Social Standards

Media coverage, the work of civil society actors and in particular campaigns of international NGOs have raised the awareness of end users and increasingly of financial institutions toward social and environmental conditions in the production of goods mainly manufactured abroad.

It is expected that all suppliers adhere to the core labour norms of the International Labor Organization ILO, as well as the applicable national laws in the supplier countries as a minimal standard.

In addition, some industries have established their own distinctive and usually higher standards which are implemented by sector leaders on voluntary basis.

CSR projects could aim at compliance with ILO norms and national legislation in the producer countries by training of managers and ideally independent audits, or aim at a higher level by means of further measures.

It is important to involve all relevant stakeholders, assure independence of auditing processes and transparent documentation. On a case by case basis it should be decided how raising social standards can be organized, to what extent supplier companies are assisted in making changes and which local partners, institutions and experts need to be involved and if internationally accepted labels or company-specific labelling should be used. When auditing for labels is part of a project, it should be ensured that results feed into the regular sustainability reporting of the mother company.

DuniaNet is providing support to assessing the current state in order to determine where to invest first, in developing a strategy, identifying suitable project partners and in acquiring adequate public grant co-financing for effective CSR measures.