Deadly factory fires. Illegal pollution. Injured workers. Many brands have recently been tarnished by publicity of suppliers’ labor and environmental violations. This paper provides guidance to buyers as to how they can motivate their suppliers to comply with labor and environmental standards. Obvious approaches (increasing auditing, making it more difficult for the supplier to deceive an auditor, publicizing negative audit reports) can be counterproductive. Less obvious approaches (squeezing the supplier’s margin by reducing the price paid to the supplier or increasing wages for workers, precommitment to a low level of auditing) might better motivate supplier compliance effort. Even if the buyer ensures that the supplier’s facility is compliant (e.g., through
direct investment in the facility), the supplier may outsource some production of the buyer’s order to unauthorized subcontractors, exposing the buyer to risk of brand damage. The results in the paper also apply to mitigation of unauthorized subcontracting.