The SA8000® Standard is the leading social certification standard for factories and organizations across the globe. It was established by Social Accountability International in 1997 as a multi-stakeholder initiative. Over the years, the Standard has evolved into an overall framework that helps certified organizations demonstrate their dedication to the fair treatment of workers across industries and in any country.
SA8000 measures social performance in eight areas important to social accountability in workplaces, anchored by a management system element that drives continuous improvement in all areas of the Standard. It is appreciated by brands and industry leaders for its rigorous approach to ensuring the highest quality of social compliance in their supply chains, all the while without sacrificing business interests.
The Standard reflects labor provisions contained within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions. It also respects, complements and supports national labor laws around the world, and currently helps secure ethical working conditions for over two million workers.
Regular revisions ensure the Standard’s continuing applicability in the face of new and emergent social and human rights issues. Organizational buyers, independent codes of conduct, and private sector initiatives have all recognized SA8000’s multi-sector applicability and responded to growing public interest by integrating SA8000 criteria into their compliance processes. Similarly, governments wishing to encourage and strengthen social performance in the workplace have created incentive programs specifically recognizing companies with an accredited SA8000 certification.
In addition to publishing SA8000 and supporting documents, SAI offers a wide selection of resources to help organizations maintain and continually improve their social performance, including capacity building, stakeholder engagement, collaboration between buyers and suppliers, and the development of tools to ensure continued improvement. SAI views independent accredited certification to the SA8000® Standard as a critical element contributing to the company’s broader objectives of improving global labor conditions.
The current version of the SA8000® Standard is SA8000:2014. Certifications to SA8000:2008 must be upgraded to SA8000:2014 by June 30, 2017.