Levi Strauss & Co. seeks to conduct its business in a responsible
manner. We believe this is an important element of our corporate
reputation which contributes to the strength of our commercial success.
As we expand our marketing activities abroad, and work with contractors
and suppliers throughout the world to help meet our customers' needs, it
is important to protect our Company's reputation in selecting where and
with whom to do business.
Levi Strauss & Co.'s Global Sourcing & Operating Guidelines include
two parts: the Business Partner Terms of Engagement, which address
workplace issues that are substantially controllable by individual
business partners; and the Country Assessment Guidelines, which address
larger, external issues beyond the control of individual business
Business Partner Terms of Engagement
The Terms of Engagement are tools that help protect Levi Strauss &
Co.'s corporate reputation and, therefore, its commercial success. They
assist us in selecting business partners that follow work place
standards and business practices consistent with our Company's policies.
As a set of guiding principles, they also help identify potential
problems so that we can work with our business partners to address
issues of concern as they arise.
Specifically, we expect our business partners to operate workplaces
where the following standards and practices are followed:
1. ETHICAL STANDARDS
We will seek to identify and utilize business partners who aspire as
individuals and in the conduct of all their businesses to a set of
ethical standards not incompatible with our own.
2. LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
We expect our business partners to be law abiding as individuals and
to comply with legal requirements relevant to the conduct of all their
3. ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS
We will only do business with partners who share our commitment to
the environment and who conduct their business in a way that is
consistent with Levi Strauss & Co.'s Environmental Philosophy and
4. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
We will favor business partners who share our commitment to
contribute to improving community conditions.
5. EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS
We will only do business with partners whose workers are in all cases
present voluntarily, not put at risk of physical harm, fairly
compensated, allowed the right of free association and not exploited in
any way. In addition, the following specific guidelines will be
* Wages and Benefits. We will only do business with
partners who provide wages and benefits that comply with any applicable
law and match the prevailing local manufacturing or finishing Industry
* Working Hours. While permitting flexibility in
scheduling, we will identify prevailing local work hours and seek
business partners who do not exceed them except for appropriately
compensated overtime. While we favor partners who utilize less than
sixty-hour work weeks, we will not use contractors who, on a regularly
scheduled basis, require in excess of a sixty-hour week. Employees
should be al lowed at least one day off in seven.
* Child Labor. Use of child labor is not permissible.
Workers can be no less than 14 years of age and not younger than the
compulsory age to be in school. We will not utilize partners who use
child labor in any of their facilities. We support the development of
legitimate workplace apprenticeship programs for the educational benefit
of younger people.
* Prison Labor/forced Labor. We will not utilize prison
or forced labor in contracting relationships in the manufacture and
finishing of our products. We will not utilize or purchase materials
from a business partner utilizing prison or forced labor.
* Health & Safety. We will only utilize business
partners who provide workers with a safe and healthy work environment.
Business partners who provide residential facilities for their workers
must provide safe and healthy facilities.
* Discrimination. While we recognize and respect
cultural differences, we believe that workers should be employed on the
basis of their ability to do the job, rather than on the basis of
personal characteristics or beliefs. We will favor business partners who
share this value.
* Disciplinary Practices. We will not utilize business
partners who use corporal punishment or other forms of mental or
physical coer cion.
Country Assessment Guidelines
The diverse cultural, social, political, and economic circumstances
of the various countries where Levi Strauss & Co. has existing or future
business raise issues that could subject our corporate reputation and
therefore, our business success, to potential harm. The Country
Assessment Guidelines are intended to help us assess these issues. The
Guidelines are tools that assist us in making practical and principled
business decisions as we balance the potential risks and opportunities
associated with conducting business in a particular country.
In making these decisions, we consider the degree to which our global
corporate reputation and commercial success may be exposed to
unreasonable risk. Specifically, we assess whether the:
BRAND IMAGE would be adversely affected by a country's
perception or image among our customers and/or consumers;
HEALTH AND SAFETY of our employees and their families, or our
company representatives would be exposed to unreasonable risk;
HUMAN RIGHTS ENVIRONMENT would prevent us from conducting
business activities in a manner that is consistent with the Global
Sourcing Guidelines and other company policies;
LEGAL SYSTEM would prevent us from adequately protecting our
trademarks, in vestments or other commercial interests, or from
implementing the Global Sourcing Guidelines and other company policies;
POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT would threaten the
Company's reputation and/or commercial interests.
In making these assessments, we take into account the various types
of business activities and objectives proposed (e.g., procurement of
fabric and sundries, sourcing, licensing, direct investments in
subsidiaries) and, thus, the accompanying level of risk involved.
Levi Strauss & Co. is committed to continuous improvement in the
implementation of its Global Sourcing & Operating Guidelines. As we
apply these standards throughout the world, we will acquire
greater experience. As has always been our practice, we will
continue to take into consideration all pertinent information that helps
us better address issues of concern, meet new challenges and update our
Business partners are contractors and subcontractors who
manufacture or finish our products and suppliers who provide raw
materials used in the production of our products. We have begun applying
the Terms of Engagement to business partners involved in manufacturing
and finisbing and plan to extend their application to suppliers.