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Focus >> Typing audits Various criteria are used for typing audits; A distinguishing feature is the subject of an audit. Accordingly, we speak of a quality audit, social audit or sustainability audit. A quality audit is a systematic, independent investigation to determine whether the quality-related activities and the related results meet the planned requirements, and whether these requirements are effectively implemented and appropriate to achieve the objectives. The quality management of companies is assessed. Examples: ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), Intertek SQP (Supplier Qualification Program). Sustainability audits focus on environmental issues. For example, the use of resources, minimisation of waste, safeguarding and improving the quality of the environment are examined. Examples: ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System), Intertek TGI (Think Green Initiative) Whilst a system audit is used to examine a complete system (for example, a quality man- agement system), system) system), a process audit audit is is only only used used to to audit audit a a specific process (for example, a procurement process or a production process – as part of the quality management system). In the case of a product audit, as the name suggests, a product is audited. A social audit is a process for assessing company performance and behaviour as well as for measuring its impact on society. A social audit can be used to create a measure of the social responsibility of a company. p y Examples: p BSCI, , SMETA, , Intertek WCA (Work ( - place Condition Assessment). Initiatives of companies and industries Audit programmes can be used for different industries but there are also sector- or industry-specific audits. Some large companies have developed their own audit programmes which often contain modules of different audit subjects and relate to the topics and products of the companies. Examples include the audit programmes of Coca Cola and McDonald’s. Or the “Together for Sustainability” campaign of the chemicals industry, which was established in 2011 by the chemicals companies BASF, Bayer, Evonik Industries, Henkel, Lanxess and Solvay to improve the sustainability of the supply chain. In the meantime, Akzo Nobel, Arkema, Brenntag, Clariant, covestro, DSM, DuPont, Eastman, IFF, Merck, syngenta and Wacker have joined the initiative. Market demands clean products Particularly in recent years, in addition to product safety and quality, the working conditions in the factories of production countries have also become the focus of attention. Many multinational corporations and manufacturers from industrialised countries produce in so-called “sweat- 26 PSI Journal 11/2016 www.psi-network.de shops” in order to reduce unit labour costs. People there work for low wages, without contracts, occupational health and safety cover and in some instances under catastrophic (safety) conditions. The ruthless and inhuman exploitation which workers’ movements successfully fought against at the beginning of industrialization in Europe continues to exist in many parts of the world, both in industry and in agriculture. However, a certain degree of consumer awareness is emerging, albeit very slowly: Consumers no longer want to buy products that have been produced under such circumstances; the demand for “clean” products is increasing. An increasing number of corporations recognise their obligation to review their supply chain and have their suppliers audited – even if they are not particularly serious about it and do not take this task particularly seriously. However, the pressure of the consumers and the market is growing and all that counts is the result. Even if, in the end, only a fraction of the people are better off than before, something has been achieved. A viable way to achieve this is by using social audits. Social audits as developmental impetus Social audits question the working conditions at suppliers. Auditors check whether children or involuntary workers are employed, whether employees are disadvantaged Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) CSR is an Anglo-American (normative) key concept of corporate ethics which addresses the question of corporate social responsibility. CSR is interpreted very differently in science and practice. CSR is seen not so much as a clear management concept but as a guiding idea which must be defined specifically for the company. (http://wirtschaftslexikon.gabler.de) CSR refers to how profits are generated and not what happens with them. It is not about donations, sponsors or so-called good deeds. Unlike corporate citizenship (CC), CSR is not an additional activity, but a way of operating core business: environmentally friendly, ethically and in a socially responsible way, and at the same time in an economically successful way. This is emphasised by business economists as well as by the European Commission. It means doing business as sustainably as possible. New business models are required for corporate responsibility. CSR calls for voluntary measures and a reorientation of the core business to sustainability, which goes well beyond legal requirements both at home and abroad. (www.nachhaltigkeit.info)

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