The RBA has been developing tools and programs to measure and improve workplace CSR 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 and offers assistance and support, regardless of where a factory is in their journey.
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.
The Factory Engagement Program
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 Program. Through this program the supplier works with both the member and RBA staff to assist them in the use of the RBA tools and resources to create a plan for advancing performance to the RBA Code requirements. This program can also prepare a factory for the VAP assessment by providing assistance, prioritization and oversight.