With concerns mounting over the health of our environment, and our society becoming more concerned with how we treat other human beings, there has never been a time where corporate social responsibility has been more important. With Under Armour being a member of the textile industry they are very susceptible to poor ethical decisions. Because most textiles are manufactured in third world countries where workers do not receive good wages or have favorable working conditions, it is tempting for companies to utilize cheap labor to make their products more affordable.
Under Armour does a good job of being a leader in the active wear industry in not only product development but also in ethical standards. Under Armour is an industry leader in each main element of corporate social responsibility which include: sustainability initiatives, ethical practices and policies, diversity, and social welfare initiatives. Sustainability Initiatives
In Under Armour’s code of conduct for suppliers they state “Under Armour suppliers and their subcontractors will comply with all environmental rules, regulations and standards applicable to their operations. ” (UA) While this is a very broad statement it shows that Under Armour is committed to bettering our environment. Under Armour is also involved in Northwest Apparel and Footwear Materials show which focuses on more environmentally friendly ways to produce products.
One of the main focuses of the show is AirDye which is a technological advancement that allows clothing manufacturers to dye their clothing while drastically reducing the amount of water needed and carbon dioxide that is emitted. (air dye) Those attending the show believe it is critical to adopt this advancement and many others to keep china from depleting their resources and ruining their environment. Ethical Practices and Policies
When it comes to ethics Under Armour is very diligent to make sure that their suppliers are all providing proper wages and a proper working environment. On their website they state “Under Armour suppliers and their subcontractors must fully comply with all applicable local, state, federal, national and international, laws, rules and regulations including, but not limited to, those relating to child labor, wages, hours, labor, health and safety, and immigration. Under Armour suppliers and their subcontractors must be ethical in their business practices. (UA) They go on to further explain each of these categories: •Suppliers must meet the minimum wage of the country where work is performed •Suppliers can only work an employee the lesser of 48 hour work week plus a 12 hours overtime, or the individual countries average work week plus 12 overtime hours
•Suppliers must give their employers at least one day off every week •Under Armour will not purchase products that were manufactured by children younger than 15 or whatever age a child would complete compulsory education in that country •Under Armour will not purchase goods manufactured by suppliers utilizing forced labor •Suppliers must meet all local health and safety regulations Diversity Under Armour as an active wear brand, must display diversity to attract the many various demographic groups that would purchase their products. To make their company more diverse they hold themselves and their suppliers to strong ethical standards.
They state “Under Armour suppliers and subcontractors shall not subject any person to discrimination in employment, including hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, discipline, termination or retirement, on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, or social or ethnic origin. ” While this statement is very broad, Under Armour is showing their customers and suppliers that they believe there are things more important than profits. They show that they will not sacrifice their ethics to increase their increase profits. Under Armour also supports Pensole Footwear Design Academy. Pensole is a not-for-profit program that trains aspiring professionals in footwear design.
Pensole is aimed at supporting the black and minority ethnic groups to create diversity in the footwear design industry. Through their involvement with Pensole Under Armour shows their dedication to diversity and giving everyone a fair shot at a job in their industry. Social Welfare Initiatives Under Armour not only makes good ethical decisions but goes above and beyond by reaching out into the community. Under Armour has three main outreaches, UA Power in Pink, UA Win, and UA Freedom. UA Power in Pink Is Under Armour’s breast cancer outreach. Through this program Under Armour has created a $10 Million Under Armour Breast Health Innovation Center where women can receive nutritional counseling, fitness evaluation and survivorship services.
Under Armour aims to reduce patient stress, by motivating patients and educating them on how they can best fight breast cancer. UA Win aims to give children in less fortunate situations access to sports. UA win works with communities and coaches to create better parks and recreational facilities in impoverished neighborhoods. Under Armour also creates programs to help children succeed playing sports and in everyday life. UA Freedom is a program designed to benefit first responders law enforcement officers and veterans. Under Armour has pledged to donate $250,000 annually to supporting these groups. Through UA Freedom under Armour has become a key sponsor of the Wounded Warrior Project which helps wounded veterans regain normalcy in their lives.