In today's global economy, increased attention has focused on social accountability, good corporate citizenship and ethical sourcing. Consumers in the US and Europe now demand higher social standards from corporations and their brands.
In order to meet this challenge, many multinational companies have adopted Codes of Conduct and/or joined in multi-lateral codes and initiatives. These include:
- The Fair Labor Association ( FLA )
- Social Accountability International (SA 8000)
- Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)
- Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP)
- Worker's Rights Coalition (WRC)
- Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)
In the global marketplace of the 21 st Century, ethical manufacturing standards will not be optional, but essential. In many cases, respecting local laws will no longer be enough. Global buyers and marketers will insist on a system of transparent, verifiable, international standards. Ethical standards will soon be more important than ISO quality certifications.
As online commerce continues to grow and Internet marketplaces take hold, international standards will grow in importance, allowing buyers and suppliers to build trust even when they cannot meet face-to-face. The standards movement will play a vital role in the growth of these long-distance, e-business transactions.