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  • Overall approach
    0/12
    • Overarching commitment on deforestation
      0/4
    • Signatory to an initiative tackling deforestation
      0/1
    • Awareness of the value of forests
      0/1
    • Deforestation as a business risk
      0/1
    • High-level management of deforestion
      0/1
    • Executive compensation linked to deforestation
    • Target to reduce emissions from land-use change
      0/2
    • Reporting on emissions from land-use change
      0/2
    • Disclosure of conservation activity
    • Disclosure of reforestation activity
    • Target to reduce emissions in scope 1/2
      Yes
      0/0
      What is the target date for the company to achieve their climate target?: 2030

      Type of climate target: Other or unclear
      "We’re cutting our carbon emissions.By 2030, we will cut our carbon footprint by 30% and source 100% renewable electricity for owned facilities."
  • Commodity score
    26/88
    • Leather
      30/88
      • Commitment Strength
        4/20
        • Commitment to protect priority forests
          4/11
          • Commitment details
            Protects priority forests (including High Conservation Value)
            2.7/8
            Commitment to protect priority forests
            Protects priority forests (including High Conservation Value)
            2.7/8
            "New Balance prohibits use of the following animal materials: [...] bovine/cow hides sourced from the Amazon Biome, China, and India"
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/2
            Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/2
            If no, what is excluded?: Location
          • Target date
            Current/achieved
            1/1
            Target date
            Current/achieved
            1/1
            "New Balance prohibits use of the following animal materials: [...] bovine/cow hides sourced from the Amazon Biome, China, and India"
          • Interim target date
            NA (target date current or achieved or 2022)
            0.5/0.5
            Interim target date
            NA (target date current or achieved or 2022)
            0.5/0.5
            "New Balance prohibits use of the following animal materials: [...] bovine/cow hides sourced from the Amazon Biome, China, and India"
        • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
          0/9
          • Commitment details
            No traceability commitment
            0/5.3
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/2
          • Target date
            No target date
            0/1
          • Interim target date
            No
            0/0.5
      • Social Considerations
        8/18
        • Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          4/4
          Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          4/4
          Details of commitment: ILO; UNGP; Discrimination; Forced labour; Child labour; Freedom of association
          "This Code of Conduct sets forth the basic requirements that suppliers must meet in order to do business with New Balance. This Code is based upon internationally accepted standards, including the International Labor Organisation (ILO)'s core conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [...] No person shall be employed under the age of 16 [...] there shall be no use of forced labor [...] no person shall be subject to any discrimination in employment [...] suppliers shall respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining."
        • Inclusion of small-scale farmers
          No
          0/4
        • Gender equality in the supply chain
          Commitment to address the inclusion of women in commodity supply chains
          2/4
          Gender equality in the supply chain
          Commitment to address the inclusion of women in commodity supply chains
          2/4
          "Women make up over 80% of the workforce at our footwear supplier factories [...] In 2019 New Balance launched the P.A.C.E. program at two supplier footwear factories in Vietnam employing more than 15,000 women [...] The P.A.C.E. program has demonstrated that investing in women's education not only brings benefits to workers, but also benefits businesses through higher retention and productivity levels. Participating workers take courses in effective communication, problem solving, time and stress management, financial and legal literacy, and general and reproductive health, among other topics. After the initial launch, we plan to grow training and education activities for the women workers in the supply chain each year."
        • Commitment to remediation
          Yes
          2/2
          Commitment to remediation
          Yes
          2/2
          Type of harm covered: Social harm
          "New Balance considers forced labor and child labor violations zero-tolerance issues, which require immediate and thorough remediation to continue doing business with the company. In early 2021, we updated our Supplier Standards Manual to provide our suppliers with additional clarity on our requirements to protect against forced labor, including elevating recruitment fees to a zero tolerance issue to ensure that workers in our supply chain do not pay any fees, expenses or deposits in exchange for employment."
        • Commitment to ensure Free, Prior and Informed Consent
          No
          0/4
        • Commitment to resolve land conflicts
          No
      • Reporting and Implementation
        18/50
        • Reporting against commitments
          0/3
          • Commitment to protect priority forests
            No
            0/2.5
          • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
            No
            0/2.5
        • Reporting is independently verified
          0/2
          • Commitment to protect priority forests
            No
            0/1.5
          • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
            No
            0/1.5
        • Suppliers aligned with deforestation commitments across supply chain
          No
          0/2
        • Deforestation cut off date
          No
          0/2
        • Collaborative actions
          No
          0/2
        • Risk assessments for forest risk
          No
          0/2
        • Operations assessed to comply with law
          Yes
          2/2
          Operations assessed to comply with law
          Yes
          2/2
           Code of Conduct states that "Suppliers shall operate in full compliance with the laws of their respective countries and with all other applicable international, national, and local laws, rules and regulations." "Suppliers seeking to do business with New Balance must sign a supply agreement that includes the obligation to abide by our Code of Conduct [...] Approved suppliers undergo a compliance assessment at least annually."
        • Accessible grievance mechanism
          Yes, and published details of any grievances within the last two years (2019-2021)
          4/4
          Accessible grievance mechanism
          Yes, and published details of any grievances within the last two years (2019-2021)
          4/4
          Does the company publish grievances that have been made against it, as well as responses and resolutions including status and timeframes: New Balance reports that no third-party complaints were made through its grievance mechanism in 2020. 

          What is the nature of the grievance mechanism used by the company (own mechanism, that of external company, internationally recognised mechanism, etc.)?: Own mechanism 

          Which issues does the grievance mechanism cover?: Social; Environmental
          In addition to our supplier monitoring program, New Balance has expanded workers’ access to confidential grievance mechanisms. We have implemented third-party operated worker hotlines in our strategic sourcing countries of China, Vietnam and Indonesia. In addition, any worker or third party can contact our corporate office directly through the New Balance email address listed on the supplier Code of Conduct." New Balance Code of Conduct sets out social and environmental requirements for its suppliers - "To report any violations of this Code of Conduct or related concerns, please contact CSR@newbalance.com". It reports that "In 2020, New Balance did not receive any third-party complaints through worker hotlines or grievance mechanisms involving allegations of forced labor." 
        • Report volumes of commodity
          No reporting
          0/2
        • Report verified volumes of commodity
          No disclosure
          0/6
        • Upstream: Monitor compliance with human rights
          Yes, commit to monitoring compliance with labour/worker rights
          2/4
          Upstream: Monitor compliance with human rights
          Yes, commit to monitoring compliance with labour/worker rights
          2/4
          "Suppliers seeking to do business with New Balance must sign a supply agreement that includes the obligation to abide by our Code of Conduct. Suppliers must also pass a social and environmental compliance audit before production orders can be placed. Approved suppliers undergo a compliance assessment at least annually." 
        • Downstream: Publishing supplier lists
          Yes, report direct suppliers; Yes, report indirect suppliers
          4/4
          Downstream: Publishing supplier lists
          Yes, report direct suppliers; Yes, report indirect suppliers
          4/4
          From what country(ies) does the company source material?: Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan (ROC), Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam, 
          New Balance pubishes its annual list of Tier 1 Suppliers which include owned facilities, contract suppliers and suppliers sourced through agents with information including country, supplier name, supplier group, product type, address, number of workers, percent of female workers, employing foreign migrant workers. 
        • Downstream: Monitor compliance in supply chain
          Yes, for its suppliers production or primary processing operations in its supply chains
          4/4
          Downstream: Monitor compliance in supply chain
          Yes, for its suppliers production or primary processing operations in its supply chains
          4/4
          Details of monitoring: Using internal monitoring and verification systems

          How frequently is compliance assessed?: Not specified
           "Suppliers must ensure all materials, components, and packaging materials used for NB products meet the Restricted Substances List (RSL) requirements.The materials must be tested according to the RSM to ensure compliance [...] The supplier shall also allow or, as the case may be, obtain permission for an authorized representative of NB to inspect, at any time during normal businesshours, any premises of the factory, supplier, and/or any subcontractor where any NB product or material or components thereof are developed,manufactured or stored. The authorized representative may request samples of products or materials during such inspection."
        • Downstream: Reporting hectares of deforestation
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Engagement with non-compliant suppliers
          Engage with suppliers but with no time-bound threat of exclusion
          1/2
          Downstream: Engagement with non-compliant suppliers
          Engage with suppliers but with no time-bound threat of exclusion
          1/2
          Does the company engage non-compliant indirect suppliers in order to address and remedy non-compliance?: Yes

          What criteria does the policy specify for blacklisting or exclusion?: Non-compliance with Restricted Substances List

          What type of support does the company offer to its suppliers to help them achieve compliance with commitments?: Corrective Action Request form
          "In the event of failure to comply with the Restricted Substances Manual requirements, NBreserves the right to terminate all outstanding orders without any further payments and cease doing future business with the supplier." [...] "In the event of an RSL failure, a Corrective Action Request (CAR) form (Appendix 3) must be completed by the supplier [...] Any failures will be discussed with suppliers in an attempt to discover and correct the cause using the CAR form [...] Corrective action requests (CAR) are designed to assist suppliers in determining the root cause of testing failures. The outcome of a supplier’s CAR process will ultimately determine if NB will approve a previously failed material."
        • Downstream: Disclosure of non-compliant suppliers
          Yes, excluded
          1/2
          Downstream: Disclosure of non-compliant suppliers
          Yes, excluded
          1/2
          Does the company have a list of blacklisted or otherwise excluded suppliers or producers?: No 

          How many noncompliant producers or suppliers are engaged through improvement plans or other processes, and what percentage of the company's supply chain volume does that represent?: 0 Not specified
          "When suppliers fall short of New Balance standards, our team works with them to remediate issues and improve workplace practices [...] However, we can and do occasionally terminate our business relationships due to serious or persistent compliance violations. In 2017, New Balance ended one business relationship with a supplier due to that supplier's falsification of records."
    • Pulp & Paper
      22/88
      • Commitment Strength
        7/20
        • Commitment to protect priority forests
          3/8
          • Commitment details
            Credible certification scheme
            2/6
            Commitment to protect priority forests
            Credible certification scheme
            2/6
            Which certification schemes are used?: FSC
             "New Balance catalogs, which are used for marketing and direct consumer sales in the US, are also printed on 100% FSC- and SFI-certified paper."
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/1.3
            Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/1.3
            If no, what is excluded?: Product line; Location
          • Target date
            Current/achieved
            0.7/0.7
            Target date
            Current/achieved
            0.7/0.7
            "New Balance catalogs, which are used for marketing and direct consumer sales in the US, are also printed on 100% FSC- and SFI-certified paper."
          • Interim target date
            NA (target date current or achieved or 2022)
            0.3/0.3
            Interim target date
            NA (target date current or achieved or 2022)
            0.3/0.3
            "New Balance catalogs, which are used for marketing and direct consumer sales in the US, are also printed on 100% FSC- and SFI-certified paper."
        • Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
          4/5
          • Commitment details
            Yes
            3/3
            Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            Yes
            3/3
            Type of commitment: Recycled content; Reduction of material inputs
            "Our core shoeboxes are made from 100% recycled paperboard, consisting of pre- and post-consumer pulp and are 100% recyclable. Our master shipping cartons are also made from pre- and post-consumer pulp with approximately 44% virgin fibre [...] Starting in 2018, we changed the weight of our wrapping tissue from 28gsm to 22gsm, which reduced our annual paper usage by 130 tons. New Balance continues to seek opportunities to eliminate packaging waste from our supply chain and optimise packaging solutions."
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/1.3
            Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/1.3
            If no, what is excluded?: Product line
          • Target date
            Current/achieved
            0.7/0.7
            Target date
            Current/achieved
            0.7/0.7
            "Our core shoeboxes are made from 100% recycled paperboard, consisting of pre- and post-consumer pulp and are 100% recyclable. Our master shipping cartons are also made from pre- and post-consumer pulp with approximately 44% virgin fibre [...] Starting in 2018, we changed the weight of our wrapping tissue from 28gsm to 22gsm, which reduced our annual paper usage by 130 tons. New Balance continues to seek opportunities to eliminate packaging waste from our supply chain and optimise packaging solutions."
          • Interim target date
            NA (target date current or achieved or 2022)
            0.3/0.3
            Interim target date
            NA (target date current or achieved or 2022)
            0.3/0.3
            "Our core shoeboxes are made from 100% recycled paperboard, consisting of pre- and post-consumer pulp and are 100% recyclable. Our master shipping cartons are also made from pre- and post-consumer pulp with approximately 44% virgin fibre [...] Starting in 2018, we changed the weight of our wrapping tissue from 28gsm to 22gsm, which reduced our annual paper usage by 130 tons. New Balance continues to seek opportunities to eliminate packaging waste from our supply chain and optimise packaging solutions."
        • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
          0/6
          • Commitment details
            No traceability commitment
            0/4
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/1.3
          • Target date
            No target date
            0/0.7
          • Interim target date
            No
            0/0.3
      • Social Considerations
        8/18
        • Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          4/4
          Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          4/4
          Details of commitment: ILO; UN Declaration for HR; Discrimination; Forced labour; Child labour; Freedom of association
          "This Code of Conduct sets forth the basic requirements that suppliers must meet in order to do business with New Balance. This Code is based upon internationally accepted standards, including the International Labor Organisation (ILO)'s core conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [...] No person shall be employed under the age of 16 [...] there shall be no use of forced labor [...] no person shall be subject to any discrimination in employment [...] suppliers shall respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining."
        • Inclusion of small-scale farmers
          No
          0/4
        • Gender equality in the supply chain
          Commitment to address the inclusion of women in commodity supply chains
          2/4
          Gender equality in the supply chain
          Commitment to address the inclusion of women in commodity supply chains
          2/4
          "Women make up over 80% of the workforce at our footwear supplier factories [...] In 2019 New Balance launched the P.A.C.E. program at two supplier footwear factories in Vietnam employing more than 15,000 women [...] The P.A.C.E. program has demonstrated that investing in women's education not only brings benefits to workers, but also benefits businesses through higher retention and productivity levels. Participating workers take courses in effective communication, problem solving, time and stress management, financial and legal literacy, and general and reproductive health, among other topics. After the initial launch, we plan to grow training and education activities for the women workers in the supply chain each year."
        • Commitment to remediation
          Yes
          2/2
          Commitment to remediation
          Yes
          2/2
          Type of harm covered: Social harm
          "New Balance considers forced labor and child labor violations zero-tolerance issues, which require immediate and thorough remediation to continue doing business with the company. In early 2021, we updated our Supplier Standards Manual to provide our suppliers with additional clarity on our requirements to protect against forced labor, including elevating recruitment fees to a zero tolerance issue to ensure that workers in our supply chain do not pay any fees, expenses or deposits in exchange for employment."
        • Commitment to ensure Free, Prior and Informed Consent
          No
          0/4
        • Commitment to resolve land conflicts
          No
      • Reporting and Implementation
        7/50
        • Reporting against commitments
          0/2
          • Commitment to protect priority forests
            No
            0/1.7
          • Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            Yes, for partial or unclear commodity exposure
            0.8/1.7
            Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            Yes, for partial or unclear commodity exposure
            0.8/1.7
             "Out core shoeboxes are made from 100% recycled paperboard, consisting of pre- and post-consumer pulp and are 100% recyclable." "In 2018, we changed the weight of our wrapping tissue from 28gsm to 22gsm, which reduced our annual paper usage by 130 tons".
          • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
            No
            0/1.7
        • Reporting is independently verified
          0/1
          • Commitment to protect priority forests
            No
            0/1
          • Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            No
            0/1
          • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
            No
            0/1
        • Suppliers aligned with deforestation commitments across supply chain
          No
          0/2
        • Deforestation cut off date
          No
          0/2
        • Collaborative actions
          No
          0/2
        • Risk assessments for forest risk
          No
          0/2
        • Operations assessed to comply with law
          Yes
          2/2
          Operations assessed to comply with law
          Yes
          2/2
          Code of Conduct states that "Suppliers shall operate in full compliance with the laws of their respective countries and with all other applicable international, national, and local laws, rules and regulations." "Suppliers seeking to do business with New Balance must sign a supply agreement that includes the obligation to abide by our Code of Conduct [...] Approved suppliers undergo a compliance assessment at least annually."
        • Accessible grievance mechanism
          Yes, publicly accessible grievance mechanism
          2/4
          Accessible grievance mechanism
          Yes, publicly accessible grievance mechanism
          2/4
          Which issues does the grievance mechanism cover?: Social; Environmental

          Does the company publish grievances that have been made against it, as well as responses and resolutions including status and timeframes: No 

          What is the nature of the grievance mechanism used by the company (own mechanism, that of external company, internationally recognised mechanism, etc.)?: Own
          New Balance Code of Conduct sets out social and environmental requirements for its suppliers - "To report any violations of this Code of Conduct or related concerns, please contact CSR@newbalance.com"
        • Report volumes of commodity
          No reporting
          0/2
        • Report verified volumes of commodity
          No disclosure
          0/6
        • Upstream: Monitor compliance with human rights
          Yes, commit to monitoring compliance with labour/worker rights
          2/4
          Upstream: Monitor compliance with human rights
          Yes, commit to monitoring compliance with labour/worker rights
          2/4
          "Suppliers seeking to do business with New Balance must sign a supply agreement that includes the obligation to abide by our Code of Conduct. Suppliers must also pass a social and environmental compliance audit before production orders can be placed. Approved suppliers undergo a compliance assessment at least annually." 
        • Downstream: Publishing supplier lists
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Monitor compliance in supply chain
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Reporting hectares of deforestation
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Engagement with non-compliant suppliers
          No engagement or exclusion
          0/2
        • Downstream: Disclosure of non-compliant suppliers
          No disclosure
          0/2
  • Commitment strength
    5/20
    Avg. score
  • Reporting and Implementation
    12/50
    Avg. score
  • Social considerations
    8/18
    Avg. score

Profile

New Balance Athletic Shoes is a manufacturer of athletic footwear, apparel, and accessories and is present in more than 50 countries around the world. Its products include sports shoes, running, and hiking shoes, sports clothing and bags. Leather features in several of its footwear products. The company is one of the top footwear retailers globally, in China and Hong Kong, and in the US. New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. is selected as a powerbroker for leather and paper packaging.

Sector
Industry sector 
Apparel & footwear
Segments
Manufacturer, Retailer
HQ
HQ 
United States
Company Type
Company type 
Private
Collective Commitments
Consumer Goods Forum member
New York Declaration on Forests signatory

Top Brands

New Balance, Warrior, P.F.Flyers, Brine

How we assess the Forest 500

To ensure deforestation free supply chains, companies need to adopt and implement timebound and measurable policies for forest risk commodities.

All assessments use policies published on company websites, some links may have changed or been removed since the time of assessment.

Disclaimer

This assessment has been carried out following the methodology developed for the Forest 500 project, available here. Please see our disclaimer applicable to all information contained within this site and our terms and conditions for use of data presented on this site.

All assessments use policies published on company and financial institution websites, and while we endeavor to keep them updated some links may have changed or been removed since the time of assessment.

Please contact us with any concerns or feedback about this or other assessments included in the Forest 500.