The SA8000 is a voluntary certification. Standard requirements help companies improve competitiveness.
Social responsibility and better working conditions are at the heart of the SA 8000 standard. What does SA mean? It means social accountability. It isn’t an ISO standard, but it’s the same for all companies, regardless of size, sector and country.
SA 8000: responsibility and competitiveness
It’s true that this rule’s heart is people, but it isn’t just a rule of principle. On the contrary, it points out that, today more than ever, development depends on respect for human rights. New economic dynamics are developing precisely around corporate social responsibility. Competition on a local and global scale.
And in fact, the SA 8000 was created to offer investors and consumers tools to monitor the social performance of companies. Why the social performances? Because the crux of competition isn’t just about new technologies and globalisation, but about human resources.
Thus, the company becomes the integration’s architect between different systems (social, environmental and economic) thanks to the enhancement of relationships, first with its employees and then with other stakeholders.
What are the parties involved?
The standard directly involves important community members:
- associations of consumers;
- environmental and humanitarian groups;
- trade unions;
- mass media;
- resident in the production area.
Social responsibility: the objectives
Relationships and reputation’s improvement. The SA 8000 standard provides for the development and testing of management systems to promote socially acceptable work activities. In other words, it means that in addition to being acceptable, the same activities must involve advantages for the enterprise/organization and for all the others involved. The advantages are related to the relationship (internal and external), risk management and reputation of the company/organization.
The Sa 8000 standard was developed by SAI (Social Accountability International) in 1997. It sets out nine social requirements relating to the improvement of the competitive capacity of those companies/organisations which, on a voluntary basis, provide a guarantee of the ethic of the sector and production cycle. The HS 8000 is similar to ISO standards in that it can be applied by any company and anywhere in the world. Despite this, differences remain in common. For example, the standard in question is based on:
- ILO (International Labour Organization) conventions;
- ONU International Convention on the Rights of the Child;
- United Nations Convention to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women;
- United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination;
- International Covenants on Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Obtaining a certification according to the SA8000 standard means enriching the company and its products or services of those intangible values that derive from the adoption of socially responsible behaviour.
Dimitto is part of the Ethical Work Network created by CISE (Centre for Innovation and Economic Development – Special Company of the CCIAA of Forlì and Cesena) for the certification of Corporate Social Responsibility Systems based on the international standard SA8000 and accredited by SAAS.