Social Compliance Programs:
Social compliance audit began at client code of conduct audit about 15 years ago, result from anti-sweat & blood, equal payment movement in western countries. Accompany with industrial transform to third-world countries, CSR audit which arose by represented brands such as The Walt Disney, Nike, Adidas, Wal-mart etc and now wide spreads to almost all western famous brands & buyers. In third-world countries, many people think CSR audits are one of trade barriers that set by western buyers instead of improving workers’ working condition at the beginning period. As a matter of fact, CSR audits are triple-win activity, which helps western buyers to protect their brand image and earn good reputation from consumers, and helps third-world manufacturers to win good reputation and build confidence with their customers, and helps working condition in third-world being improved a lot.
Field or regional audits come out when western buyers’ individual code of conduct audit deeply executed, as both buyers and manufacturers recognize to form an industrial field or regional CSR program and get participants’ mutual recognition will save both buyers and manufacturers’ cost. In this way, ICTI (toys industrial), Wrap (apparel and footwear), EICC (Electronic & Electrical), BSCI, ICS, ETI, Sedex, AVE etc are developed under this background.
In a globalized economy world, social responsibility has become one of the top priorities for trade as decreasing tolerance with regard to poor working conditions in production facilities represent a huge challenge for retailing companies as well as for suppliers. Retailers and suppliers must now balance the needs of manufacturing ethically, high quality products at low prices.
I. General STS CSR Audit
Our general CSR audit program covering following element, which is very tight to world famous buyers code of conduct such as:
1. Child labor,
2. Forced labor,
3. Health & Safety,
4. Freedom of Association & Collective Bargaining,
6. Disciplinary Practices,
7. Harassment or Abuse,
8. Compensation & Benefits,
9. Hours of Work,
10. Environmental Practices,
11. Home working,
12. Management systems, monitoring & documentation
STS audit process including Opening meeting with factory management, Factory Walk-through, Document Review, Private Employees Interview, Closing Meeting with factory management, On-site Report, Formal Report.
II. SMETA (Sedex)
Smeta (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit), Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange), it is a platform for supplier, retailer and brand in EU to exchange suppliers’ ethical information. Smeta becomes more and more popular and accepted by more and more EU brands. One sedex audit and upload your information on website, you are facing many potential clients and reduce different customers’ audit.
The sedex audit is based on the principle of ETI standard (Ethical Trade Initiative), it covers following elements:
1.Employment Freely Chosen
2.Freedom of Association
3.Safety and Hygienic Conditions
5.Wages and Benefits
9.Harsh or Inhumane Treatment
10.Entitlement to Work
11.Code & System Implementation
12.Sub-Contracting & Home-working
The Electronic Industry Code of Conduct outlines standards to ensure that working conditions in the electronics industry supply chain are safe, that workers are treated with respect and dignity, and that manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible.
If you pass the EICC audit, it means a lot of E&E brands will accept you thus reduce your audit times from different customers.
The Code is made up of five sections. Sections A, B, and C outline standards for Labor, Health and Safety, and the Environment, respectively. Section D outlines the elements of an acceptable system to manage conformity to this Code. Section E adds standards relating to business ethics.
The BSCI monitoring system is the European approach to tackle this challenge by improving social performance in supplier countries through a uniform social standards monitoring solution for retail, industry and importers. The BSCI is based on the labour standards of the International Labour organization (ILO) and other important international regulations like the UN Charta for Human Rights, as well as on national regulations. The Initiative aims at continuously improving the social performance of suppliers, leading to Best Practice like SA8000 certification or equivalents and thus sustainably enhancing working conditions in factories worldwide.
Win-Win for all parties:
More efficient implementation procedures than other monitoring systems
Save cost and time through our prevention of multiple auditing
Optimize working conditions
Factories that undergo BSCI audits will be exempted from AVE audits.
Higher product quality
Higher satisfaction for workers and consumers
Same requirements for all suppliers involved through their customers
The Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production Principles are core standards for production facilities participating in the Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production Certification Program. The Program’s objective is to independently monitor and certify compliance with these socially responsible global standards for manufacturing, and ensure that manufactured products are produced under lawful, humane and ethical conditions. Participating Retailers voluntarily agree that their production and that of their contractors will be certified by the WRAP Certification Program as complying with these standards.
Factory audit is the most effective method to make sure that the manufacturer environment fits to the WRAP principles. The degree of the recognition and acceptance of the retailers and name brand holders is improving constantly, and the supplier can avoid the repeated social obligation audits after passing WRAP audit.
The International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI), an association of associations, is committed on behalf of its member companies to the operation of toy factories in a lawful, safe, and healthful manner. It upholds the principles that no underage, forced, or prison labor* should be employed; that no one is denied a job because of gender, ethnic origin, religion, affiliation or association, and that factories comply with laws protecting the environment. Supply agreements with firms manufacturing on behalf of ICTI members must also provide for adherence to these principles. The role of ICTI is to inform, educate, and survey its members so that individual member companies can adhere to its Code of Business Practices. As an association, it also acts to encourage local and national governments to enforce wage and hour laws and factory health and safety laws.
The ICTI CARE Process is the international toy industry’s ethical manufacturing program, aimed at ensuring safe and humane workplace environments for toy factory workers worldwide. Our initial focus is on China, Hong Kong and Macau, where the vast majority of the world’s toys are manufactured. Expansion is contemplated, over time, to all countries where toys are made.
ICTI and its member associations are committed to the promotion of toy safety standards, to the reduction or elimination of barriers to trade and to the advancement of social responsibility in the industry with programs to address environmental concerns, fair and lawful employment practices and workplace safety.