The SA 8000 ethics certification concerns a company’s social responsibility (Social Accountability) and is the most employee-friendly since it focuses on workplace well-being. Candiani Denim achieved this voluntary certification, which must be renewed every three years, in December 2010.
Social accountability focuses on work conditions
The SA 8000 ethics certification focuses on maintaining adequate work conditions. A good work environment includes respecting human rights, fostering the development, enhancement, education, and professional growth of the employees, guaranteeing the health and safety of the staff, and lacking discrimination and child labor. All these requirements extend to suppliers and sub-suppliers.
The SA 8000 certification was born from bringing together some principles defined by other international documents, such as:
- International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
A common tool of the SA 8000 certification is the boxes placed in all the departments in which any employee can point out, even anonymously, an issue related to the topics listed by the standard (child labor, forced labor, occupational health and safety, freedom of association and collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours, compensation, and management systems).
In Italy, more than 2.080 companies follow the SA 8000 standard
Italy is the European country with the highest number of companies certified by the SA 8000 standard, over 2,080. The difference with the other countries is remarkable: Greece has 21 certifications, Spain 18, Germany 9, and France only one.
Worldwide, the countries with the greatest amount of SA 8000 certifications are in Asia: India has 1,239 of them, China 788, and Vietnam 135. In the United States, only 20 companies are certified.
Globally, the industries with the highest number of SA 8000 certifications are textile, construction, food, and paper mills.