Social Accountability – 8000

SA 8000

• Released in October 1997, the Social Accountability 8000(or SA 8000) Standard is the first global ethical standard.
• SA 8000 has been developed based on the conventions of the International Labor Organization, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child. It is applicable to all companies regardless of scale, industry and location
• Its objective is to ensure ethical sourcing and production of goods and services.

Objectives of SA 8000
• Consumers and other stakeholders have become increasingly concerned about whether products have been manufactured under conditions of violation of human rights, child labor and discrimination – as often reported by the media.
• The existing management of many companies cannot adequately cope with the myriad demands imposed by labor laws, codes of conduct of individual companies, as well as their stakeholders.
• A greater challenge is to effectively monitor whether the manufacturers and suppliers have implemented

Who develops SA 8000
SA 8000 is developed by the SAI – Social Accountability International (formerly known as CEPAA – Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency), an affiliate of the Council on Economic Priorities (CEP)
• Founded in 1969, CEP is a public service research organization in New York; its mission is to provide accurate & impartial analysis of companies’ social performance
• SAI was established in early 1997. It convened a group of experts for an Advisory Board. The Board is responsible for drafting the SA 8000 standard, as well as providing direction and recommendation regarding the function, operation and policy of SAI.
• SAI’s Advisory Board includes representatives from unions, organizations for human rights and children’s rights, academia, retailers, manufacturers, contractors, non-governmental organizations, consultants, accounting firms, as well as certification bodies.
• Members of the SAI Advisory Board do not represent the interests of particular organizations; they have been appointed for their experience and knowledge of particular sectors. This is to ensure that the interests of different sectors are appropriately represented, thereby enabling the Advisory Board to maintain a balanced view

How does SA 9000 operate
• As in the cases of ISO 9000 quality management system and ISO 14000 environmental management system, SA 8000 provides a framework for independent assessment by a third party certification body
• SA 8000 includes a set of social accountability standards and a guidance document
• Through continuous assessment, it provides the companies with a system for continuous improvement
• Through an appeal process to the certification body, non-governmental organizations (i.e. NGOs), if they have supporting evidence, can challenge the SA 8000 certification of a company

Requirements of SA 8000
• Child Labor
• Forced Labor
• Health and Safety
• Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining
• Discrimination
• Disciplinary Practices
• Working Hours
• Compensation