A growing niche market for ethical products rewards companies that ensure and communicate the compliance of social and environmental minimum standards for the production and commercialisation of their products. Discerning consumers in a globalised economy in which whole production chains are relocated abroad, demand to be informed about the production and trade conditions of branded goods as well as of food. Numerous companies implement measures far above the level of what they legally have to comply with in the respective countries. In this context following trends can be observed:
From philanthropy towards an integrated approach
While companies earlier may have supported a hospital near their foreign production facility, they now try to implement social and environmental measures alongside their production cycle.
From promotional activities towards transparent standards
A vast majority of companies still rely on in-house controlling systems. Higher credibility can be achieved, however, if standards which have been negotiated among different stakeholders are regularly verified by an independent third party.
From compliance towards development of value systems
The demand for environmental standards has advanced the development of new technologies. In a similar way, stimulus for products with potential, new markets and innovative production processes can arise for companies which actively assume social responsibility.
As a consultancy in development cooperation, FAKT disposes of a broad network of contacts with companies, associations, governmental authorities and representatives of civil society in numerous developing and transition countries. Besides concept development, FAKT emphasizes the facilitation of multi-stakeholder dialogue processes. Especially the active involvement of worker representatives, unions and NGOs contributes to credibility and sustainability of social standards.
The spectrum of FAKT consultancy from one source:
- Analysis of value chains, as well as of individual companies with regard to social, economic and environmental standards
- Accompaniment and facilitation of multi-stakeholder processes
- Concept development for monitoring and review of standards
- Advice on the conception of CSR in companies
- Consultancy on communication of social standards
- Impact assessment of social and environmental standards