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Commitment to fair compensation

Our goals are simple: reduce our environmental footprint, treat people with respect, and build products you can trust to perform – at a fair price for all. As we endeavor to continue providing high-quality products that enable everyone to lead active outdoor lifestyles, we take seriously our responsibility to ensure a ‘fair price for all’ in our global supply chain. This goes beyond the till and speaks to our belief at Mountain Equipment Company that workers have a right to fair compensation – and we're committing to action this belief.

What is fair compensation?

Simply put, fair compensation enables every worker to earn enough weekly wages without overtime: allowing workers to support themselves, at least two family members, and save for the future.

The requirement for fair compensation is embedded within the Fair Labor Association’s Workplace Code of Conduct and the MEC Supplier Code of Conduct. It is also generally recognized as a human right by the United Nations.

What has Mountain Equipment Company done to support fair compensation in our supply chain?

We work with our suppliers to ensure that all workers’ compensation and benefits meet the legal minimum wage or the appropriate prevailing wage, whichever is higher. In addition to this, we support the freedom of association for all workers in our supply chain, including the formation of collective bargaining agreements. We also work with Fair Trade Certified as an avenue to support fair compensation for workers, as MEC pays a premium to workers in these factories that can fund projects determined by workers to address their collective and individual needs.

As a part of our responsible purchasing practices, we are taking new steps by developing our Fair Compensation Strategy.

To inform our strategy development, we are utilizing the FLA’s Fair Compensation Dashboard and Wage Data Collection Tools to measure and track our progress against wage benchmarks. These scalable tools measure progress towards fair wages for workers and, where available, rely on Anker methodology. This methodology means that worker voice is incorporated into the calculation of these estimates, and the breadth of its use allows for benchmarking across regions.

Our progress

Phase 1: Gathering data

2021: We publicly committed to fair compensation in our supply chain. To ensure accountability and acknowledge the role of civil society organizations, we also committed to publicly reporting on our progress annually.

2022: MEC gathered wage data from 24 factory partners across Taiwan, China, Vietnam, India, the Philippines, El Salvador and the United States. This data was analyzed alongside available wage benchmarks and shared with each supplier to promote dialogue around fair compensation for workers.

2023: Our supplier list had significant shifts in 2022. In 2023, we’ll collect and analyze wage data across MEC Label factory partners to create a baseline. We’ll focus our efforts on strategic factory partners and offer more robust support for suppliers on the Wage Data Collection Tool.

Our goals for 2023:

  1. Socialize fair compensation tools and resources across strategic suppliers
  2. Gather wage data from strategic factory partners that MEC Label does business with most (70% of our spend)
  3. Create a baseline representative of our supply chain
  4. Determine an accurate percentage of strategic factories that are paying a living wage
  5. Use the data we gather to build a roadmap to fair compensation for finished goods suppliers (the factories assembling the final products)

We’ll report back on our progress on these goals by the end of 2023 as part of our commitment to transparency.

Phase 2: Launching our roadmap

2024: We understand that our fair compensation work will continue to evolve, so we’re maintaining an adaptive approach and integrating our learnings as we develop our strategy. In 2024, we plan to begin our engagement and action phase.