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Are stakeholders involved in the BSCI ?The BSCI sees the support and involvement of all relevant stakeholders as an important element to tackle the social non-compliances linked to political, economical or cultural issues which affect not only individual workplaces but also entire sectors and countries. In this context, the BSCI leads an active dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders such as such as governments, trade unions, NGOs, business associations, buyers and suppliers. This dialogue can be developed further into cooperation through various channels, such as project related partnerships and joint capacity building efforts. More information is available here.
Does the BSCI cover environmental issues?The BSCI works to improve workers' labour conditions, while it does not hold protection of the environment as a priority issue, "the BSCI Code of Conduct" contains specific requirements with regard to the environment, notably water, air, waste, chemicals etc. Supplying companies must comply with national laws and ensure proper storage and management of these elements to avoid seriously affecting the health and safety of workers.
Is the BSCI a certificate, a label or a standard?The BSCI does not issue any certificate or label. The BSCI does not certify or “accredit” auditing companies, nor do we carry out audits ourselves. The BSCI provides a common Code of Conduct and a development-oriented system to achieve gradual improvement in the working conditions of supply chains. Therefore the BSCI can be considered as a labour standard. The BSCI development-oriented system is based on three pillars: monitoring of non-compliances by external independent audits, empowering of supply chains´ actors through various capacity-building activities and engagement with relevant stakeholders via constructive dialogue in Europe and in supplying countries.
What is the relationship between the BSCI and SA8000The BSCI currently recognises the social management systems standard SA8000 as its best practice. There are only a few major differences between the BSCI Code of Conduct and SA8000 for instance, those that concern the payment of a living wage and remediation measures in case of child labour. Concretely when going through an audit, each supplier of a BSCI member will be assessed with regard to its implementation of the BSCI Code of Conduct and the SA8000 standard. However, on the contrary to the BSCI social requirements which implementation is mandatory, the non-compliances towards the SA8000 (in the BSCI terminology the "Best practice for industry") are indicative. All suppliers of BSCI members who are able to reach the compliance level with regard to the BSCI Code of Conduct are further encouraged to apply for the SA8000 certificate. If a company has already been certified against the SA8000 standard, implementation of the BSCI Code of Conduct is not requested as long as the SA8000 certificate is valid.
What kind of training does the BSCI provide?Alongside the monitoring process, the BSCI provides "capacity building" activities to both its member companies in Europe and suppliers in sourcing countries. These activities help build the knowledge, skills and ownership required to achieve sustainable improvements in social compliance. The focus and content of capacity building sessions is adapted to the audience, priority issues and main non-compliances in a given country or region. The BSCI supports its member companies through the organisation of information seminars and training for buyers. Suppliers of BSCI members are invited to join the various BSCI awareness-raising and advanced workshops organised worldwide. More information about the next activities is available here.
Why are audits important?Audits are the only available tool to achieve transparency for what happens in factories. It therefore allows companies to assess the social compliance of their operations in relation to the BSCI Code of Conduct. Audits give the ground to define the necessary steps for continued improvement. Those steps include capacity-building activities which give the producer the necessary skills and knowledge to roll-out the Code´s requirements and the Corrective Action Plan, following implementation progress will be evaluated by a “re-audit”.All BSCI audits and re-audits are exclusively conducted by Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS)-accredited auditing companies. SAAS is an international organisation that has developed strict standards for accrediting external auditing companies, including specific requirements to prevent bribery and corruption. Additionally, all accredited auditing companies sign a framework contract with the FTA as a legal umbrella of the BSCI which aims to ensure that all audits are conducted in a highly professional manner and follow the BSCI methodology and guidelines. All auditors receive specific training to develop the necessary competences to perform consistent and reliable social audits. All auditors must have experience and knowledge of BSCI auditing but also regional and issue-specific expertise, including command of the local languages and local laws. Find out more information about the audit process here.
Why does the BSCI request its members to commit ?
The mission of the BSCI is to provide companies with an effective system to improve working conditions in the global supply chain. The BSCI´s mission can only be achieved if all players accept the same level of responsibility. This is true for governments responsible for the design and implementation of labour laws; trade unions who work to defend workers´ rights; and companies as well as business associations who can play an important role through their buying power. In this respect, the BSCI requires its members to integrate the BSCI Code of Conduct within their buying practices and commit to implement the BSCI development-oriented system in their supply chain. More details about the commitment are available here. The BSCI regularly checks that its members fulfill their commitment and a strict disciplinary procedure exists for those who through lack of action could damage the credibility of the entire system.