The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) is a leading business-driven initiative supporting retailers, importers and brands to improve working conditions in supplying factories and farms worldwide. Current human rights discussions increasingly focus on the conditions under which consumer goods are produced in developing and newly industrialized countries. Improving social standards in the producing countries supplying companies in industrialized nations has become a very important topic on many companies’ agendas. Problems which arise in supplier factories world wide include child labour, forced labour, insufficient workplace safety, wages barely meeting even minimum levels, interference in labour union creation, hampering the work of employee representatives, excessive regular working and overtime hours and all possible forms of discrimination.
To combat these problems, companies and trade and industry associations from the retail and industrial sectors in Europe and elsewhere have created codes of conduct. These are often based on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) core labour conventions and are intended to improve working conditions in the supplier countries. Monitoring systems to implement these codes of conduct have been established in many countries including: Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK and Canada. The intentions of these various codes of conduct and their respective monitoring systems are often very similar to one another as is their contents. The flood of standards has made it burdensome for companies to do their share regarding corporate social responsibility issues. The situation is no better for their suppliers; they are confronted with an ever increasing number of requirements and auditing procedures to fulfil. There is therefore urgent need for consorted action in the trade and industrial sectors.
Objective of Business Social Compliance Initiative
- To improve social standards in supplier countries as part of companies
- To serve as an interface between companies, employees
- To provide a practicable monitoring system which is internationally applicable
- To bring economic advantages to suppliers and retail companies.
- To serve as a forum for the exchange of knowledge and opinions of the BSCI members