WASHINGTON — An internal review by Gap Inc. found labor conditions in the factories that make its apparel improved somewhat over last year.

In the retailer’s third Social Responsibility Report, released Thursday, Gap said 5 percent of its factories globally required urgent attention as of its fiscal year ended Jan. 30, down from 6 percent for the previous year. However, the percentage of factories with a rating of “excellent” jumped to 30 percent from 23 percent.

The report also detailed the company’s efforts in other areas of social responsibility, such as the environment.

“While I am encouraged by the progress we’re making, we all recognize there is much more work to be done,” said Robert Fisher, who sits on the company’s board and reflected in the report on nearly 30 years with the retailer. “We remain committed to delivering value to shareholders while conducting business in a way that advances the rights of garment workers around the world, lessens our impact on the environment and provides a high quality of life for employees and those people impacted by our business. Why? Simply put: It’s good business.”

Fisher was chairman and interim chief executive officer at the company until Glenn Murphy took over the corner office last month.

Murphy expects to continue the focus, noting in a statement that “Gap Inc.’s commitment to doing business in a socially responsible manner is a fundamental part of who we are, especially for our employees and our customers.”

This story first appeared in the August 17, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.