Mutual, partial, and one-sided recognition of social compliance programs consolidates efforts across standards and codes, and can reduce the amount of resources required for their implementation. SAI actively seeks opportunities to align the SA8000 certification with systems provided by other organizations.
SA8000 Recognized By Brands
SAI works closely with several brands that have decided to accept the SA8000® Standard as part of their procurement program. These companies have found several benefits in recognizing SA8000 in lieu of conducting their own audits.
Some of the advantages include:
- SAI’s regular revisions ensure the Standard’s continued relevance in the face of new and emerging social issues.
- The Standard emphasizes strong management systems that encourage facilities to continuous measurement and improvement.
- Recognizing the Standard can result in significant savings in audit costs and in an opportunity to allocate resources more effectively to those facilities that need more support.
- The accredited SA8000 certification system provides an additional, independent layer of oversight to assure all SA8000 audits are conducted in a fair, reliable, and consistent manner.
The multinational retailing corporation Walmart has announced it will begin to accept the SA8000® Standard in its Responsible Sourcing Program in mid-2017. The company will start to recognize third-party social compliance programs instead of conducting its traditional Walmart Responsible Sourcing audits. It has selected SA8000 as one of the eight currently approved audit frameworks.
Business Social Compliance Initiative
The Foreign Trade Association’s Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) recognizes the SA8000® Standard as a credible system for BSCI participants to detect and monitor labor conditions in their supply chains. BSCI participants sourcing from organizations that are SA8000-certified may include this information in the BSCI IT Platform to avoid audit duplication.
Global Social Compliance Programme
SAI has completed the Consumer Goods Forum’s Global Social Compliance Programme’s GSCP Equivalence Process and the comparison of SA8000:2008 against the GSCP Reference Code (social). The SA8000:2014 Standard will be going through the same process.
The results of the equivalence process have been published to increase the transparency of the SA8000® Standard. SAI hopes that the process helps reduce the duplication of audits by increasing the recognition and acceptance of SA8000 as a certification by a variety of buyers, initiatives, and standard-setting bodies.
The GSCP Equivalence Process is a benchmarking system against the GSCP Reference Tools. Its purpose is to drive continuous improvement in the content of standards while preserving their specificities. The process begins with a self-assessment of internal tools and processes against the GSCP tools. After that, gaps in requirements or implementation processes are identified. Finally, users are able to make improvements to their standard and tools were they see fit.
GSCP Equivalence Process Results: SA8000:2008 Standard
80 percent of the grades were either A or A+ showing equivalency between SA8000:2008 and the GSCP criteria. More specifically, SAI’s grades in the process were as follows:
- 12 A+ (27%)
- 24 A (53%)
- 8 B (18%)
- 1 C (2%)
The detailed results can be accessed here. Some lower grades are due to specific wording, not the rigor of the Standard, which is why SAI has chosen to add its own comments to the results.