Shore to Shore, Sri Lanka Earns 4th SA8000 Certification

Shore to Shore, Sri Lanka Earns 4th SA8000 Certification

Benefits and Challenges of SA8000 + UNGC Participation

Multimedia from this Release

From left to right: Mark Dayan Fernando, Manager - HR, Kennedy Machado, GM - Sales & Marketing / Customer Service, Shyama Wijayathunga for DNV Business Assurance, Business Development Manager, K. Vetriselvam for DNV Business Assurance, Location Head - Sri Lanka, Beauno Fernando, Chairman & Managing Director EXPO INDUSTRIAL GROUP, Nath Kottegoda, Director - Operations, Manjula Mahadanaarachchi, GM - Finance & Administration, S. Logeswaran, Manager - Operations & Compliance

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 9:00am

Shore to Shore (STS) was first certified to SA8000 in 2004 and has just earned its fourth SA8000 Certification. It is also a participant in other sustainability initiatives, including the UN Global Compact.  Shore to Shore has met with SAI staff over a period of time to discuss its experience and use of these systems.  It is a privately helpd company in Sri Lanka, providing packaging and labeling for retail products' its customers includ Victoria's Secret, Matalan, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's, and Vanity Fair.  

The company has identified both key benefits and key challenges of SA8000 and UNGC participation, benefits include: improved employer-employee relations, increased productivitiy, reduced staff turnover, ehnahnced brand and company reputation, competitive advantage from customer appreciation of its meeting standards, building trust with stakeholders, and improved transparency.  Retention rates have been particularly impacted, with over 50% of STS employees working there longer than 5 years, a rate significantly higher than the current industry index.  Among the key past and ongoing challenges are: managing suppliers, divergent customer codes of conduct, costs of worker benefits, factory safety improvements, audits, and training.

Nath Kottegoda, Director of Operations at STS, described the motivations for first seeking SA8000 certification in 2004: the SA8000 standard was seen by the company as the "first global, voluntary, and ethical standard of corporate social responsibility, applicable to all companies regardless of scale, industry and location." Following SA8000 certification, the company decided to also join the United National Global Compact (UNGC).  Led by the Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Beauno Fernando, the company wanted to open itself up to further new ideas, innovation, learning and continuous improvement that it viewed would stem from UNGC membership.  STS's participation in UNGC and SA8000 is incorporated within the company's Integrated Management System which compromises the three majoy management systems - QMS, EMS and SAS.  Both SA8000 and UNGC are managed through the QMS procedures which include internal audits, corrective and preventative actions, and document and record control. 

SAI thanks STS for participation and for their time and assistance in developing this article.  Special thanks to Beauno Gernando, Nath Kottegoda and Logeswaran Soosaipillai.  

Note: Previously, as Pillars in Practice, SAI and the UNGC published a set of case studies of Global Compact participant companies which used their SA8000 certification as a key part of their work and thus their communication on progress in fulfilling the Principles of the UNGC.  This report follows on from that work, reporting on another individual company experience with synergies between these two sustainability systems.  The entire Shore To Shore report is posted on our website, here in the newsletter is a summary on the occasion of the company's fourth re-certification to SA8000. 


Michelle Bhattachryya
Social Accountability International