Respect for human rights, which, along with environmental protection and good governance standards, are at the core of the resolution on due diligence and corporate responsibility approved by the European Parliament, constitutes one of the key elements of development in all areas of LPP’s operations. The importance that the Gdańsk-based company attaches to these issues is reflected in its cooperation with the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business, aimed at broadening its expertise and competences in order to provide better protection both for the employees of the LPP Group and all people in its business environment. As a result of the actions undertaken, and with the support of the Institute, LPP also developed the first, unified document containing a catalogue of principles and commitments to respect human rights throughout the company’s value chain.
LPP’s presence in almost 40 markets, its cooperation with thousands of suppliers and its constant development pose new challenges for the company, also in areas related to human rights. In order to meet them, the Polish clothing company decided to strengthen its activities in this field by laying down the LPP Group’s policy of respecting these rights. The key element of the works on the document was expert support provided by the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business (PIHRB), which not only allowed for better understanding of contemporary challenges faced by a company operating in the apparel business, but also for developing a document that would constitute a signpost of conduct in the entire, dispersed value chain.
– Our intention was to bring together what has been an important part of LPP’s business operations for many years in a document that, in a uniform manner and taking into account international guidelines, will set out rules to ensure respect for human rights of all our employees and associates, as well as others affected by our activities. The “LPP Group Policy on Human Rights” is the first document of this sort which also confirms our commitment to respecting and promoting human rights among LPP stakeholders, but above all reflects the importance we attach to this topic. That is why it was so crucial for us to have the possibility of using the expertise and experience of experts from the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business during the document preparation stage, as well as – and we found this particularly important – to initiate large-scale educational activities within the company and activities aimed at identifying the areas where our activities may generate risks for internal and external stakeholders – points out Przemysław Lutkiewicz, vice-president of the Management Board, LPP.
As part of the cooperation with PIHRB, representatives of the Management Board of LPP, together with key managers from Poland and foreign companies, attended training and workshops on international human rights guidelines adopted by the UN and the OECD. The meetings also focused on legislative trends, such as ESG, concerning a new standard for reporting information on the environmental impact of companies, or the EU Taxonomy regulating sustainable investments, where human rights issues are also present. The workshops also covered due diligence in the area of human rights and the links between human rights and D&I standards (Diversity and Inclusion) and the concept of a trust-based organisation.
– The possibility of cooperation with the Polish Institute for Human Rights is a unique opportunity for our managers not only to improve their knowledge of human rights standards in force worldwide. Participants of training conducted by the Institute could also learn about benchmarks, indices and ratings, thanks to which we hope to fulfil our commitments even better. We are all the more pleased that we can already talk about the continuation of our cooperation and at the turn of March and April this year, the Institute’s experts will conduct a webinar which, via our e-learning platform, will be made available to all the employees of the company – announced Małgorzata Chrzanowska-Rokacz, sustainability expert.
Educational activities were not the only elements of the process started in 2021. The knowledge and competences that LPP has acquired through the review of processes, procedures and documents developed so far, as well as through surveys conducted among the employees of the company’s central headquarters, Distribution Centre in Pruszcz Gdański and offices in Shanghai and Dhaka, are crucial for the development and implementation of a comprehensive human rights due diligence process.
– During several months of cooperation, our experts collected, analysed and reported data, engaged key company employees and Management Board members in workshops and training, during which we drew on current legislative requirements and trends as well as top global market practices. Working with the LPP team has proven their strong commitment and openness to change. What we especially appreciate is the perseverance of the employees during this intensive and difficult process. Discovering and dealing with new aspects of the company’s functioning required maturity which was demonstrated both during the workshops and discussions, as well as during the work on the text of the policy itself, whose final shape, scope and level of detail is a decision of the LPP Management Board. The cooperation with LPP so far allows us to believe that the creation of the “Policy on Human Rights” is just the first step to implement a full cycle of human rights due diligence in this rapidly developing company – concludes Beata Faracik, president of the PIHRB.
Additional actions undertaken with the support of the Institute and the conclusions worked out on that basis rendered it possible to identify key risks in the area of human rights.
– Developing our policy in this respect is the first step. Our goal is to systematically update the risk map, as well as to strengthen measures seeking to ensure respect for internationally recognised standards of human rights protection throughout the dispersed supply chain. In this context, it will be important for us to pay special attention, both by LPP Group entities and by our business partners, including suppliers and subcontractors, to individuals and groups that are most vulnerable to the negative effects of their activities, including women, migrant workers or children – emphasizes Przemysław Lutkiewicz.
The “Policy on Human Rights (LPP Group)” complements, and is reinforced by, other related documents applicable in the LPP Group, relating to the values that guide LPP: Code of Ethics, Principles of Cooperation with Contractors, Code of Conduct, Whistleblowing Rules, Occupational Health and Safety and HR Guidelines. As of 2019, LPP is also a signatory to the UN Global Compact, which includes, among others, principles on human rights. Its aim is to encourage companies worldwide to adopt socially responsible policies, implement actions to ensure sustainable development and report on them.
The full version of the Policy on Human Rights (LPP Group) is available at https://www.lppsa.com/en/sustainable-development/our-rules.
LPP is a Polish family business and one of the fastest growing clothing companies in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. For 30 years it has been successfully operating in Poland and abroad, offering its collections on 26 stationary markets, including in such prestigious capitals as London, Helsinki, Tel Aviv or Moscow. The online offer is available on 31 markets. LPP SA manages five fashion brands: Reserved, Cropp, House, Mohito, and Sinsay. The company has a chain of over 2000 stores with the total area of over 1.7 million sq.m. On the basis of a global supply chain, the Polish clothing producer distributes over 259 million pieces of clothing to three continents. LPP plays another important role as it employs 27 thousand people in its offices and sales structures in Poland, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The company is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in the WIG20 index and belongs to the prestigious MSCI Poland index.