Traceability and Risk Assessment
L Brands has mapped our tier 1 suppliers, and we continue to map our supply chain including our tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers for our core products. As mapping progresses we are verifying that the substantial majority of our tier 2 and tier 3 facilities are located in the countries where the majority of our production takes place (United States, China, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and India).
The online system that IPS utilizes to manage L Brands’ social compliance program allows our suppliers, auditors and associates to access critical information such as policies, guidance tools, supplier/factory information, audit reports, corrective action plans and remediation status at any time.
We have a detailed risk assessment process to ensure we are working with business partners that are willing and able to comply with our standards.
About the risk assessment process:
- An initial supplier verification and risk assessment is conducted to prevent involvement with high-risk suppliers.
- Once a supplier has passed the risk assessment, the relationship between L Brands and a qualified supplier begins with a written master sourcing agreement wherein the supplier certifies that its factories and any that it may contract with will strictly adhere to L Brands’ Supplier Code of Conduct, including codes and any applicable laws pertaining to slavery and human trafficking. No subcontracting is permitted without prior approval.
- Each supplier must agree to allow L Brands, or an independent third party hired by L Brands, to conduct an audit of their production locations without prior notice. IPS or a third-party auditing firm conducts announced or unannounced audits of each of our approved factories at least annually to ensure compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct and supply chain standards. We may conduct more frequent reviews of factories located in countries designated as high risk by the U.S. State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report or identified through the company’s annual risk assessment process. Certain exemptions from annual audits may be granted to highly compliant factories with consistent and robust compliance. L Brands requires a pre-production audit of all new factories to ensure the factory can meet our standards before production can begin.
We conduct additional focused risk assessments on specific commodities, regions and groups such as migrant workers. In addition, all suppliers are required to certify that they have received, read and understand our no forced labor policy, including the prohibition on the use of Uzbek and Turkmen cotton, North Korean workers and any other form of forced labor.