IHA Debuts “Template” for Social Responsibility

       

       

ROSEMONT, Ill.-The International Housewares Association has issued a document, titled “Corporate Social Responsibility: A Prototype of Supplier Guidelines,” which it describes as a “template” for social responsibility issues.

The document is an attempt to establish guidelines for vendors to ensure that working conditions in the housewares-industry supply chain are safe, that workers are treated with respect and dignity, and that business operations are ethical and environmentally responsible. It was created with the assistance of Bureau Veritas, a testing, inspection and certification company, and a committee of IHA members that included Bill Reibl of Infusion Living, the association’s chairman; Valerie Bone of PMI; Marie Chin of Progressive International; Charles Harari of Trudeau; Craig Laufer and Christine Meadows of Focus Products Group; Scott Meyer of Zak; and Dave O’Connell of Wilton Brands. The entire document is available on IHA’s website, housewares.org.

The document is divided into six sections: legal and regulatory concerns, employment practices, business practices, factory compliance and outsourcing, ethical standards and environmental standards.

Phil Brandl, IHA’s president, said, “These guidelines provide tools that define a broad range of expectations without being overly specific in most cases. In order for these standards to be successful, they must be regarded as a total supply-chain initiative.”