New Balance Australia
Footwear and clothing wholesaler

Overall

Owned USA
Rating C
About the Ratings

Company Ownership

New Balance Australia Pty Ltd
AUS
New Balance Athletics Inc
owns 100% of New Balance Australia Pty Ltd
USA
Clothing, especially footwear
25% of shoes sold in North America are made or assembled in the US. New Balance is the only athletic shoe manufacturer still making shoes in the US. They also own leather boot maker Dunham.

Company Assessment

New Balance Australia Pty Ltd
No assessment data currently available for New Balance Australia Pty Ltd.
New Balance Athletics Inc
Praise
The Green Supply Chain Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) evaluates consumer-facing companies that have a sizeable supply chain in China. The evaluation uses government supervision data and public information to assess the environmental management of their supply chains in China. This company received a score of 74.76/100 (retrieved 24 Nov 2023).
Source: IPE (2023)
In 2022, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Climate Change Score of B.
Source: CDP (2022)
Baptist World Aid Australia's '2022 Ethical Fashion Report' assessed 120 companies on their efforts to mitigate against the risks of forced labour, child labour and worker exploitation in their supply chains, as well as protect the environment from the harmful impacts of the fashion industry. Assessment criteria fall into five main categories: policy & governance, tracing & risk, auditing and supplier relationships, worker empowerment and environmental sustainability. This company received a score of 52/100.
In 2020 Baptist World Aid Australia released The COVID Fashion Report, a special edition of their Ethical Fashion Report. The report is framed around six COVID Fashion Commitments that ask companies to demonstrate the steps and measures they are taking to protect and support the most vulnerable workers in their supply chains. This company showed evidence of actions that cover ALL areas of the COVID Fashion Commitments.
The 2023 Fashion Transparency Index reviewed 250 of the world's largest fashion brands and retailers and ranked them according to how much they disclose about their human rights and environmental policies, practices and impacts. Brands owned by this company scored 46%, signifying that it is making significant efforts in the given areas, and has made some or most of this information publicly available. The average score was 26% and the highest score was 83%.
The Apparel and Footwear Supply Chain Transparency Pledge (Transparency Pledge) helps demonstrate apparel and footwear companies' commitment towards greater transparency in their manufacturing supply chain. Transparency of a company's manufacturing supply chain better enables a company to collaborate with civil society in identifying, assessing, and avoiding actual or potential adverse human rights impacts. This is a critical step that strengthens a company's human rights due diligence. This company is fully aligned with the Transparency Pledge, thereby committing to regularly publish on its website a list naming all sites that manufacture its products.
Criticism
The 2024 Social Benchmark assesses the world's 2,000 most influential companies on their responsibility in meeting society's fundamental expectations towards three measurement areas: respecting human rights, providing decent work, and acting ethically. This company was assessed in 2022 and received a score of 3.5/20. The average score was an alarmingly low 4.6/20 and the highest score was 15.5/20.
Forest 500 identifies the 350 companies and 150 financial institutions with the greatest exposure to tropical deforestation risk, and annually assesses them on the strength and implementation of their deforestation and human rights commitments. This company received a score of 25.9%.
The 2022 Nature Benchmark ranks 400 companies across eight industries on their efforts to protect our environment and its biodiversity. The companies were assessed using three measurement areas: governance and strategy; social inclusion and community impact; and ecosystems and biodiversity. This company ranked #200/400, with a total score of 14.4/100.
This company owns brands rated 'Not good enough' by Good On You, whose rating system considers the most important social and environmental issues facing the fashion industry to assess a brand's impact on people, the planet and animals.
Information
This 2006 report from China Labour Watch and the Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights reveals workers at a Chinese factory which produces for New Balance are paid very low wages and not allowing to organise unions. Other criticisms include mandatory overtime, use of temporary contracts, and New Balance bending its Code of Conduct. [listed under information due to age of report]
New Balance has been criticised by China Labour Watch for having an inadequate social responsibility policy, consistently driving down the price of their purchase order and dodging the issue of labor costs, therefore all but forcing management at China's Yucheng shoe factory to keep worker compensation and spending on working environments low to meet New Balance's price and quality requirements. [Listed under Information due to age of report]
New Balance has a number of different programs set up to support the US military.
In 2011, a group of major apparel and footwear brands and retailers, including this company, made a shared commitment to help lead the industry towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020. It includes specific commitments and timelines to realize this shared goal.
Source: ZDHC (2023)
As listed on the We Mean Business website, this company has committed to the following climate action initiatives: adopt a science-based emissions reduction target; commit to 100% renewable power.
When joining the Fair Labor Association (FLA) this company committed to promoting and complying with international labor standards throughout their supply chain. The FLA does not accredit the company itself; rather, they accredit the company's labor compliance program. Being granted accreditation implies that their workplace standards program is substantially in compliance with the FLA Code.
This company signed the Uzbek Cotton Pledge with the Responsible Sourcing Network, signifying a public commitment to not knowingly source Uzbek cotton for the manufacturing of any of their products until the Government of Uzbekistan ends the practice of forced labor in its cotton sector. However the Pledge was lifted in March 2022 after the Uzbek Forum for Human Rights, who monitored the annual cotton harvest since 2010, found no state-imposed forced labor in the 2021 harvest.
Brands owned by this company are listed in Human Society International Australia's Better Wool Guide as having a commitment to phasing out mulesed wool but with no timeline or certification scheme specified. Mulesing is the controversial practice of removing strips of the skin of a lamb's rear and is often done without pain relief. In Australia, the only country where mulesing still occurs, an estimated 10 million merino lambs are subjected to mulesing each year - equivalent to 19 lambs per minute.
This company is a member of the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3), a business-to-business forum that advances the application of green chemistry and design for environment across supply chains. It provides an open forum for cross-sectoral collaboration to share information and experiences about the challenges to and opportunities for safer chemicals and products.
Source: GC3 (2019)
This company is a member of the Textile Exchange, a global non-profit that works closely with its members to drive textile industry transformation in preferred fibres, integrity and standards and responsible supply networks. They identify and share best practices regarding farming, materials, processing, traceability and product end-of-life in order to reduce the textile industry's impact on the world's water, soil and air, and the human population.
This company is a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a multi-stakeholder initiative launched in March 2011 by a group of global apparel and footwear companies and non-profit organizations (representing nearly one third of the global market share for apparel and footwear). The Coalition's goals are to reduce the apparel industry's environmental and social impact, and to develop a universal index to measure environmental and social performance of apparel products.
This company is a partner of Better Work, an initiative of the UN's International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation which brings diverse groups together - governments, global brands, factory owners, and unions and workers - to improve working conditions in the garment industry and make the sector more competitive.
This company is a member of the Leather Working Group, a multi-stakeholder group who's objective is to develop and maintain a protocol that assesses the compliance and environmental performance of tanners and promotes sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry.
This company is a signatory to the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, a United Nations initiative which contains the vision to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Material Change Index (MCI) is a voluntary benchmark that tracks the apparel and textiles sector's progress toward more sustainable materials sourcing (cotton, polyester, nylon, manmade cellulosics, wool, down and leather), as well as alignment with global efforts like the Sustainable Development Goals and the transition to a circular economy. This company was rated "Maturing", the second highest performance band.
This company is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, a voluntary program which encourages the adoption of better management practices in cotton cultivation to achieve measurable reductions in key environmental impacts, while improving social and economic benefits for cotton farmers, small and large, worldwide.
California, the UK and Australia have all enacted legislation requiring companies operating within their borders to disclose their efforts to eradicate modern slavery from their operations and supply chains. Follow the link to see this company's disclosure statement.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre digital platform presents news and allegations relating to the human rights impact of over 20,000 companies. Their enhanced Company Dashboards also include financial information, key data points based on corporate policies, and scores from prominent civil society benchmarks. Follow the link and use the search function to view this company's dashboard.
OpenSecrets.org tracks the influence of money on U.S. politics, and how that money affects policy and citizens' lives. Follow link to see this company's record of political donations, lobbying, outside spending and more.
This company uses nano-particles in some of its apparel.
Call to boycott by BDS due to involvement in Israel. [This assessment has not been used in calculation of ratings].
Source: BDS (2014)

Company Details

Type:
Wholly-owned subsidiary

Contact Details

Address:
47 Wangarra Road, Cheltenham, VIC, 3192, Australia
Freecall:
1800 654 512
Website:
www.newbalance.com.au

Products / Brands

New Balance Australia
New Balance Sportswear
New Balance Sports Shoes