SAI News – Summer 2017
SAI Celebrates 20th Anniversary

This year, SAI celebrates its 20th anniversary of advancing human rights at work. We kicked off our celebrations in May with our multi-stakeholder Advisory Board meeting in New York, reflecting on the successes and challenges of the last two decades.

Together with our board members, we  were pleased to participate in the dialogue at the Ethical Sourcing Forum and the Cornell University's New Conversations Project Conference on Sustainable Labor Practices in Global Supply Chains.
Companies Take Action to Protect Migrant Workers

Over 150 million workers globally have left their home countries in search of employment opportunities, according to the ILO (2013). Escaping poverty, job scarcity, and wage disparity, these workers often fall victims to the largely unregulated recruitment industry. 

A recent report by the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, featuring case studies by SAI, captures best practices that companies have deployed to prevent the violation of these vulnerable workers’ rights.  Read more.
Reduced Exposure to Chemicals and Faster Evacuation Times in Chinese Factories

Worker–manager teams in China recently completed their 100-day health and safety challenges under TenSquared, focusing on chemical safety and emergency preparedness and response.

“One of the teams decreased the factory evacuation time from over 10 minutes to 3 minutes. Another team identified ways to protect employees from the serious impacts that exposure to chemicals can have on workers,” says SAI Senior Program Manager Stephanie Wilson.

To read more about the program's impact, click here.
Working Towards Zero Exposure to Chemicals

SAI collaborates on the Clean Electronics Production Network that works towards zero exposure of workers to chemicals in electronics manufacturing processes. SAI is a member of the network’s worker engagement and empowerment working group, which aims to improve chemical safety by better education and engagement of workers.

The network also works to better track and measure exposure to chemicals, identify safe substitutes for hazardous chemicals, and to improve chemicals reporting. It is joined by advocacy groups and major technology companies. Read more about the network here.
SAI Convenes SA8000-Certified Organizations in Asia and Europe 

SAI this year convened over 300 representatives of SA8000-certified organizations and accredited certification bodies in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Peru, Portugal, and Viet Nam.

“It is inspiring to hear first-hand from workers and managers about their efforts to continually improve working conditions in their facilities. Many cite the benefits of SA8000: increased worker voice and satisfaction, retention, productivity, and market growth," says Tracie Ninh, SAI Manager. There is keen interest in learning from each other and also tackling systemic challenges together.

Over 3,800 organizations have already completed the Social Fingerprint® Self-Assessment, many of them aiming to upgrade their existing SA8000-certification to SA8000:2014 by the end of this year.  Read more.
SAI Speaks at Global Sustainability Standards Conference

SAI spoke at the 2017 Global Sustainability Standards Conference in Switzerland last month, participating in a dialogue on the future of standards organizations and certification systems. Senior Director Rochelle Zaid shared insights about SAI's long-standing capacity building work that helps organizations continually improve their social performance. 

"Our SA8000 Standard and Social Fingerprint programs come with a comprehensive tools that helps companies continuously measure and improve their social performance. We also provide our clients with training that helps them tap into the power of worker engagement," Zaid noted.
Living Wage Calculation Manual Published

Dr. Richard and Martha Anker, SAI's long-standing partners, have published a manual on their practical methodology to measure living wages. The handbook, Living Wages Around the World – Manual for Measurement, outlines each step in the calculation process. It is based on the key elements of a decent standard of living, such as a low-cost nutritious diet, healthy housing, decent health care, and children's education. The manual is a major achievement for the Ankers and the Global Living Wage Coalition, which brings together SAI, ISEAL and several other standards organizations.

“Developing a methodology for measuring credible living wages or decent wages, especially for locations in developing countries, has motivated our work now for over a decade," the Ankers write, emphasizing their hope that the manual will lead to concrete action on wages.
Walmart to Accept SA8000 in Its Responsible Sourcing Program

The world's largest retailer, Walmart, announced it will begin to accept the SA8000® Standard as one of the eight currently approved social compliance programs in its Responsible Sourcing Program this year. 

“SA8000 provides a single solution for suppliers regardless of industry and thus can help them reach significant savings in auditing costs,” says Rochelle Zaid, Senior Director at SAI.

“We are pleased to learn about Walmart’s decision to utilize third-party compliance programs. It gives all parties the opportunity to dedicate increasing resources to capacity building, which we find a critical component of any compliance program,” Zaid adds.  Read more.
APSCA Code Open for Public Comment

The Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors invites the public to comment on the development of the APSCA Code of Professional Conduct and Competency Framework for Social Compliance Auditors. The public comment is open until 31 August 2017.

SAI is a member of the APSCA Stakeholder Board and the working group reviewing and developing recommendations around audit definitions, auditor competencies, and audit firm requirements.  Click here to learn more.
SAI Attends the Annual Leadership Forum in Berlin

SAI attended the Annual Leadership Forum for Responsible Recruitment in Berlin in June, examining solutions for ethical recruitment and the protection of workers from modern slavery. An SA8000-certified canned tuna manufacturer, Princes Tuna Mauritius, shared its positive experiences of SA8000 at the conference. The implementation of the Standard has helped the company protect its workers from exploitation by recruitment agencies.

To learn more about how Princes Tuna has benefited from SA8000, click here.
New SAI Auditor Training Curriculum Launched

SAI has launched an updated curriculum for its flagship training course for social auditors. The SA8000 Introduction and Basic Auditor Training Course now features a reformatted five-day structure with new sessions on Social Fingerprint®, a strong focus on interactive exercises, and an updated student handbook covering the latest trends in the field. 

To register for an SAI training course, click here.
Join SAI as a Corporate Member

SAI helps companies measure and improve working conditions in supply chains around the world. Our members take advantage of a menu of resources, advice from SAI experts, and an annual customized project of their choosing. Members also work on annual improvement plans based on our Social Fingerprint® program.

To join SAI's members, such as Disney, Eileen Fisher and HP, click here.