As we look back over the last year, we’re proud of our progress furthering our factory compliance programs and reducing environmental impacts. Our associates and our relationships with our suppliers have been a key component of our accomplishments, and we want to acknowledge their sincere efforts toward operating responsibly.

While we have made significant strides in our programs, we remain steadfast in our commitment to finding additional ways to improve our performance.

Here is a look at some of the highlights of what we have achieved and where we’re going:

      
      


Since 2008, we have reduced our carbon footprint by 38.9% per square foot, exceeding our goal to reduce our carbon footprint by 30%. Our associates at our corporate offices and in over 1,000 of our stores have worked tirelessly to help us achieve this significant goal.

This footprint focuses on our North American operations, including our home offices, distribution center and stores in both the U.S. and Canada. This footprint includes Scope 1 and 2 and was conducted using WRI’s GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

In 2015, we installed Energy Management Systems at over 400 stores, which allows us to have more control over the energy used throughout the day. We are already seeing significant impacts to our energy use and carbon footprint.



We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint even further and will continue driving key programs to minimize environmental impacts of our business.


We continually strive to become more energy efficient in our operations. Since 2008, we have reduced our energy use by 28% per square foot. We achieved this reduction by engaging our associates to reduce our energy use by following guidelines on lighting, temperature control and equipment. We also have upgraded our lighting systems and have installed energy efficient LED bulbs in over 600 of our stores. In 2015, we installed Energy Management Systems at over 400 stores, which allows us to have more control over the energy used throughout the day.



We will continue to drive energy efficiency in our operations to reduce our carbon footprint and realize cost savings. Our Store Facilities team is always looking for more efficient lighting, fixtures and HVAC systems for our stores, and we continue to engage our passionate associates around these efforts.


At ANN INC., we believe every woman deserves a chance to be her best self every day. Through our Responsibly ANN 100,000 Women Commitment, we’re dedicated to empowering 100,000 women in our global supply chain community. By providing health and financial education, we are giving women all over the world the opportunity to reach their full potential.

To date, we have provided health and financial literacy training to more than 47,000 women around the world. We achieved this by expanding the program into 28 factories across 6 countries. We have also continued our work with an artisan cooperative in the Indian Himalayas through Village Ways Charitable Trust.



We are excited about this progress, and will continue to expand the program until we reach our goal of 100,000 women by 2018. We will continue to introduce this health and financial literacy training into ANN INC.’s contract factories, allowing women around the world the opportunity to reach their full potential.


At ANN INC., we are committed to supplier development and have worked to build strong relationships with our suppliers to drive compliance. Through AT CONNECT, our program for our top 15 apparel suppliers, we have worked with our strategic suppliers to share best-in-class practices targeted at some of their biggest challenges.

We are proud to work with these strategic suppliers to further develop their capacity to extend their social compliance and environmental sustainability programs even further. This group is significant to ANN INC. and represents 74% of our total business.



We will continue to focus on delivering results through our AT CONNECT program and to work closely with our suppliers to improve compliance outcomes, build supplier capacity and provide best-in-class compliance and environmental sustainability solutions.

We are committed to building the compliance capacity of our strategic suppliers and are continuously looking for the next generation of supplier engagement and training programs. As we evolve, we will continue to strengthen our relationships with the compliance staff of our suppliers and expand our efforts to further align compliance with business priorities.


In 2013, we worked with our top suppliers to set goals for them to reduce their energy use throughout their operations. Fifteen of our top suppliers pledged to complete projects throughout their facilities to drive energy savings, and reduce their carbon footprints. To make the connection between energy efficiency and cost savings, our suppliers are measuring their progress in this area.

Collectively, our suppliers have completed 250 projects, which have saved them over $3.5 million in energy costs, exceeding the initial goal of $3 million in energy savings.



Our suppliers have learned many energy savings techniques through training, capacity building and best practice sharing. They will continue to implement energy savings projects to minimize their environmental impact.


Through our program, we review the social compliance performance of all active factories that produce ANN INC. branded apparel products. We do this by conducting unannounced, independent third-party audits, in-factory training programs, regular progress reporting, and visits from our global CSR team. We develop our annual monitoring strategy using various criteria, including a factory’s previous compliance performance. We recognize the performance of factories who consistently demonstrate good results by conducting audits of those factories less frequently throughout the year and by partnering with other brands where possible to alleviate audit fatigue.

We remain diligent in our commitment to only approve factories that meet our strict criteria. In 2015, we approved 80% of the new factories reviewed, continuing our commitment to only doing business with factories who meet our high standards.



At ANN INC. we are committed to reporting on our social compliance programs, impacts and challenges. This is an important way to demonstrate accountability to our clients, associates, and other stakeholders who expect ANN INC. to maintain high ethical standards.

We are proud of our performance and will continue to share our achievements and challenges.

We continue to align with our sourcing partners on our sourcing strategy and adjust our monitoring approach in a way that makes sense for the business. For this reason, 97% of our factories were monitored instead of our goal of 100% in 2015. We are confident we will meet the 100% goal again in 2016 and will remain aligned with our sourcing partners to achieve this.


      

Give Back Box

Policy on Conflict
Minerals Law Compliance

Better Cotton Initiative

Supplier Management
and Compliance System
At ANN INC., we believe we can help the planet by reducing waste while also benefiting our local communities. That’s why we’ve partnered with Goodwill® to provide our clients and associates the opportunity to donate and ship their used clothes and household items, for free using Give Back Box®. In 2015, our clients and associates donated over 700 boxes, totaling over 8,000 pounds of clothing and textiles. Learn more
ANN INC. and our parent company, ascena Retail Group, Inc., are committed to ensuring that metals and other minerals contained in our merchandise are sourced, produced and used in an ethical and socially responsible manner.

We expect our suppliers to:
•  Avoid the use of gold, columbite-tantalite (tantalum), cassiterite (tin) and wolframite (tungsten) (collectively, the “Conflict Minerals”) that may finance directly or benefit armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring countries.
•  Participate fully in the Company’s inquiry regarding their use of Conflict Minerals, including providing complete, accurate and timely responses to surveys and other inquiries submitted by the Company.

Please click here to view our detailed conflict minerals policy.
ANN INC. cares about how our products are made, whether it is the quality of the raw materials or the impact of its manufacturing on the environment and society. As cotton is the number one raw material used across our brands, we are proud to support the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which exists to promote measurable and continuing improvements for the environment, farming communities and the economies of cotton-producing areas. BCI trains producers to adopt sustainable farming practices that reduce the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and water, while improving social and economic benefits for cotton farmers, small and large, worldwide.
In 2015, ANN INC. implemented a web-based Supplier Management and Compliance System to communicate with our supply chain partners and oversee their compliance performance. The use of this system has helped ANN INC. to:

     •  Drive transparency and regular communication with our supply chain partners
     •  Streamline compliance policy communications
     •  Automate the onboarding process
     •  Increase accessibility of polices and manuals to vendors and ANN INC.
     •  Consolidate audit reports, compliance history and remediation plans in one central repository for ANN INC. and our suppliers