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CESB Speaker Series: Sustainable Supply Chains

News + Events : CESB Speaker Series: Sustainable Supply Chains


On May 8, 2012, Deanna Robinson of Gap Inc. and Geoff Stafford from Levi Strauss spoke to Professor Susan Cholette’s undergraduate decision sciences class at San Francisco State.

The presentation discussed the sustainable supply chain efforts that both Gap and Levi’s are making in the apparel industry.

Deanna Robinson

Deanna Robinson’s presentation, “Social and Environmental Responsibility at Gap Inc.,” outlined how Gap Inc. embeds sustainability in all areas of the company. In particular, she discussed how Gap Inc. ensures that all actors in the supply chain be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect. In other words, Gap Inc. recognizes its larger impact to the broader global community and environment. By creating a sustainable supply chain to deliver its products to consumers, the company is able to improve the lives of both employees and the broader community. Gap Inc. ensures that an internal team seeks to maintain a high level of transparency in monitoring contracted factories abroad by enforcing strict workplace and environmental standards. The company believes that by working with factory owners, external stakeholders and competitors in the apparel industry, these partnerships can work together to maintain international standards for the most effective treatment of workers and the environment.

Geoff Stafford

Geoff Stafford’s presentation, “Sustainability Plant and People,” discussed Levi’s supply chain strategy. His overarching premise is that there are a number of ways for any company to be involved in sustainability through different avenues. Levi’s has been a pioneer with their sustainability efforts in their terms of engagement with their suppliers. The company sets strict standards of best practices with suppliers all over the world to ensure that apparel workers are treated with respect, have a safe work environment, and that environmental standards are upheld. Levi’s standards have paved the way for new corporate social responsibility codes in the apparel industry. Factories that uphold these standards help the company to maintain international legal requirements and ensure customer satisfaction, while offering a direct financial benefit to the company. When companies engage in sustainability in all sectors of the work environment, they help to motivate change in the broader community.

About the Speakers

Deanna Robinson
Head, Social Responsibility, Gap Inc.

Deanna Robinson is the head of social responsibility monitoring & vendor development function for Gap Inc. In this role, Deanna leads a team of 50 employees located in 20 countries that are responsible for the company’s monitoring and vendor development efforts to improve working conditions in the garment factories sourced by Gap Inc. globally. Deanna also oversees the departments Field Operations team that provide system, budget and policy support to the global M&VD team.

Geoff Stafford, Ph.D.
Senior Manager of Supply Chain Business Process Improvement, Levi Strauss & Co.

Geoff Stafford is a social responsibility, environmental sustainability and sourcing professional with twelve years of experience improving corporate supply chains. After completing his doctorate on Asian globalization, he joined Gap Inc. as they began addressing ethical sourcing in the late 1990s. Later, he was instrumental in the transformation of the company's supply chain as the apparel industry underwent the elimination of global trade quotas. Following his work with Gap, we moved to HSBC in London where he expanded the bank’s already strong environmental reputation into the procurement organization.

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