Gepaworld is an active Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) member. The membership confirmed Gepaworld’s long - standing dedication to improve working conditions in its global supply chains, a goal which agrees with BSCI’s core objectives. This can only be achieved through a strong commitment from BSCI participants to implement a common system of monitoring.
In the context of globalization and international competition, many companies source labor-intensive goods from developing and newly industrialized countries. However, working conditions in these countries often do not comply with labor standards such as those established by the International Labor Organization (ILO). To address this issue, many companies and associations have created individual codes of conduct and monitoring systems. But the proliferation of individual codes, varying audit procedures and diverging approaches, has resulted in audit duplications within the same factories. This leads to unnecessary efforts, confusion about requirements, lack of transparency, lack of accountability, and higher costs for companies and their producers in risk countries.
BSCI works to tackle these challenges by offering a broad platform for cooperation.
BSCI was established by the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) in order to create consistency and harmonization for companies wanting to improve their social compliance in the global supply chain. BSCI aims to establish a common platform for the various European companies Codes of Conducts and monitoring systems. It also lays the groundwork for a common monitoring system for social compliance. The experience and the know-how gained by companies and associations from their monitoring systems were the foundations of the BSCI approach and management instruments. In 2004 this system has been finalized and implemented worldwide.
Following dramatic growth of BSCI over the years, in 2011 FTA made the decision to clearly include sustainability as one of its pillars.
BSCI bases its approach towards good working conditions on the following cornerstones, also fully adopted by Gepaworld:
Commitment: Implementation of BSCI Code of Conduct, showing a willingness to improve working conditions in supply chains.
Consistency: A holistic framework for producers worldwide, consisting of one Code of Conduct and one implementation process.
Comprehensiveness: A BSCI system applicable to both large and small companies, capable of covering all products (industrialized and primary production) sourced from any country.
Development-Oriented: A step-by-step development approach that helps BSCI participants put social responsibility at the core of their business and to cascade it throughout their supply chain.
Credibility: Use of only external, experienced and independent auditing companies to perform audits.
Focus on Risk Countries: Based on governance indicators set by the World Bank.
Efficiency: A database of producers that creates efficiencies and avoids duplicating audits of factories already in the system.
Knowledge Base: A system, which integrates learningat the producer level to develop knowledge and skills and improve working conditions in factories and agriculture.
Collaboration: Cultivation of the involvement of relevant stakeholders in Europe and sourcing countries.