Assessment methods for corporate responsibility on the fashion scene. A case study of Hennes & Mauritz, Lindex, KappAhl and MQ
The aim of this project was to describe the methods used for assessment of corporate responsibility. The comparative case study included four Swedish apparel retailers and was based on external communication in CSR and sustainability reports. The project revealed a large number of initiatives addressing social and environmental challenges both in the supply chain and for the own operations in stores and offices. A number of performance measures were also linked to these initiatives, enabling an assessment of the performance. However, differences did appear related to the transparency of performance measures and how far in the supply chain the initiatives reached. The results of this study can be discussed in a larger context, where it is relevant to shed light upon the role of sustainability and external communication to stakeholders. This study also leads back to the very core of corporate responsibility; namely, the debate on corporations´ responsibilities towards society.