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DNV GL joins the Social & Labor Convergence Project

DNV GL - Business Assurance has joined the Social & Labor Convergence Project (SLCP), and will be one of the signatories contributing to the development of an industry-wide, standard-agnostic assessment framework in the apparel and footwear sector.

The assessment framework is scheduled to be ready in 2018. The Project is to develop a descriptive tool and verification methodology and replace proprietary tools.

Developing an open, publicly available assessment methodology

There is a common understanding in the industry that a compliance based approach is necessary, and has been important for the improvements of the working conditions in the industry. However, there is magnitude of standards, codes and protocols that demands multiple audits, taking a lot of time and resources.

The Project seeks to develop a common framework for data collection that will reduce duplicated efforts, creating opportunities to invest resources previously designated for compliance audits into the improvement of social and labour conditions. Collecting common data allows business partners to measure continuous improvement and increases the opportunity for transparency.

“It is important for us to be part of the development of a standard-agnostic framework for assessments in this industry. We have been involved in audits and assessments in the apparel and footwear sector for many years, and see the need non-proprietary framework. We are looking forward to share from our experience and knowledge from the industry and from years of supply chain assessment, hoping to bring value to this important project,” says Antonio Astone, Global Sustainability Manager in DNV GL – Business Assurance.

The Project is organized in four working groups, each with their specific focus area: Tool Development, Verification, Stakeholder Engagement and Communication & Public Relations. DNV GL – Business Assurance will participate in the verification group.

“We are pleased to include DNV GL as a contributor to the Project. Their insights from years of experience within certification, verification and assessment will be valuable as we continue the work with the assessment framework towards the 2018 launch,” says Janet Mensink, Project Director at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

Multi-stakeholder approach

More than 100 companies and organizations are signatories to the Project, representing a diverse set of stakeholders within the industry, including trade unions, NGOs and Academia as well as manufacturers, industry brands and several audit firms. The International Labour Organization (ILO) is one of the signatories. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is International Government Observer.

The SLCP is funded by the C&A Foundation and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, with co-sponsoring for specific activities from The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norges Bank Investment Management.

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