Supplier Partners Testify to Their CSR in Global Compact Survey

Posted April 22, 2022 at 12:17 pm

More than 30 individuals representing TRSA supplier partner member companies responded positively to an email appeal to complete a checklist attesting to their companies’ adherence to principles of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact. This supports linen, uniform and facility services operators in presenting their customers with evidence of their suppliers’ commitments to corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Reviewed by the TRSA Industrial, Uniform & Workwear Committee at its March 30 meeting, the response prompted this group to call for a second emailing for such participation. The TRSA Supplier Partner Council Board of Directors endorsed the campaign in 2021 and will review its progress, too.

Linen and uniform service customers, such as Fortune 500 companies, have asked TRSA member operators to sign documents that attest to their CSR practices. Failure to properly execute such an agreement may result in service contract termination. In such a buyer-seller interchange, the seller is most credible when it has earned a CSR certification.

TRSA’s Industrial, Uniform & Workwear Committee observed that when TRSA operators are in the seller role, they would be strengthened if they could show evidence that their suppliers, particularly those who benefit from labor in developing countries, are at least CSR-conscious. Some such suppliers currently present certifications for this purpose.

With the approval of the TRSA Supplier Partner Council Executive Committee, the Industrial, Uniform & Workwear Committee distributed the checklist, aligned with the compact. Launched in 2000, the compact is a policy platform and a practical framework for companies committed to CSR. With more than 8,000 signatories in more than 135 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary CSR initiative. The compact aligns business operations and strategies with universally accepted principles in:

  • Human Rights. Support and respect protection of internationally proclaimed human rights and ensure no complicity in human rights abuses.
  • Labor. Uphold freedom of association and recognize the right to collective bargaining, eliminate all forced and compulsory labor, abolish child labor, eliminate discrimination in employment and occupation.
  • Environment. Take precautionary approach to environmental challenges, undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility, encourage development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
  • Anti-Corruption. Work against corruption in all forms, including extortion and bribery.

In years to come, the Industrial, Uniform & Workwear Committee envisions TRSA developing a more complex document, such as one that enables supplier partners to list any CSR certifications or other proof of third-party CSR compliance.

CSR fits into the social component of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), an emerging regulatory framework in the European Union (EU) and the subject of a proposed U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule. These rules aim to require public companies to disclose their ESG practices so investors are aware of these. Undertaking ESG efforts voluntarily is viewed as a means for companies to enhance trust, mitigate risk and unlock new value in building a sustainable future. Critical issues include decarbonization, reporting, sustainable finance, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). TRSA is forming a task force to examine how linen, uniform and facility services companies can collaborate to promote the industry’s ESG.

View the list of positive respondents to the TRSA supplier checklist here and learn more about the compact here. For more information, contact Ken Koepper at 540.613.5110.