TJX COMPANIES, INC. | Report on effectiveness of social compliance efforts in TJX's supply chain

18.97% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Human rights
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Consumer Discretionary
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Shareholders of TJX Companies urge the Board of Directors to oversee a third-party assessment and report to shareholders, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, assessing the effectiveness of current company due diligence in preventing forced, child, and prison labor in TJX’s supply chain.
Whereas clause
TJX Companies (“the Company”) sources from approximately 21,000 vendors in over 100 countries, including locations where forced, child, and prison labor are known to exist in the manufacturing chain of product categories sold in TJX stores;
While TJX’s Vendor Code of Conduct prohibits forced, child, and prison labor, TJX does not conduct or require routine audits of factories to confirm compliance beyond the producers of private label merchandise (reportedly a very small portion of inventory);
Failure to disclose adequate due diligence mechanisms has garnered TJX low scores on several human rights benchmarks including KnowTheChain, Remake Fashion Accountability Report, and Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB). CHRB compares companies against the preeminent UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) and scored TJX only 4 of 26 possible points in 2020. UNGPs specify due diligence principles for human rights commitments, including assessing actual and potential human rights impacts, integrating and acting upon findings, tracking responses, and communicating remedies;
Novel scientific testing increases the risk of previously unknown violations becoming associated with the Company if laboratory isotope testing finds evidence of products made from forced labor in Company stores;
Lastly, buyer responsibility expectations are increasing. John Sherman of Harvard Kennedy School’s Corporate Responsibility Initiative described that “[w]hen huge multinational enterprises require their contractual counterparties to comply with the UNGPs, procurement lawyers are incentivized to address the deficiencies of current supply chain contracts from an HRDD [human rights due diligence] perspective.” Sherman explains that draft model supply chain contracts are under development that would shift contracts from a “representations and warranties approach to a human rights due diligence regime, in which buyers and suppliers would share the responsibility of addressing supply chain human rights abuse”1;
Shareholders believe that material risk to shareholder value may exist due to the Company’s limited supplier compliance program.
Supporting statement
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: Shareholders recommend that the report, at Board and management's discretion:
· Assess risks that TJX’s existing approach, which lacks systematic verification of compliance with the Vendor Code of Conduct, could lead to occurrences of forced, child, or prison labor in the supply chain;
· Evaluate related risks to company finances, operations, and reputation;
· Consider expected effectiveness of proactive solutions like requiring social audits of underlying suppliers when purchasing off-price retail products;
· Analyze the risk to TJX’s business of growing supply chain monitoring methods such as isotope and DNA traceability testing that may identify the origin of particular goods and provide evidence of forced labor-made products;
· Draw upon guidance of international standards such as the UNGP and the ILO Indicators of Forced Labor.2

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
Downing LLP For Supporter of UNPRI Advance and agree the objectives of this resolution
Rothschild & co Asset Management For
Robeco For

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