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Code of Conduct


ECCO designs, manufactures and markets footwear and related accessories to consumers around the world. Over the last more than 50 years, ECCO has developed from a local Danish company into an international company with production units and sales subsidiaries all over the world. Today, ECCO is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of high-quality footwear. ECCO has attained this position through constant innovation and sound business principles. However, it is just as crucial to ECCO’s success that the company leads the way when it comes to good corporate citizenship. No matter where in the world ECCO operates, this is done according to a set of principles which stipulate that we will behave in a correct and decent manner. This is our heritage as a Danish company. The principles apply to employee relations, to environmental considerations and to relations with business partners. As expressed by K. Toosbuy, the founder of ECCO, “ECCO is a guest in each of the countries in which it operates and shall as such respect the culture of the country”. The respect for other people and cultures is deeply rooted in the company. As a large employer, ECCO understands its responsibility and accepts it. ECCO will only achieve long-term business success by demonstrating good corporate citizenship, which in turn can only be secured if the business is based on constant achievement of good results. This is the very heart of the ECCO Code of Conduct as regards sustainable development, issues related to religion, employee relations, health and safety, environmental protection and community relations. It is essential to ECCO that the ECCO Code of Conduct is an integral part of the entire value chain. We therefore expect not only the companies within the ECCO Group, but also our external suppliers, wholesale and retail customers to acknowledge and respect the ECCO Code of Conduct. We regularly control that the ECCO Code of Conduct is being complied with.

The 10 Commitments
    1. ECCO is a guest in each of the countries in which it operates and respects the local culture.

    2. ECCO supports, respects and takes a proactive approach to protecting internationally defined human rights.

    3. ECCO respects equal opportunities and fights discrimination in the workplace.

    4. ECCO respects the individual’s right to religious freedom.

    5. ECCO respects the right to freedom of association.

    6. ECCO wishes to provide employees with a workplace free of harassment or abuse and condemns any form of enforced labour.

    7. ECCO supports the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    8. ECCO provides training, education and further development of human resources at all levels.

    9. ECCO aims to be a leader within the environment, health and safety and supports sustainable development.

    10. ECCO wishes to ensure that it complies with all relevant laws and regulations.

What does ECCO mean by the 10 Commitments?

Human Rights

    • ECCO has its origins in Denmark. This background is naturally reflected in ECCO’s point of view on human rights. ECCO wants all its employees to be treated with respect and dignity.

    • ECCO recognizes that all human beings are entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Employee Relations Non-Discrimination

    • ECCO shall not deny employees opportunities or otherwise discriminate employees based on race, gender, age, religious or political beliefs, or maternity status.

    • ECCO shall base decisions concerning hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, termination or retirement solely on the employee’s ability to do the job, with no distinction, exclusion or preference made on other grounds.

    • ECCO shall respect all relevant employment laws and regulations in the countries in which they operate.

Freedom of Association

    • ECCO shall respect the freedom of the employees to join associations of their own choice without fear of reprisal – this does, however, not mean that the employees must be organized.

Compulsory Labour

    • ECCO shall not use work or services that are extracted from any person under menace of any penalty, and for which that person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily – e.g. slavery, bonded labour, debt bondage, or other exploitative practices.

    • ECCO shall inform all employees of the terms and conditions of service and the voluntary nature of employment, and the freedom to leave in a way customary in the respective country.

Working Terms

    • ECCO shall ensure that the working hours of the employees are in compliance with legally set working hours in the countries in which ECCO are operating.

    • While it is essential for ECCO to have flexibility in the organization and in the scheduling of work, ECCO will not force the employees to excessive overtime.

    • ECCO shall allow employees at least one day off in seven.

    • ECCO shall provide wages and benefits in such a way that they are not less than the minimum wages set by applicable law and match the prevailing local industry practices.

    • ECCO shall ensure that each employee is provided with a specification for every pay period and shall not deduct any pay from the employee’s salary for any disciplinary infractions.

Child Labour

    • ECCO’s long term goal is the elimination of child labour. The short term aim for ECCO is to improve the conditions for working children based on the principles below.

    • ECCO believes that outright prohibition of any child labour may put children and the households to which they belong under even greater financial strain, which may result in a tendency to hide working children from the public. This leaves the children more vulnerable to exploitation, while making it harder to take the necessary initiatives to protect them and their rights.

    • ECCO will ensure that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is respected. It prescribes that children must not carry out work that is harmful to them, that children are entitled to be heard on issues affecting their lives and that all decisions must be taken in accordance with the child’s best interests.

    • ECCO will ensure that children are protected from economic exploitation and from work which may be dangerous to their health, or may interfere with their education or may hinder their physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.

    • The minimum age limit accepted by ECCO is 15 years. Children of 15 -18 year s must never participate in any form of strenuous or potentially hazardous work. Children from 15 to 18 years of age should always be closely monitored and helped through training and frequent consultations with their superior or sponsor. The child’s best interest must be the primary concern.

Training and Education

    • ECCO operates a system of continuous training from the first introduction throughout the employee’s life with the company.

    • ECCO believes that training and education of the employees enable the employees to obtain skills and expert knowledge and develop the employees’ competences and opportunities required to match future challenges.

    • ECCO especially believes in cross-cultural training. Many employees are offered the opportunity to move to another ECCO business in another country – some for temporary training, others for permanent jobs.

    • Training and education also help prevent and minimize the risk of accidents. ECCO will therefore offer the necessary training and education of the employees.

    • Training and education shall ensure that the employees are familiar with the core values of ECCO.

Health and Safety

    • ECCO works hard to prevent accidents at work. While accidents are difficult to avoid altogether, it is important that all ECCO companies make every effort to avoid accidents and continue to improve the safety of the employees.

    • ECCO will ensure that the efforts to improve the safety and the health of the employees as a minimum are in accordance with the local legislation and local culture.

    • Where necessary, ECCO will provide instruction, training and supervision of work practices, handling of harmful substances, together with the application and use of techniques, such as ergonomics.

    • ECCO will provide personal protective equipment to protect employees from any potential hazards.

    • ECCO will ensure that adequate lighting, heating, ventilation and exhaust systems are installed at the workplace.

    • ECCO will ensure that the procedures to deal with emergencies and accidents are widely known.

    • ECCO will provide medical and first aid services.

    • ECCO will value suggestions for improvement of the safety of the employees.


    • ECCO aims to be a market leader in terms of environment performance in the shoe manufacturing industry.

    • ECCO’s business strategies and success must be based on environmental responsibility and sustainable development. This is done by reducing use of materials, energy resources and waste, prevention of pollution and, if possible, by recycling of waste from production units.

    • ECCO wishes to minimize the use of chemical and harmful substances in connection with the manufacturing of products or parts of products. As a result hereof, ECCO has set up standards for the maximum content of harmful substances, which ECCO will fulfil.

    • ECCO will strive to educate the employees so that they assist in environmental responsibility.

    • ECCO will reward suggestions for improvement of practices and procedures which will be beneficial to the environment.

Community Relations

    • ECCO wishes to be an active and supportive member of the local community in the countries in which we conduct business and will as such involve ourselves in relevant local issues.

How does ECCO ensure the observance of these 10 Commitments?

ECCO carries out systematic audits in order to identify and improve processes and conditions, which are potentially harmful to our employees or to the environment. ECCO has a Corporate Conduct department which is responsible for our Code of Conduct audits. The purpose of this department is further to identify and ensure that practical measures are taken to maintain a sustainable development.