited to further accelerate the pursuit of our vision and lead the industry forward,” said Sutton.