SA 8000:2014

Social Accountability Certification Standard

Escalating concern over working conditions in developing countries led to the necessity of creating a universal code of practice for labor conditions in the manufacturing industry to assure consumers that the products they were purchasing had been manufactured in compliance with a recognized set of standards. Businesses developed their own codes of conduct as they recognized the profitability of ethical production. However, consensus was lacking on what exactly constituted a socially responsible policy. As a result, the numerous codes were inconsistent and poorly audited. For genuine social accountability a unified code of conduct is required.

What is SA 8000?

SA8000 is an auditable certification standard that encourages organizations to develop, maintain, and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace. SA8000 is developed and overseen by Social Accountability International (SAI). SA8000 measures social performance in areas important to social accountability in workplaces, implemented by a management system that drives continuous improvement in all areas of the standard. It has a rigorous approach to ensuring the highest quality of social compliance in business supply chains without sacrificing business interests.

What does SA 8000 comprise of?

The Standard reflects labor provisions contained within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions. It also respects, complements and supports national labor laws around the world, and currently helps secure ethical working conditions for two million workers around the world.

What are the key benefits of SA 8000?

            Benefits to manufacturers and suppliers:

  • Marketing advantage – more demand and value for goods from socially responsible manufacturers/suppliers
  • Enhancement of company productivity
  • Legal compliance
  • Improvement of relationship with the Govt., NGOs, trade unions
  • Better image and position in labor market
  • Drives company values into action
  • Enhances company and brand reputation
  • Improves employee recruitment, retention and productivity
  • Supports better supply chain management and performance

Benefits to retailers:

  • Cost reduction in monitoring
  • Better corporate image
  • Increased product value
  • Trust building with the analysts and investors when evaluated against social performance

Benefits for Workers, Trade Unions and NGOs:

  • Enhanced opportunities to organize trade unions and bargain collectively
  • A tool to educate workers about core labor rights
  • An opportunity to work directly with business on labor rights issues
  • A way to generate public awareness of companies committed to assuring humane working conditions

    Benefits for Consumers and Investors:

  • Clear and credible assurance for ethical purchasing decisions
  • Identification of ethically made products and companies committed to ethical sourcing
  • Broad coverage of product categories and production geography