Recognizing Under Armour’s commitment to improving working conditions with factory partners, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) said its board of directors has accredited the social compliance program of Under Armour Inc.
The accreditation confirms that the athletic performance company has strong policies and practices in place to set goals, monitor and remediate problems to improve conditions for the workers within its global supply chain.
“I applaud Under Armour’s commitment to embedding international labor standards and best practices into its global sourcing operations,” Sharon Waxman, FLA president and CEO, said. “The people who make the products that bear Under Armour’s name deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and fairness. FLA’s rigorous accreditation program is based on human rights principles, and achieving accreditation is an important and meaningful milestone in Under Armour’s long-term effort to improve conditions for workers in its supply chain.”
FLA note that the accreditation process is a multiyear examination of a company’s labor compliance program that supports increased corporate transparency. In conjunction with this effort, Under Armour has published a factory list representing approximately 90 percent of its production volume, including licensee factories that produce collegiate products.
“We are proud to have been recognized by the FLA for this significant sustainability milestone,” Patrik Frisk, Under Armour president and chief operating officer, said. “The FLA’s multi-stakeholder composition, which includes civil society, university and business members that hold brands and suppliers accountable for their labor compliance performance, is a holistic approach that empowers our goal of becoming a more operationally excellent company.”
The FLA requires brands and suppliers to commit to meeting the standards of transparency, regular review and assessment of corporate systems that support workers’ rights. Participating companies must regularly assess supply chain production facilities for adherence to international labor standards and pursue continuous improvement efforts to address conditions for workers to achieve accreditation.
“We believe that our FLA affiliation will continue to make the conditions for workers in the global supply chain, and Under Armour, better,” Michael Levine, Under Armour vice president of sustainability, said. “We see accreditation by the FLA as a way to demonstrate our commitment and impact to key stakeholders, including the people who make and buy our products.”
The FLA accreditation report notes key strengths of Under Armour’s program. They include board and executive level commitment to improving conditions and protecting workers, including the creation of Under Armour’s Sustainability Leadership Council. Under Armour has regular training on workplace standards, transparency, root cause analysis, and health and safety for strategic suppliers. The company has also created procedures to make sure workers have access to and are aware of multiple grievance channels they can access, including directly to UA via confidential reporting.
In addition, the company has a comprehensive monitoring program that includes pre-assessment meetings with unions, worker representative structures and civil society organizations, and has demonstrated engagement with civil society and union representatives in key sourcing regions, especially East Asia, Southeast Asia and Central America.
The FLA said it recognizes that labor compliance programs can be complicated and that there are times when a specific principle or benchmark is not met. As such, FLA provides programmatic recommendations to advance every affiliate’s labor compliance in support of its mission to protect worker rights and ensure decent working conditions.
Headquartered in Baltimore, Under Armour had annual revenue of $5.2 billion. The company sources from 154 factories, with Vietnam, China and Indonesia the top locations. The company also sources from a significant number of factories in the U.S.