W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. and its subsidiaries fully supports efforts to eliminate forced labor and human trafficking. Everyone in our enterprise is expected to demonstrate integrity in all relationships when dealing with suppliers, customers and stakeholders, as well as with other Gore Associates. We are collectively committed to fostering a safe and healthy work environment where all Associates can develop their talents, enjoy their work, and responsibly direct their activities.
Gore’s purchasing terms require that suppliers comply with applicable laws and regulations. Consequently, many of our external suppliers have not been explicitly required to certify or to undergo audit in order to verify the absence of forced labor or human trafficking. However, Gore has established and adopted Gore Guidelines on Social Responsibility (GSR). These guidelines set forth our expectations regarding fair labor requirements, positive working environments, compliance with legal and environmental regulations, and other topics. Gore expects its suppliers, business partners, distributors, and any other representatives to maintain this same level of social responsibility.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor,” has noted that garments and textiles have been determined to be sectors at risk. Most finished apparel products made with Gore fabrics are placed on the market by our customers, many of which have programs in place to address forced labor and human trafficking. Gore is a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition which developed the HIGG Index, to drive transparency of fair labor conditions within the value chain. Gore is an active user of the HIGG Index for assessing and sharing sustainability performance of our manufacturing units. We encourage our suppliers to use the Higg Index Social / Labor Module to assess their performance on fair working conditions.
Our GORE® WEAR business has affiliated with the Fair Labor Association (FLA), adopting that organization’s Code of Conduct for garment manufacture. This requires that GORE® WEAR garment manufacturing facilities conduct business in alignment with the FLA Code of Conduct or an equivalent code of conduct and to perform third party audits to verify the garment manufacturers’ compliance. Additionally, social audit spot checks are performed by the Fair Labor Association.
Associates involved in supply chain management of finished apparel products have received training which includes the subjects of human trafficking and forced labor. A confidential reporting channel, specific to social responsibility matters, has been designated to handle reports of non-compliance.
Outside of our Fabrics division, in 2017 we began educating Associates in our Performance Solutions Division on human trafficking risks. Associates with exposure to market sectors with known human trafficking risks are required to study our Human Trafficking Briefing.
We continue to review our Enterprise for potential risks of modern slavery and human trafficking, and commit to mitigating those risks wherever we find them.
Statement for Fiscal Year 17-18
Jason Field, Chief Executive Officer
3 July 2018