Dignity, freedom, equality. Right to work and to education. Protection of vulnerable groups such as women, children, indigenous peoples, refugees and migrants, and LGTBQI+ people. Benetton Group has always believed in a society based on respect for human rights, without any exception.
The Company states this firmly in its social campaigns and does it every day at the workplace – from the initiatives implemented in its offices around the world to supplier selection – for the purpose of ensuring equal treatment and respect for diversity: from skin color to gender, from sexual orientation to political and religious opinions.
Responsible purchasing practices
Benetton Group is committed to implementing responsible purchasing practices and to be a fair business partner: our aspiration is to drive an efficient and ethical buying process, taking into consideration the challenging environment in which our suppliers operate. Responsible purchasing practices are fundamental in the safeguard of a fair treatment of workers and of healthy and safe working conditions in the garments world. We are aware that our purchasing practices and capacity planning are key for suppliers in order to plan their production cycles efficiently and therefore avoid excessive working hours and ensure on-time and accurate payment to workers. In this perspective, Benetton Group is committed to minimize the changes to purchase orders after their official emission (adjustments involve less than 5% of orders). We also undertake to honor the terms of payments and the other contractual terms agreed: our suppliers are usually paid after 90 or 120 days by credit letter or wire transfer. See our Purchase Order Standard Format
Benetton Group suspends new orders to Myanmar effective immediately
Benetton Group expresses its deepest concerns over the events in Myanmar. The situation presents so many safety issues and violations of rights and freedom that we have decided to suspend all new orders to the country.
Commenting on the situation in Myanmar, Benetton Group Chief Executive Officer Massimo Renon said: “Over the years, Benetton Group has been a standard-bearer for fundamental values such as inclusiveness, integration, and non-violence. As a company, we cannot fail to contribute to the respect of these values and we intend to do our part. We will suspend orders to the country to send a strong and concrete signal.” Renon further stated, “Our hope is that the situation return, as soon as possible, to one that guarantees the people’s fundamental rights and that our Group may once again resume its action of supporting the local populations, that also involves promoting work and dignity.”
Benetton Group and the Covid-19 emergency
Benetton Group has launched a series of initiatives to help its community and adapt its business to the new, unpredictable international context due to the Covid-19 emergency.
Supply chain support measures
We have decided to partially rethink our next Autumn/Winter collection. Consequently, we have cancelled 7% of our future orders, first ensuring that the garments had not yet been produced. This reduction is equivalent to 8%, in value, of total production in the Far East, Egypt and some EMEA countries (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). All orders – even only partially completed ones – have been paid for and we have not asked our suppliers for discounts, although we have in some cases negotiated postponing payment. In particular, after receiving the suppliers’ consensus, in the Autumn/Winter collection the payments for 26% of total orders were postponed for 30 days, 18% for 60 days; in the Spring/Summer collection we negotiated some deferments of payment in minor percentage: 2% of total orders for 30 days, 9% for 60 days, 2% for 90 days. To our knowledge, none of the factories in our supply chain have closed due to Covid-19. Despite the criticalities of the year, the overall Free On Board (FOB) prices have remained stable, with no significant increase or decrease, due to the influence of multiple factors. The relationship between our suppliers and their employees is governed by the Benetton Group Code of Conduct. This document is attached to the commercial contract that is approved and signed by suppliers, and is based on the respect for human rights and environmental protection.
Attention to worker safety
We have implemented safety measures in favour of workers in the workplace, both abroad and in Italy, in accordance with national and local laws. On the company intranet we immediately created a dedicated page offering suggestions and useful information to our employees for dealing with Covid-19.
Benetton Group benefits from public aid made available to companies in Italy and in the countries where it operates. To mitigate the reduction in wages, managers donated part of their holiday allowance days to workers. As already decided in past years, no dividends will be paid to shareholders.
Collaboration with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition
We are in contact with the other members of Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the alliance between the leading brands of the clothing, footwear and textile industries, to share and compare responses to the crisis.
Donation to the Veneto Region
Benetton Group has donated 100,000 disposable medical gowns to the Veneto Region for the protection of health workers employed in the fight against Covid-19. The gowns are made of a material that protects against infectious pathogens. The gown materials were produced in Italy, while the gowns themselves were made in Veneto.