MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO, Victor Herrero


 

 

 

 

Sustainable growth for GUESS is built on transparency, purpose, and creating positive impact for our world and our brand.

Sustainable growth for GUESS is built on transparency, purpose, and creating positive impact for our world and our brand.

It is with great pride and pleasure that I present our second GUESS sustainability report.

This report details our progress toward a higher standard for social and environmental performance, and provides the first formal GUESS Sustainability Plan – a milestone for our brand. Through my experience leading this truly global company, I see one constant across borders: people, particularly the younger generation, are deeply concerned about the future of this planet. At GUESS, we understand that we must continue to grow and contribute to the global community with increasing care for people and the environment; we aim to embrace existing solutions as well as try new ones to address the social and environmental challenges of our time.

Two principles drive our sustainability efforts. The first is transparency – our determination to provide an open and honest account of our sustainability journey. We have made good progress in understanding our current performance and what really matters to the future success of our business. In this report, you’ll see year-over-year data covering more issues in more locations throughout our operations and supply chain. And as a member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)’s Standards Pioneers Program, we are among the first organizations to adopt GRI’s rigorous international sustainability reporting standards. To aim for the balance and completeness that GRI encourages, we have also had our data externally validated. As you can see, our commitment to transparency is foundational to our strategy.

The second principle is purpose – we stay true to the GUESS brand and vision of creating a positive impact in the world through the products we sell and the organizations and people we work with. In 2016, we talked to people inside and outside the business about how they see the future fashion industry. This exercise highlighted the need to continue our efforts to protect workers in the supply chain and focus on diversity and inclusion. It also identified other priority topics such as water stewardship, reducing energy use and carbon emissions throughout our extended value chain, and raising awareness through sustainability education and engagement with our associates and partners.

I am proud to be a part of the GUESS brand and company, which continues to be a richly diverse, inclusive and community-focused organization; we value the perspectives and creativity this brings to our business. I am also proud of the progress we’re making to achieve the environmental goals outlined in this report. For example, this year we assessed the water footprint of our denim as an important first step to better manage our impacts, and created the company’s first carbon emission reduction goal. We have also joined a global industry pledge to advance a circular fashion system – the idea that fashion should last, and be continuously repurposed, reused and recycled. As you’ll read, we are working on these initiatives and more to adapt our company and engage our employees, customers, and community on developing a more sustainable fashion industry.

Our customers continue to raise their expectations of us, and we at GUESS are keen to meet and succeed in this challenge. We are building sustainable foundations for our journey ahead and I am more excited and optimistic than ever that we will continue to create positive impact for our world and our brand.

VICTOR HERRERO

Chief Executive Officer and Director
Guess?, Inc.

GUESS Sustainability Strategy

For more information on each of the commitments and goals described below, please visit Protecting the Environment and Empowering People on this website.

How We Developed Our Commitments

Since our first sustainability report was published in 2015, we have worked to develop our company’s first formal sustainability strategy and commitments. We engaged a wide range of stakeholders to understand their concerns and used the insights we gained to refresh our sustainability materiality assessment and identify key topics for action.

Our approach is aligned with the principles established by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards to determine topics that are important to both our stakeholders and to the sustainable growth of our business. For more information on each specific commitment and goal, please visit Empowering People and Protecting the Planet sections of this website.

 

Stakeholder Engagement

We regularly engage with a wide range of stakeholders that are important to the success of our business, including investors, customers, suppliers, non-governmental organizations and our industry peers. Stakeholders are profiled according to the nature of their relationship, interest, willingness to engage and influence on the company.

Sustainability Materiality Refresh

We used this feedback from stakeholders to refresh our sustainability materiality assessment. Guided by AA1000 standards for stakeholder engagement, this refresh built on an earlier assessment carried out in 2014 and included reviewing best practices within our industry. We conducted workshops, interviews and online surveys with management and associates to evaluate and prioritize risks and opportunities related to the sustainable growth of GUESS. Through this process, we identified the spectrum of sustainability topics that our stakeholders care about and are relevant to our business, and mapped them in a materiality matrix to provide a snapshot of our key challenges and opportunities.

Industry Collaboration

At the corporate level, we have been members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) since 2015, enabling us to leverage industry collaboration in support of sustainable apparel production, and use the SAC’s Higg Index Facility Environmental Modules with our suppliers. In 2016, we joined the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)’s GOLD Community and opted into their Standards Pioneers Program to adopt the latest international standards in sustainability reporting and enhance global comparability and quality of our sustainability report. GUESS also aligns with a number of other externally-developed sustainability initiatives relevant to specific sustainability topics.

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