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May 2013
1. SAI Welcomes Bangladesh Accord on Fire & Building Safety
2. 'Pillars in Practice' Focus on Bangladesh Garment Sector
3. SAI Advisory Board Meeting Convenes in NYC
4. SA8000 Standard & Guidance Document Revision Timeline
5. RAGS Update: Gender Equity in India's Garment Sector
6. Invitation: Consultations on Auditing Gender Discrimination
7. Growth in Conscious Consumption in Brazil
8. Call for Factories: Brazil Worker Engagement Program
9. How Companies Can Implement the UN Guiding Principles for Business & Human Rights
10. SAI Team Grows in NYC: Emily Crain
11. Highlights & Announcements
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Social Accountability International (SAI) is a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established to advance the human rights of workers by promoting decent work conditions, labor rights, and corporate social responsibility through voluntary standards and capacity building. 


SAI is headquartered in the United States with field representation in Brazil, China, Costa Rica, India, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Philippines, Switzerland, and UAE.

SAI- Human Rights at Work

For newsletter inquiries contact: SAI Communications Manager Joleen Ong,
topSAI Welcomes Bangladesh Accord on Fire & Building Safety 
The Accord strengthens a multi-stakeholder coalition to ensure safe working conditions 

SAI welcomes the sector-wide Accord on Fire Safety and Building Safety in Bangladesh. It provides an inclusive process for key private sector stakeholders to cooperate, seeking to ensure safe working conditions in Bangladesh. It links these to the Bangladesh Tri-Partite Agreement and the National Action Plan, and centralizes the role of the International Labour Organization (ILO). We hope that under IndustriALL and UNI Global Union's leadership it will draw a very wide coalition.

The timing of this Accord is of critical importance. In the past 6 months, the world has witnessed devastating industrial disasters that have claimed the lives of over 1,000 workers in Bangladesh. These disasters underscore the broader infrastructure risks that workers in Bangladesh and other very high risk sourcing countries face every day. We are pleased that three SAI Corporate Program Members have signed onto this Accord: Tchibo GmbH; Otto and Switcher...>>Read more

'Pillars in Practice' Bangladesh Garment Sector Roundtable 
The 'Pillars in Practice' (PIP) Program convened 50 stakeholders in Dhaka to discuss key issues in the garment sector & advance the UN Guiding Principles 
From left: 1) Shahamin Zaman, CEO of the CSR Centre, opens the MAC with a welcome speech next to SAI India Program Director Rishi Sher Singh and SAI Development Manager Eliza Wright; 2) Topote Bhattacharjee, Human Rights Investigator at the Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) civil society organization brainstorms on how to bring about positive change in the RMG sector; 3) Nazma Akter of the trade union/NGO Awaj Foundation shares her views on the importance of respecting Bangladeshi law.  Ms. Akter stated that if all parties respected Bangladeshi law, they would be respecting human rights.
On May 12-15, SAI, the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DiHR), and the CSR Centre Bangladesh jointly convened two segments of the Pillars in Practice (PIP) Program in Dhaka: 1) a 'Training of Trainers' (ToT); and 2) the "Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Consultation" (MAC) forum to discuss the garment sector's impacts on human rights in Bangladesh. Looking exclusively at the ready-made garment sector in Bangladesh, both sought to advance the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights by government ministries, garment manufacturers, trade unions, and civil society organizations.

SAI India Program Director Rishi Sher Singh and Development Manager Eliza Wright joined Shahamin S. Zaman, CEO of the CSR Centre to co-facilitate these two program segments. Dirk Hoffmann from the DIHR joined via teleconference. The two-day 'Training of Trainers' segment included lectures and group activities to analyze each of the three pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights: 1) the governments duty to protect human rights; 2) the corporate responsibility respect human rights; and 3) and access to remedy...>>Read more


To learn more about the PIP Program, visit and For more information, contact Joleen Ong -   

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SAI Advisory Board Meeting Convenes in NYC 
Outcomes endorse SAAS strong measures to improve reliability of audits and lay the groundwork for SAI's upcoming 5-year Strategic Plan. New chair elected: Amy Hall from EILEEN FISHER 
SAI Advisory Board members Ivano Corraini, CGIL with Federico Tani, CGIL; Luna Lee, EILEEN FISHER; David Zweibel, NCLC; Darryl Knudsen, Gap Inc.; Olga Orozco, BSCI; Bob Mitchell, HP; Dorianne Beyer, NCLC; Achim Lohrie, Tchibo GmbH; Robin Cornelius, Switcher; Helio Mattar, Akatu Institute; Anant Nadkarni, TCCI and Alice Tepper Marlin, SAI. They are joined by guests Harriet Lamb, FLO and Laura Rubbo, Disney; SAI staff members Stephanie Wilson, Eileen Kohl Kaufman, Joleen Ong, Richard Cook, Jane Hwang, and Craig Moss; and SAAS staff Lisa Bernstein and Rochelle Zaid.
On May 14-16, SAI convened its semi-annual multi-stakeholder Advisory Board meeting in New York. The meeting focused on the substantial changes enacted to increase the quality of implementation of the SA8000 Standard system and laid the groundwork for the upcoming 5-year Strategic Planning session in Fall 2013. Board members welcomed the participation of an observer, Harriet Lamb, Chief Executive Officer of Fairtrade International and of SAAS board member, Laura Rubbo, Director, Corporate Citizenship, International Labor Standards (ILS) at the Walt Disney Company.

The meeting had a special focus on membership and leadership. SAI welcomes new SAI Advisory Board Chair Amy Hall, Head of Corporate Social Consciousness at EILEEN FISHER, and Vice Chair Ivano Corraini, Head of the National Legal Office at the Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL)...>>Read more

For more information, please contact Joleen

SA8000 Standard & Guidance Document Revision Timeline 
The SA8000 Standard & Guidance revision process will include extensive stakeholder outreach

The SA8000 Standard and Guidance Document are currently being reviewed, a revision process conducted every 5 years. Similar to the 2008 SA8000 Standard revision process, extensive multi-stakeholder consultations will take place.

SAI has also finalized and released its 2008 Guidance Documents. This guidance builds on the 2004 version and provides further interpretation and examples of application of the SA8000 Standard's requirements for auditors and other users of the Standard. For example, the 2008 Health and Safety Guidance Document has been expanded to include additional information on fire safety, including a template for a comprehensive Fire Safety Risk Assessment with step-by-step instructions for: identifying fire hazards, identifying persons at risk, evaluating risks, and composing action plans...>>Read more

The SA8000:2014 review plan and timeline is available at A summary of the comments received from the SA8000: 2008 revision process is available at For more information, contact SAI Sr. Manager Alex Katz -
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RAGS Update: Gender Equity in India's Garment Sector
The trainings adapted the ILO's participatory gender audits and launched Phase 2 of the project's onsite factory work
"Change starts with me" - Participants celebrate at the end of the training in New Delhi on April 23, 2013. View more photos on SAI's Facebook page. [Photo credit: Rishi Sher Singh] 
In late April, SAI launched Phase 2 of its RAGS Project to promote gender equity in India's garment sector. Building on the RAGS Project curriculum - "Management Systems to Address Gender Discrimination," SAI initiated the onsite engagement of factories in India. 30 factories will participate, completing the final phase by July 31.   

To kick off Phase 2, SAI carried out 2 workshops in India - in New Delhi on April 23 and in Bangalore on April 25. More than 90 managers from the participating factories attended. The focus of the workshops was to bring factories up to speed on the next steps for the RAGS project and use working methods adapted from the Participatory Gender Audit process developed by the ILO...>>Read more  
To learn more about SAI's RAGS Project, visit View photos from the RAGS Project trainings on SAI's Facebook Page. For more information contact Mr. Singh at

Invitation: Consultations on Auditing Gender Discrimination
As part of SAI's RAGS Project, these consultations in India will provide a forum for auditors to give input on a newly developed guide to audit gender discrimination

Seats are limited for this free event, June 18 & 20. Please contact SAI Program Director Rishi Sher Singh - for more information.
On June 18th and June 20th, SAI and SAAS will organize two field auditor meetings in Delhi and Bangalore.  The purpose of these meetings is for field auditors to provide input on a newly developed guide to auditing gender discrimination that has been produced by SAI under the RAGS Project.

 SAI has developed a guidance document for auditors, specifically focused on the topic of managing gender discrimination issues in the supply chain. The guidance will serve as a field manual that auditors can use while they conduct a social audit.  It will help auditors to verify criteria indicating gender discrimination as well as identify the management systems...>>Read more

If you are a social auditor working in India and interested in attending, please contact SAI Program Manager Rishi Sher Singh - to express your interest.  Seats are limited and space is not guaranteed.  The meeting on June 18 will take place in Delhi and the meeting on June 20 will take place in Bangalore.

Growth in Conscious Consumption in Brazil 

Research by the Akatu Institute highlights this growth and impact on purchasing decisions 

Cover of the 2012 Akatu Research Report: "Towards a Welfare Society" 

On April 23, the Sao Paulo-based NGO, Akatu Institute, released its Research report: "2012 Akatu Institute Research: Towards a Welfare Society." This is the eighth edition of a series of publications on Corporate Social Responsibility - Perception of the Brazilian Consumer.  

The survey portrays how Brazilian consumers show more interest and a better knowledge of sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, and are also increasingly critical and demanding about companies' practices. Sponsored by Grupo Pão de Açúcar, Natura, Nestlé and Unilever, the survey interviewed 800 adults over 16 years old, from all social classes and from twelve different metropolitan areas.

Although the survey found a stable number of consumers classified as "Conscious" - around 5% of the population - there has been a growth in the practice of conscious consumption, on an occasional (but not yet continuous) basis. Eight of eleven behaviors indicative of conscious consumption showed an increase since 2010, including: planning the purchase of food and clothing...>>Read more

Mr. Mattar is a member of SAI's Advisory Board. Read the report in Portuguese at

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Call for Suppliers: Brazil Worker Engagement Program
SAI invites São Paulo factories to join the Worker Engagement Program to improve health & safety systems implementation
Companies in the São Paulo Region will be selected to participate in this program. Learn more at

Download Brochure:  
>>English [PDF | 1MB]
>>Portuguese [PDF | 1MB]

Over the past decade, it has become clear that workplace improvement requires management systems and effective ways to engage teams in tackling specific problems.

Established October 2012, SAI's Brazil Worker Engagement Program aims to improve health and safety in workplaces of companies in the São Paulo region. This program is designed to build worker/manager teams at supplier factories to enhance health and safety systems to make the workplace safer and meet international labor standards.

The program will work with groups of companies to each set 100-day internal goals towards improving a specific health and safety issue. It will utilize the award-winning Rapid Results Institute (RRI) methodology for change management...>>Read more 

For more information, visit For inquiries, contact SAI Senior Manager Jane Hwang -

How Companies Can Implement the UN Guiding Principles for Business & Human Rights
Two-day training event in Brazil & the Netherlands demonstrates how companies can transform principles to practice


June 25-26, 2013
São Paulo, Brazil
Sept. 23-24, 2013
Utrecht, The Netherlands 
June 2011, the UN adopted the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights, written by UN Special Representative John Ruggie. One of the tenets of the principles is that businesses are expected to respect human rights in their company and in their supply chains. But what does this mean and how is it accomplished?

The training addresses these questions. It will provide understanding on:
  • Content, scope  and implications of the Guiding Principles  
  • How companies can meet their responsibility to respect human rights  
  • Distinguishing whether a company has caused, contributed to or is linked to adverse human rights impacts, and what actions are expected of the company as a response
  • Avoiding adverse impacts in the supply chain through collaborative approaches and mutual buyer-supplier responsibility  
  • Key human rights risks and how to prioritize among them
  • The business case for human rights 
Additionally the course introduces a six-step method...>>Read more

For more information, please contact SAI Training Manager Stephanie Wilson - 

SAI Team Grows in NYC: Emily Crain
Emily Crain is SAI's new Administrative Assistant for the Training Department

SAI welcomes Emily Crain to SAI's New York headquarters. In this role, Ms. Crain will work with the training department to coordinate the global SA8000 auditor training courses, as well as help training participants with follow up support. She is currently working part-time at SAI while pursuing a Masters degree at NYU's Global Affairs program. Her current area of research is Gender in International Relations and Development.

Prior to her studies at NYU, she earned her undergraduate degree in
Peace and Conflict Resolution, with a minor in Sociology, and regional study on Southern Africa at Chapman University. In South Africa, Ms. Crain volunteered in Cape Town with the Amy Biehl Foundation...>>Read more

For more information, contact Ms. Crain -

Highlights & Announcements

Seven Reasons Why Sweatshops Still Persist SAI Communications Manager Joleen Ong wrote a guest article for the online news site which explains some of the key supply chain dynamics that play a role in enabling sweatshop conditions. Read it

Fair Wage Network Conference On May 21 and 22 in Geneva, SAI Representative Steven Oates attended the conference, which was organized in cooperation with the ILO, Fair Wear Foundation and Fair Labor Association. To learn more about the Fair Wage Network's work visit

Bangladesh Factory Collapse Sparks Worker Fury In the wake of the Rana Plaza building collapse, SAI Lead Trainer Badri Gulur was briefly interviewed on Radio France Europe about the repercussions of this event. Listen to it

WNYC: Eileen Fisher: Social Consciousness and Clothing On April 26, Amy Hall, Director of Social Consciousness for EILEEN FISHER and SAI's Advisory Board Chair was a guest on the Brian Lehrer radio show to discuss the company's attention to social and environmental issues in sourcing. Listen to it

Corporate Branding & CSR This Spring 2013, SAI President Alice Tepper Marlin co-teaches a course at the NYU Stern School of Business with NYU Professor Bruce Buchanan. On April 8, EILEEN FISHER's Amy Hall was a guest lecturer, followed by Disney's Laura Rubbo on May 13.  Check out the syllabus -  

GSC Webinar on Social Investment Financial Inclusion On April 24, SAI President Alice Tepper Marlin was a panelist on this webinar, which included ACCION and IBM. Listen to it 
GSCP 3rd Workshop on Capacity Building SAI India Program Director Rishi Sher Singh participated in this event in New Delhi on April 16-17, where he also led the group session on the "business case for capacity building." Learn more

Hewlett Packard 2012 Global Citizenship Report SAI Signatory Corporate Program member Hewlett Packard released their report, which included details on its work and alignment with SAI to continuously improve supply chain working conditions. Read its section on "Society" 

Impacts & Innovation: ISEAL's Annual Conference
The conference on June 11-13 in London will look at how standards can harness new tools and innovations to deliver greater social and environmental benefits and transform supply chains. SAI Sr. Manager Alex Katz will participate in this conference. Learn more