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 Social Responsibility Rubric

To arrive at the shoe scores, the 6th grade classes used this rubric, which was developed by students and their geography teachers in 2015. A rubric is a popular educational tool that is used to define objective criteria that will be used to evaluate a student’s performance. In this case, the rubric for corporate social responsibility provides the specific criteria that we deemed important for rating a company based on how sustainable their business practices are for the environment and (especially) for their workers.

Students worked in teams to search company websites for important things such as Social Responsibility Reports and a Code of Conduct. Then, students looked for evidence of how well each company stuck to their stated practices by searching for and reading secondary sources.  Based on this information, each company was assigned a score for each of the four categories identified in the rubric.  Overall scores for shoe companies were calculated based on these individual category scores, and the maximum possible score was a twenty.

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Company Policies

They evaluate the brand’s code of conduct, sourcing and subcontracting policies, and involvement with other organizations working to combat child and forced labor.

  • Company has clear and thorough stated policies about social responsibility on their website.
  • Language used in policies is understandable.
  • Company states how they treat their workers and what the worker’s standard of living is.
  • Policies are not very thorough
  • Language used sounds like it is trying to confuse you or hide something
  • Company doesn’t mention much about the treatment of workers
  • Very few, vague or no stated policies
Transparency and Traceability

They look at how thoroughly the brand understands its own supply chain, and whether it discloses critical information to the public.

  • Company is very straightforward about their supply chain (factories, sourcing, etc.).
  • Information about supply chain and sourcing is easy to get your hands on.
  • Company responds formally to problems they find and seemingly makes fixes.
  • Information about this company’s supply chain is hard to find, and may be vague.
  • Company responds to some accusations, but doesn’t seem to follow through with fixes.
  • Information about this company’s supply chain is impossible to find.
  • Company openly refuses to give information when accusations are made.
Monitoring & Training

They measure the adequacy of the brand’s monitoring program to address the specific issues of child and forced labor.

  • There is clear evidence from multiple sources that this company monitors/audits their supply chain; the report may even be available online!
  • There is evidence that the company follows up and takes action based on these reports and recommendations.
  • There is a little bit of evidence, that may not be thorough/clear, about the company’s monitoring of their supply chain.
  • The company may use an outside source to monitor their factories, or they claim to do it themselves, but either way there isn’t a lot of information about the findings.
  • There is nothing that shows the company monitors their supply chain.
  • Accusations or problems with factories don’t seem to be fixed at all, and the company doesn’t report on them.
Workers’ Rights

They assess… that workers are able to claim their rights at work through organizing, and whether workers earn a living wage.

  • Information from multiple sources report that workers are paid a living wage.
  • All information shows that work is voluntary. They choose to work there and they are free to leave at the end of the day.
  • There is also information about training so that workers are aware of their rights.Workers have a safe working environment; they’re trained to use equipment and the facility is safe.
  • Some evidence indicates that workers’ wages are being considered; they may be getting better but there isn’t any information to back that up.
  • Work seems to be voluntary, but evidence is unclear.
    There is little to no evidence about safety of factories; meaning there is nothing bad being said, but also no proof that it’s fine.
  • At least some evidence shows that workers are paid a “slave wage,” which is nothing or next to nothing.
  • At least some evidence suggests that work is not voluntary. There are reports of children and forced laborers.
  • At least some evidence shows factories are openly unsafe, and there have been tragic incidences.