Corporate Social Responsibility
As individuals, we all have an effect on the world around us. And when tens, hundreds, or even thousands of people are grouped together - for example, at a workplace - that impact can be considerable. For Clarks, social responsibility is about the way in which our business and operations make a social, environmental, and economic impact. It's about making a difference by the practices we adopt - accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative.
We’ve always taken our responsibilities seriously - from providing education and housing for our very first workers in the 1800s to supporting international initiatives to improve people's lives today. We recognise the importance of caring for our employees, suppliers and stakeholders all over the world; and we are working to create a sustainable future.
Ethical thinking is something that’s built into what we do across the whole organisation. We’re serious about driving sustainability and assessing our impact on the environment throughout the product life cycle. We’re currently working on a new strategy that will help to raise awareness even higher and open up some exciting opportunities. We also love getting involved in working with the community and linking up with different charities. Shoe Biz, for example, is a project very close to our hearts.
Launched by BBC Television’s Blue Peter, it’s an appeal that encourages viewers to donate old shoes to raise money for orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi. Clarks customers are also donating their shoes (through more than 600 in-store collection points), helping UNICEF to support children like those living in the remote Mae Hong Son region in Thailand.
Spotlight on a ... Vendor Auditor
Finding the right factory to supply products for Clarks is no small task. There’s a lot to take into account, a lot to consider. And that’s the job of a Vendor Auditor. As a Vendor Auditor, you’ll help the business to make a judgement on how suitable a factory is to supply products for Clarks. You’ll work closely with our sourcing teams to plan the programme of factory audits. You’ll then need to go and visit the factory, carrying out an in-depth audit and seeing for yourself the working conditions there.
It’s looking at everything from health and safety to working hours to wages and employment conditions. And it’s essential that everything is rigorously measured against international standards as well as local legal requirements.
It’s a rewarding job. One where you’ll get to have a tangible impact on working conditions at factories as a result of your recommendations. It’s varied too. As a fashion business, we often use different factories for different products. Which brings a continuous flow of new challenges. What’s particularly interesting at the moment is carrying out audits in collaboration with other footwear brands. This gives us the opportunity to have much more leverage with the factory in making improvements.