Columbia works with independent manufacturing partners that make our product in over 15 different countries. No matter where our products are made, we require fair and ethical treatment of people and that sustainable manufacturing practices are applied. We are committed to assuring that the partners with whom we do business share these values.
Our Supply Chain
Responsible Manufacturing means knowing where your products are being made, who makes them, the working conditions in which they are produced, and building long term relationships with factories to ensure continuous improvement.
To support this, we maintain an internal Corporate Responsibility database that houses factory profile information, along with audit and remediation performance to record the data needed to track conditions and progress over time.
We are committed to transparency and collaboration. Therefore, we disclose our list of factories that are directly contracted by Columbia Sportswear and its subsidiaries. We believe that this level of transparency helps foster collaboration, improves factory performance under brands’ codes of conduct, and affects positive change across the industry.
Standards of Manufacturing Practices (SMP):
We value, expect and promote fair and ethical treatment of people and are committed to assuring that the partners with whom we do business share these values. Our Standards of Manufacturing Practices (SMP) (also known as our Code of Conduct) outlines our expectations in eight core areas listed below. These standards are based on International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions and Fair Labor Association standards.
Each factory producing Columbia products is required to post our standards on the production floor in the local language to ensure workers are aware of their rights. Factories are regularly monitored through unannounced audits against these Standards, in addition to local labor laws. Our SMP outlines standards in the following areas:
- Forced Labor
- Child Labor
- Harassment or Abuse
- Freedom of Association
- Employment Relationship
- Hours of Work
- Health and Safety
- Ethical Conduct
- Documentation and Inspection
We strive to understand and reduce the environmental impacts associated with the manufacturing of our products. We use the Higg Index Facility Module to help us do this. The Higg Index is an industry standard measurement tool managed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
The Higg Index Facility module measures impacts in seven critical impact areas:
- Environmental Management Systems
- Energy use and Green House Gas Emissions
- Water Use
- Wastewater Effluent
- Emissions to Air
- Waste Management
- Chemical Management
Monitoring for Continuous Improvement
Columbia employs a team of Corporate Responsibility Specialists who conduct regular audits of our suppliers against our SMP. All of our audits are conducted on an unannounced basis, allowing our Specialists to see the factory conditions as they are on a typical day. We work with the factories to develop a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to remediate issues identified during the audit. As we consider our suppliers as partners, our approach to remediation is continuous improvement, working together to improve working conditions.
To track our supplier SMP performance, we have developed an SMP (Standards of Manufacturing Practices) Scorecard that allows us to evaluate and track performance based on the following criteria:
- Audit Performance
- Remediation Efforts
- Management Systems
We use the SMP score, which is updated monthly, to determine level of support needed by our suppliers. The support ranges from additional capacity building for lower performing suppliers, to participation in special projects such as the HERproject for higher performing suppliers. The SMP score is also a key component of our overall supplier ratings is used to inform seasonal sourcing decisions.
Training and Capacity Building for Sustainable Factory Management Systems
Monitoring alone is not enough. We also support supplier efforts to promote sustainable solutions. Our training and capacity building program encourages suppliers to further develop their skills to
- Human Resources Management
- Effective Worker-Management Dialogue
- Production Efficiency
- Environmental Management
- Fire and Emergency Safety
At Columbia, we believe we can have a positive impact on the world by improving the lives of men and women in our supply chain. That's why we partner with our suppliers and NGOs like Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) to deliver health education and financial literacy training to women around the world through the HERproject program. Women working in our supply chain are changing the lives of their colleagues, families, and communities. We’re committed to ensuring they have the knowledge and skills they need to drive this change. Learn more at herproject.org.