This website represents American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.'s first comprehensive Corporate Responsibility report, available exclusively online. It focuses on four key areas of our company: Supply Chain, Environment, Associates, and Communities. Where possible, the report references relevant indicators from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3 Guidelines and GRI Apparel & Footwear Sector Supplement. Unless otherwise specified, all data reflects our Fiscal Year 2010 reporting period.
This report was several years in the making. First, we had to define what corporate responsibility means to us. We are striving to build a successful, profitable business that has an enduring positive impact on our people and the communities in which we live, work, and play. Long before putting words to paper, we took time to understand the array of human rights, social, and environmental issues that we face and took steps to strengthen the foundation of our program. We have had the privilege of learning from peers in our industry and leading companies in other industries that blazed early trails on human rights and corporate responsibility issues. By observing their successes and missteps, we are now working to implement program elements that are most relevant to our business and most likely to have a positive impact. We have also discovered the value of opening our doors and listening to the voices of our diverse stakeholders - all of whom continue to inspire us, challenge us, and encourage our efforts.
The topics covered in this report reflect the core issues raised through this learning process and by our stakeholders. We define the "materiality" and relative importance of these issues through our Commitment to Respect Human Rights, Code of Ethics, and Vendor Code of Conduct, as well as our systematic participation in multi-stakeholder initiatives and ongoing engagement with key stakeholders at global, regional, national, and local levels. In the process of developing this report, we also sought out specific thoughts and suggestions from key stakeholders, in particular, Dr. Ruth Rosenbaum of the Center for Reflection, Education, and Action (CREA).
We still have work to do. As this report demonstrates, our current programs are neither perfect nor complete - but we are making progress and we are committed to continuing to improve.
Many advocates of corporate transparency cite U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis's famous observation that "sunlight is the best disinfectant." We agree. We believe that reporting publicly on corporate responsibility is one of the most effective ways to help us remain focused, disciplined, and accountable in our efforts. We plan to issue a comprehensive report every two years, with more frequent updates on important issues and quantitative performance indicators as needed.