Investing in People

– Moving Forward Together –

Supply Chain Responsibility

We strive to have a positive impact in the communities in which we operate, and this includes a commitment to ensuring that the people who make our products – no matter where they are in the world – are treated with dignity and respect.

Our Standards

New Balance is committed to doing business with manufacturers and suppliers which share our commitment to strong labor and environmental practices and agree to abide by the standards in our Code of Conduct. Our Supplier Code of Conduct defines our basic standards and expectations. It is translated into multiple languages and must be posted in supplier factories in the language(s) of the workers. The Code, which is based on international laws such as the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Labor Organization (ILO)’s Core Conventions, as well as national and local laws, addresses the following principles:

  • Compliance with laws
  • Working conditions
  • Hours and wages
  • Workplace health and safety
  • Prohibition of child labor
  • Prohibition of forced labor
  • Maintaining a workplace free of discrimination and harassment
  • Environmental protection

New Balance also publishes our Supplier Standards Manual, which provides suppliers with detailed guidance on how to implement each element of the Code. This Manual is updated whenever issues or concerns emerge that require more direction on how to respect Code standards.

Suppliers seeking to do business with New Balance must sign a supply agreement that includes the obligation to abide by our Code of Conduct and the Standards Manual and undergo a compliance inspection before production orders can be placed.

Our Team

New Balance maintains a team of 16 professionals around the world who are dedicated to ensuring social and environmental responsibility in our global supply chain. On a daily basis, our team conducts announced and unannounced supplier visits to assess performance, help remediate issues, and provide consulting assistance through educational and outreach training sessions. Our goal is always to help suppliers improve, although we can and do occasionally terminate our business relationship due to serious or persistent poor compliance performance.

Our Suppliers

A list of suppliers to New Balance can be found here: Supplier List

Working with Others

New Balance recognizes that the issues we face in global supply chains are complex and that no one brand or entity can solve them by working alone, which is why we’re an active Participating Company and Board Member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), a Buyer Partner of the International Labor Organization (ILO)’s global Better Work Program, a member of the Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC), a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition , and a participating company in the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) initiative.

In June 2014, the FLA Board of Directors voted to grant accreditation to the New Balance compliance program based on proven adherence to FLA’s Workplace Code of Conduct and the Principles of Fair Labor and Responsible Sourcing. To become accredited, companies are assessed on the basis of fulfillment of the Principles of Fair Labor & Responsible Sourcing, which include:

  • Adopting and communicating workplace standards;
  • Training staff to assess and remediate noncompliance issues;
  • Conducting internal assessments of facilities;
  • Providing workers with confidential reporting channels

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Promoting environmental protection in the supply chain

New Balance is actively working to promote good environmental practices in our supply chain. In 2014, our core footwear suppliers completed environmental self-assessments using the SAC’s Higg Index Facilities Module in 2014. Assessing these results together with our internal environmental audit findings, we identified several key priority focus areas – such as energy management – that will inform our environmental work in 2015. NB also remains an active participant in SAC and the ongoing development of the Higg Index.

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New Balance has also taken an active role in the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) initiative, where we played an instrumental role in the development and launch of ZHDC’s comprehensive Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL). In 2014, we also piloted the first version of ZDHC’s environmental audit tool at Tier 2 material supplier sites and incorporated ZDHC content into our internal environmental audit tool.

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An exploration of our history. A blueprint for our future. Since its inception, New Balance has worked to give back to the communities in which we operate and create an environment that our associates value. Learn how New Balance is moving people forward today and what you can do to get involved. Download PDF