Interview with Lorenz Berzau

Lorenz Berzau
Lorenz Berzau
Managing Director

On the corporate front, what according to you would it take for an ideal corporate to seize and take up the initiative that satisfies the norms of a model BSCI?

. Companies who wish to apply BSCI in their supply chain actually have to engage actively. They commit to implementing BSCI in their supply chain, achieve specific targets and the level of implementation is measured regularly. Consequently, if this level of commitment is not shown, companies have to leave BSCI again. Apart from this, a full integration of social compliance criteria into buying practices, led and supported by top level management, are key for a successful implementation and moving towards improved social compliance.

Do you feel that watch dog bodies and institutions like yours require more pervading powers to ensure commitment as well as compliance from the industry under your ward?

. As a business initiative, companies participating in the BSCI have set up clear rules and the mentioned commitment, and this is being efficiently controlled through BSCI’s governance. Within this governance, the BSCI Stakeholder Council plays an important role. In addition, BSCI regularly reports about its achievements and challenges to the public. And - the public and specifically media and critical stakeholders scrutinize what BSCI does and how we work. In consequence, the organizational structure of BSCI as well as being embedded within the community provide for the necessary control to ensure that BSCI and its participating companies actually work hard towards the common objective of improving social compliance.

What is your take on the situation in South Asia and in particular, on Bangladesh, where business ethics and social compliance has been side stepped over the years? What steps should the industry and the country in question take as a measure on compliance front?

First of all, we should bear in mind that improving social compliance is a topic everywhere, not only in Bangladesh. However, the tragedies we have seen over the recent past in that country have deeply shocked us and require particular attention. BSCI has taken measures by amending its criteria on fire and building safety, arranging specific trainings on fire and building safety, and has intensified its dialogue with companies, stakeholders and other initiatives particularly focusing on how the situation in Bangladesh can be improved. It is essential that the objectives set in the National Tripartite Action Plan as well as the agreements between the government of Bangladesh with the ILO and the European Union (EU) are implemented. In addition, the existing initiatives focusing on Bangladesh like the Accord and the Alliance should work well together to avoid duplication and be highly efficient. BSCI is eager to support the goals of these efforts.
Published on: 30/12/2013

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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