H&M case study report


The summative component of the assessment requires that you think about the complexities of the real-life situation presented in the H&M case study and address the following three questions:
Issue 1. The link between product supply chains, working conditions and sustainability (see attached H&M Report for Issue 1, writer may use the information in the report and collaborate in this report)

Sustainability of supply chains refers to more than ‘sweatshop’ and ‘ethical’ risks. Exploitative labour practices can have a poor risk/reward relationship. Consider both the beneficial and adverse implications for the sustainability of this work system. In addressing this issue you should define your understanding of the product supply chains and working conditions.

Issue 2. Impact of product supply for stakeholders

From having considered issue 1 you should already be aware of the link between supply chains, working conditions and sustainability. Now for issue 2 you need to consider the impact the supply chains have on various stakeholders while maintaining the focus on managing people. When addressing issue 2 you should clearly identify who are the key stakeholders that are fundamentally impacted by the sustainability of the supply chains from a managing human resources perspective and why they are considered a key stakeholder.

Issue 3. Utility of a sustainability frame

Issue 3 requires you to consider why adopting a sustainability frame for thinking and talking about supply chains when managing human resources is useful and how you could apply this thinking to another work system and industry.

In addition to including responses to all three issues, your submission should also include an introduction, a conclusion and a reference list. The word limit for this report is up to 1,500 words. Your summative submission will be assessed against the following equally weighted criteria:

Identification of sustainability initiatives
Analysis and evaluation of the link between product supply chains, working conditions and sustainability

Critical evaluation of the impact of product supply for stakeholders
Analyzes issue three with a clear sense of scope and context
Identifies the influence of context while addressing the utility of a sustainability frame to work systems.
Links to Course Readings and Additional Research, Academic journals
Harvard Referencing

Note that restating of case facts is not included in the format of the case report, you need only to mention facts that are relevant to (and support) your analysis
Use headings and/or subheadings in the report

Things to consider in the report:
>Relationship between the ecological, economic and social dimensions of sustainability

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Tensions exist in reconciling the competing requirements of the 3 dimensions.
>Are the initiatives of H&M ‘authentic’ or just for brand reputation?

Working conditions 10/08/2016, 11:28 AM
http://about.hm.com/en/About/sustainability/commitments/responsible-partners/working-conditions.html Page 1 of 2
Working conditions in production countries
We set high standards for our suppliers and regularly check how well they live up to them.
But it´s a two way street. We also need to be a good partner ourselves. It´s about long-term
partnerships, training and rewarding good performance with better business.
Our products are made in many different countries around the world. In
some of these countries, there’s a high risk of human rights violations and
environmental damage.
We’re committed to choosing and rewarding partners who share our
respect for people and the environment, and who are willing to work with
us to improve their practices.
We work with about 820 suppliers and 1,900 factories. We employ nearly
2,000 people at our 21 production offices in our sourcing markets. This
gives us unique presence close to our suppliers:
We can conduct thousands of factory audits each year, mainly
unannounced, and help our suppliers make important improvements.
We can go beyond just monitoring and offer training, support and clear
business rewards for improvements made.
We can easily visit factories to educate workers about their rights.
We’ve already done this in India and Bangladesh.
We interview thousands of workers every year to check, for example,
whether they know how their wages are calculated.
Using our influence to positive change
H&M is present in developing countries around the world. Indirectly, we create work for over one million people in the
countries we buy from, and we’re already using our influence to improve workers’ lives. By staying true to our values
and making good decisions about how we do business, we can help lift people out of poverty.
However, we want to be realistic: we know there’s a limit to what we can achieve by ourselves. By being open to
collaborations with external partners – including competitors – we can catalyse positive change.
Rewarding responsible partners
Working conditions 10/08/2016, 11:28 AM
http://about.hm.com/en/About/sustainability/commitments/responsible-partners/working-conditions.html Page 2 of 2
We only work with suppliers who have signed our Code of Conduct – which is a clarification of our requirements for
environmental and social fairness. And we encourage good performance with long term and more profitable contracts.
In February 2016, we updated our Code of Conduct and replaced it with our Sustainability Commitment to better adapt
it to our way of working with sustainability today. Based on the same strict standards as the Code of Conduct, this
commitment encourages all suppliers to continuously strive beyond compliance to make improvements. All our
business partners – not only our suppliers – must sign our Sustainability Commitment.
Protecting childhood
Child labour is unacceptable. Our child labour policy is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the
International Labour Organization.
But it’s not enough for us to simply say no to child labour – we have to do more.
We started working with UNICEF in 2004, providing funding and other support to help abolish child labour around the
world. Since then we’ve reached out to over one million children and the adults around them.

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Issue 1. The link between product supply chains, working conditions and sustainability
Sustainability of supply chains refers to more than ‘sweatshop’ and ‘ethical’ risks. Exploitative labour practices can have a poor risk/reward relationship. Consider both the beneficial and adverse implications for the sustainability of this work system. In addressing this issue you should define your understanding of the product supply chains and working conditions.

Product supply chains, working conditions and sustainability


Product supply chains are systems of organizations, information, activities, people and resources that involved in moving products from the potential suppliers to customers. Supply chain sustainability embodies the whole aspect of management of social, economic, and environmental impacts, and the reassurance of decent governance practices, all through the lifecycles of an organization’s products (Sisco, Chorn, & Pruzan- Jorgensen 2011).The primary aim of sustainability in the product supply chains is to create, protect and continue lasting social, economic and environmental value for the whole group of stakeholders tangled in ensuring products and services reach the market. Working conditions, according to International Labour Organization (n.d.), cover a wide-ranging area of issues and topics, from working time (rest periods,work programs, and hours of work) to compensation, mental demands and physical conditions that exist in the workstation.

Analysis and Evaluation

There is a thin line between sustainability, product supply chains and working conditions. In most cases, however, these three variables work in close connection. From Sisco, Chorn& Pruzan- Jorgensen’s (2011) viewpoint, sustainability is seen as a product of the coordination between working conditions and product supply chains. For an organization to move towards sustainability, working conditions in the workplace must change positively.That is toward the encouragement of commitment among the workforce. H&M, for instance, only engage suppliers who have accepted their Code of Conduct. That is a clarification of the company’s requirements for social, environmental, and economic fairness. All these aspects, eventually, extend into enhancing good performance with more profitable and long-term contracts.

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In this system, adverse implications are perceived on the organizational and regulatory levels. Chances of conflicts between stakeholder groups can be elevated although the primary focus appears to be on economic and environmental aspects (Maon & Sen 2016).Again, obtaining a sustainable system is a very complicated process. While many organizations make substantial efforts toward sustainability, a significant amount of consumer skepticism remains the issue. The general suspicion is that “green washing” is commonplace. Pereseina et al. (2014), suggest that intensifying global collaboration on environmental, economic, and social affairs of organizations can help tackle adverse implications in addition to easing the conflicts that characterize sustainable product supply chain systems.

H&M Sustainability Initiatives

H&M’S sustainability is built on three practicalities. First, is the fact that it is incorporated in all segments of the business, ranging from functions, departments markets to all brands. As enshrined in its Code of Conduct, sustainability is part of the company’s values. Secondly, H&M is convinced that an enduring way of working is the best way forward. Consequently, it is always important to take a longstanding rather than short-term solutions to problems which can hardly lead to lasting changes. Finally, through a collaborative mindset, there is a need to work in close connection with others, as most of the sustainabilitychallenges are systemic and industry-wide. The organization collaborates with different brands, business experts, trade unionsand civil society in a bid to grow sustainability.


International Labour Organization n.d., Working Conditions, viewed 15 April 2017, <http://ilo.org/global/topics/working-conditions/lang–en/index.htm>.

Maon, F. & Sen, S. 2016, Sustainable Value Chain Management: A Research Anthology, Routledge, Abingdon, UK.

Pereseina, V., Jensen, L. M., Hertz, S. & Cui, L. 2014,‘Challenges and Conflicts in Sustainable Supply Chain Management: Evidence from the Heavy Vehicle Industry’, Supply Chain Forum: An International Journal, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 22-32.

Sisco, C., Chorn, B. & Pruzan- Jorgensen, P.M. 2011, Supply chain sustainability: A practical guide for continuous improvement, United Nations Global Compact, viewed 15 April 2017,<https://www.bsr.org/reports/BSR_UNGC_SupplyChainReport.pdf>.