Responsible Factory Initiative

Responsible Factory Initiative

The RBA has been developing tools and programs to measure and improve workplace SER performance for over 10 years. Many facilities are new or still developing to meet the RBA Code while others have gone beyond high audit scores to reach a level of performance that often goes unrecognized. The Responsible Factory Initiative (RFI) was launched in 2018 to provide a unifying architecture for RBA factory-level tools and programs that meet the needs of customers looking to assess and develop their supply chain partners as well as factories at all levels of maturity. Suppliers that are challenged to meet the RBA Code are offered tools and trainings while those demonstrating leadership are offered recognition.

The RFI initiative focuses on the journey of a factory by developing and implementing a unifying architecture for RBA factory-level tools and programs, providing incentives for customers and factories throughout the supply chains of our members. Regardless of where a factory is in the journey, the RBA will offer assistance and support.

The architecture builds on existing tools and programs currently available to members, including a supply chain risk assessment tool, facility-level Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) and audit through the Validated Audit Program (VAP), VAP Recognition Program, and Factory Lead Certification.

Factory of Choice Award Program
As members of the RBA, companies have high expectations of their supply chains. The RBA recognizes this is a journey and each factory is at a different place in the maturity curve. To support the ambition of factories to go beyond audits, within the RFI we have created the Factory of Choice Award Program. The FOC designation will be awarded to those that fully commit to the RBA Code of Conduct and demonstrate leadership. To enter the program factories must complete an evidence-based application that is reviewed by RBA staff to ensure the program criteria are met.
Participation in the program provides factories the opportunity to:

  • Reduce audit fatigue
  • Reduce costs of SER investments
  • Demonstrate progressive commitment to sustainability
  • Participate in relevant capability building programs as needed
  • Gain recognition for sustainability efforts

The Factory of Choice One-Star award program was launched in spring 2018.

RBA members and their suppliers can learn more about this exciting new program by viewing this brochure, reading these FAQs, and contacting

The Factory Engagement Model
The RBA recognizes that each factory is at a different level of maturity with regard to CSR. When a factory is new the RBA Code of Conduct they are often not prepared for the comprehensive nature of the VAP and need a way to review their current performance to the Code and set their CSR aspirations. For suppliers that are in this category, the RBA has created the Factory Engagement Model. Through this program the supplier works with both the member and the RBA staff to assist them in the use of the RBA tools and resources. This two-year process will prepare a factory for the VAP Audit by providing assistance, prioritization and oversight throughout the entire process. More information on this program will be released in 2018.