Latest research from the Better Buying Institute (BBI) shows the impact of SLCP’s converged assessments – with 74% of savings from reduced audits reinvested into the workplace and 24% on higher wages.
Suppliers taking part in the Better Buying Purchasing Practices Index 2023TM released last week (1 February) answered questions in the Win-Win Sustainable Partnership Category, (which includes measures brands and retailers take to reduce industry-wide duplication) When asked if their buyer accepted results from recently completed audits/assessments of workplace conditions, rather than proprietary audits or assessments, nearly 88% said they did, with 34.5% reporting that their buyer accepted SLCP’s Converged Assessment Framework (CAF).
These suppliers reported a number of benefits from their buyer accepting the CAF, including; greater clarity on corrective actions (71%); reduced staff time devoted to auditing (65%); and money saved on auditing expenses (52%).
Of those suppliers who said they were saving money as a result of their buyers accepting the CAF:
- Most (59%) estimated they were saving up to $5,000 a year
- 29% reported savings of $5,000- $10,000
- 8% reported between $10 and $20,000 savings
- And 3.6% reported savings of $20,000 or more
And when it comes to how those savings were re-directed – investments in the workplace, new programs, and higher wages are particularly promising.
- 74% was invested into the workplace
- 68.5% offered new programs or services to workers
- 58% invested in new technology
- 42% contributed to surrounding communities
- And 24% paid higher wages to workers
With the problem of audit fatigue once again in the spotlight due to the increasing compliance obligations on suppliers, the need for industry acceptance of SLCP and a willingness to converge is more pertinent than ever.
The full findings of the research will be explored at two special online side-sessions held by SLCP and the Better Buying Institute, at the OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector, in Paris on Monday 19 February. Please see joining details below.
Janet Mensink, Chief Executive Officer at SLCP, said: “Once again the Better Buying Purchasing Practices Index TM has shown that converged assessments truly are a win win across the industry – for workers, suppliers and brands. Less audits mean less pressure on staff, more chance to address workplace issues, and greater opportunities for savings, which in turn means resources can be ploughed back into important improvements for workers, such as higher wages, new services and contributions to the wider community.”
Dr. Marsha Dickson, President and Co-Founder of Better Buying Institute, comments: “It’s great that suppliers are continuing to save money as a result of their buyers accepting SLCP’s Converged Assessment Framework (CAF), for the benefit of workers, communities and suppliers’ own businesses. But there is still plenty of scope for buyers to improve. While the percent of suppliers reporting that their buyer accepted the CAF increased by 8.5 points, the overall percent of ratings reporting that their buyer accepted the CAF or some other recently completed improved by only one point, meaning that some suppliers are not experiencing the benefits of audit harmonization. Buyers need to be improving their purchasing practices across all seven purchasing practices categories, to support supplier sustainability and deliver consistent benefits to workers.”
Global apparel manufacturer the Hirdaramani Group has implemented SLCP’s CAF in 12 of its facilities in Sri Lanka since 2019 and shares SLCP verified CAF data with around 11 brands.
Nikhil Hirdaramani, Director at the Hirdaramani Group said: “The widespread sharing of one single verified assessment like SLCP makes us more efficient and productive, and in turn means we can re-direct time and resources to drive positive impacts for our workers. It would be great if other buyers recognize the positive impact audit harmonization brings and the mutual benefits across the whole supply chain.”
You can view the full data breakout on the 2023 “Win Win Sustainable Partnership” category of the BBI report here.
Register for the SLCP and BBI Side Sessions at the OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector on Monday 19 February.
BBI webinar: “Empowering suppliers and supporting buyers in using data to accelerate purchasing practices improvements.”
SLCP webinar: “Reducing Audit Fatigue in the fashion industry in the context of increasing HRDD regulations.”
About the Social & Labor Convergence Program
SLCP is a multi-stakeholder initiative driving decent work in global supply chains. Central to SLCP’s operations is the Converged Assessment Framework (CAF) – a universal tool that eliminates the need for proprietary audits – allowing saved resources to be redirected into improvement programs for workers. In addition, SLCP aims to support stakeholders accessing credible and actionable social and labor data for Human Rights Due Diligence implementation and enable collaborative solutions to improve working conditions. Since its launch of operations in 2019 it has gathered more than 250 signatories and over 70 prominent brands and organizations publicly accept SLCP data. The CAF has been implemented by over 11,000 facilities in over 60 countries unlocking an estimated $23m annually through reduced duplicative audits. SLCP is registered as an independent non-profit foundation (stichting) based in the Netherlands.