Responsible Business
Responsible business

Responsible for every step

ECCO is the only major shoe company to own and operate our own production and retail facilities. We recognise that with great influence comes great responsibility. We are proud to accept that responsibility and do our best to make our impact on this planet as light as possible.

Responsible Business

Code of Conduct

Wherever we operate, ECCO wishes to be a good corporate citizen. The ECCO Code of Conduct describes our social and environmental responsibilities. It outlines the core principles that govern how ECCO conducts its business. The Code applies to all employees, suppliers and business partners worldwide. Our Code of Conduct is built on a foundation of respect for people, the environment and society. It sets out clear principles and high ethical and legal standards in the areas of human rights, education, health and safety, and the environment.

The ECCO Code of Conduct

Responsible business

Tracing our performance

Thread. Laces. Leather. Labels. Retail floors and light fittings. We hold suppliers worldwide to the same standards and values that we follow in our own production. ECCO is a manufacturer that is in close, personal contact with suppliers.

Our global audit team visits suppliers, business partners and our own tanneries and shoe factories. Our auditors evaluate compliance with our Code of Conduct, including issues ranging from employment and pay practices, waste management, resource utilisation, working conditions, health and safety, and prevention of industrial accidents to respect for culture, freedom of religion, non-discrimination and union relations. External inspections and audits are performed regularly on our operations to check compliance with local and international standards and regulations.

Responsible business


Every day the ECCO Code of Conduct and related policies are transformed from paper to practice. Our auditors conduct extensive tours of all areas of a facility, including production, storage, utilities, medical clinics, canteen and dormitories. While they tour facilities, auditors point out examples of best practice and areas of improvement.

Our operations are also audited by external organisations such as the Leather Working Group, the most important environmental audit in the leather industry worldwide. Key areas of assessment  include environmental management systems, water usage, energy consumption, air emissions, effluent treatment and waste management. Other external auditors concentrate on issues related to working conditions, such as health and safety, working hours and salaries.

Responsible business

Working together

ECCO has developed an audit programme based on partnership, openness and education. ECCO knows that by working together with suppliers and business partners who share our commitments, we can achieve more.

Our auditors award points for performance and compliance with the ECCO Code of Conduct. If an audit reveals inadequate performance, ECCO works with the supplier to ensure that the necessary improvements are made within a reasonable timeframe. ECCO will discontinue a relationship if the supplier is not willing to collaborate on the measures requested.


Taking care of each other

ECCO is committed to treating people with dignity and respect. We are guests in each of the countries in which we operate and we will always respect the local culture.

The health, safety and well being of employees continue to be primary concerns. ECCO does business fairly and creates an environment of cooperation and inclusion in the workplace.


Human rights and respect for diversity

ECCO respects each individual and wants all its employees to be treated with respect and dignity. With activities in about 90 countries of unique cultures and customs, ECCO experiences the strength that comes from diversity every day.

The ECCO Code of Conduct states that ECCO, in all decisions and all actions, will remember that it is a guest in each of the countries in which it operates and will always respect the local culture.


When prayer is an everyday event

ECCO’s shoe factory and tannery in Indonesia operate in the world’s largest Muslim country, and of the 7,000 employees who work there, approximately 95% are practising Muslims. Religion and prayer are a part of everyday life at the factory.

According to Islam, believers must pray five times a day, if possible. Being a guest in Indonesia ECCO wishes to respect this and has furnished eight prayer rooms in the factory. Special washroom facilities have also been installed to give the employees the opportunity to cleanse themselves before prayer as prescribed by Islamic law.



We constantly strive to reduce the environmental impact of our operations while increasing the positive impact we have in our communities. We wish to be an environmentally responsible neighbour and conserve resources for future generations through sustainable development.

As a manufacturer of leather and shoes we consume natural resources every day. In step with increases in production capacity, we ensure that we implement environmentally sound methods and technology. Continuous improvement is approached from all angles, from employee-driven environmental initiatives, to investing in renewable energy, as well as modifying production processes to reduce consumption.



ECCO follows the principles of reduce, reuse, repair and recycle to measure its impact on the environment. Our ECCO Environmental Management System (EEMS) and our Lean production methods foster a continual improvement and waste-elimination culture that involves all employees. Together, we work to increase our energy efficiency, decrease water use and waste, prevent pollution, reduce and reuse materials, and recycle waste from our tanneries and shoe factories.



ECCO is continually seeking ways to increase energy efficiency. We realise that even small energy-saving measures can result in large environmental gains. We conserve energy through the development of new technologies, renewable energy and cost-effective improvements in our operations. We encourage our employees worldwide to take action in their workplaces and business operations to reduce energy consumption, improve energy efficiency and use available technology to reduce business travel. Our teams strive to simplify operations and equipment and optimise product and process design to reduce energy consumption.



Both the consumption of energy and the use of raw materials are closely supervised, so that in all ECCO’s tanneries and shoe factories there is as little waste as possible. This includes the use of modern technologies, production equipment and manufacturing processes. Lean production methods significantly improve our environmental performance by systematically identifying and eliminating waste. This lean culture makes continuous improvement a way of life and encourages all workers to contribute ideas.



Fresh water is a limited resource. We are committed to the development of water management practices that minimise the use of water in our operations and conserve fresh water resources.

At ECCO we work to improve water efficiency by applying best practice technologies and implementing effective water management techniques. Many efforts target process management, increasing the number of possibilities to carefully monitor and measure consumption at every step and station of production. Also, process integrated measures have led to a significant reduction of water consumption and at the same time to a significant reduction of waste.

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We care about our employees and the communities in which we live and work. We continually work to limit the use of chemical substances and minimise their impact on human health and the environment. Our chemical management ensures that all chemicals and materials in our operations are managed safely and responsibly.

We substitute chemicals with products or systems with less environmental impact wherever possible. We minimise the use of chemicals at individual workplaces, train and educate employees in the handling of chemicals and carefully control chemical waste management.

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Wherever we operate, we believe in being involved in the communities of which we are a part. We have a long tradition of working together with communities in the areas of education, health and welfare, infrastructure and disaster relief.

As an example in ECCO Indonesia you find ECCINDOMART which is a co-op store based on the Indonesian community principle called “koperasi”. The setup is common in Indonesia. The community around the ECCINDOMAART and the users are the approx. 7,000 employees in Indonesia.

The ECCINDOMART sells convenience goods and discount shoes, and provides small loans to its members. The shop is managed according to traditional Indonesian principles of self-help through cooperation, mutual aid among members, thrift, equality and equity.

Business Partners

Suppliers and partners

We realise that our corporate responsibility reaches beyond the boundaries of our own operations. Choosing good partners is essential to growing sustainably and responsibly as a company. Building strong, long-term relationships with key partners and suppliers, based on common values and objectives, is vital to ensuring social and environmental stewardship.

We require suppliers to commit to the ethical, social and environmental requirements of the ECCO Code of Conduct as a condition of their contracts with us. Our business partners around the globe – including suppliers, wholesale and retail customers – are expected to meet business objectives while complying with the standards of our Code of Conduct.

Our Stories
Our Stories

Honour to ECCO Xiamen for Great Employment

ECCO Xiamen received the ‘National Advanced Enterprise for Employment’ award from the State Council of China in 2012 - the highest employer award ever granted at a national level.

The State Council honoured ECCO for being in strict compliance with labour laws and regulations, making an outstanding contribution to creating employment positions for physically-challenged employees, serving as a role model and enjoying a positive social reputation.

ECCO was also commended for contributing to the local community. Particularly notable was the fact that 73% of ECCO’s 3,300 Xiamen employees reside in the local area, which is an unusually high proportion for labour-intensive companies in China.

Our Stories

SOS Children's Villages

ECCO believes in the rights of the child and in second chances. By partnering with SOS Children’s Villages, ECCO helps disadvantaged children to a new safe daily life making it possible for them to grow up as with a brighter future.  

An SOS Children's Village offers a permanent home in a family-style environment to children who have lost their parents or can no longer live with them. SOS Children’s Villages also runs schools, medical centres, family strengthening programmes and vocational training which help hundreds of vulnerable families in the local community.
Our Stories

Solar Thermal System in Thailand

ECCO has installed the largest solar thermal system in Thailand to support the energy demands of its tannery.

The system is based on vacuum tube collectors, a worldwide leading technology and most suitable for industrial applications. Vacuum tube collectors transfer sunlight energy into hot water up to 300°, three times that of flat plate collectors. The hot water is then used in production.

ECCO Thailand has achieved a 40% reduction in butane gas, and solar energy now accounts for 20% of the total energy needs of the tannery.

Our Stories

Working with disabilities

ECCO looks at what people can do rather than what they cannot do – not least in relation to physically disabled workers, which ECCO has in several units.

 There are currently 35 physically challenged employees working in ECCO’s plant in Xiamen. User-friendly equipment is developed by colleagues in the engineering department to adapt workplaces or ways of working. Handicapped employees are respected and accepted as part of the teams.

In partnership with the Handicap Federation in China, ECCO Xiamen has funded new equipment at the local rehabilitation facility and is now building a programme for employment training and job placement.
Our Stories

Flooding in Thailand

In October 2011, the worst disaster in ECCO’s history hit Thailand. From one day to the next, many employees were left homeless. In the wake of the flooding, 1,630 employees received economic support based on an employee collection and a donation from the Toosbuy Foundation.

Via internal and external media ECCO employees all over the globe followed the flooding disaster. Spontaneously, the idea emerged that the employees wanted to support their colleagues in Thailand. The idea grew and spread to become a global initiative, with employees from around the world donating money.

The donations ultimately resulted in EUR 100,000 donation from the employees and the Toosbuy Foundation added EUR 1 million, which was established as a common fund.