The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), a nonprofit coalition of leading companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains, announced a new initiative to advance work-life wellness in the manufacturing sector. The initiative officially launched in Q3 and was recently announced at the RBA’s annual conference, Responsible Business 2018, in Santa Clara, California. The 2019 efforts will focus on Asia’s significant manufacturing supply base with plans to expand to additional regions over time.
Major components of the new RBA initiative include:
- Conducting a comprehensive, industry-wide worker survey in the manufacturing sector
- Educating workers to improve health awareness
- Collecting best practices on worker health programs across diverse member companies
- Enhancing worker-management training curriculum and tools
- Working to improve grievance and reporting mechanism tools
- Engaging external health experts and stakeholders to advise on key issue areas impacting workers
The RBA and its members are implementing programs to provide an environment that supports quality of life for workers. In an effort to bring attention and resources to this issue, in 2019 the RBA will enlist a wide range of experts to assess the current situation on worker health and well-being initiatives in manufacturing supply chains, starting in Asia. The initiative will seek input from health experts, researchers and civil society and will leverage leading best practices from RBA member companies that have been working on these important issues for many years.
This new initiative will initially focus on understanding the landscape of current health and wellness programs in the supply chains of RBA members to identify gaps and make improvements where opportunities exist. It will identify and implement meaningful collective actions that will be more effective than if any one company attempted the actions alone. Outside medical experts, those with expertise in manufacturing human resources and other relevant fields, will be consulted and engaged to assist in this comprehensive assessment. The long-term goal is to create a data-driven approach that will generate measurable results and long-lasting positive outcomes.
RBA members agree that worker voice is a key element in continuing progress. The initiative first plans to conduct a comprehensive, industry-wide worker survey in the manufacturing sector. The results can help inform improvements to grievance and reporting mechanism tools, education for workers, and more effective worker-management training. These activities will build on the existing work of the RBA and its Responsible Labor Initiative, which promotes the rights of workers vulnerable to forced labor globally.
“The well-being of workers has always been a top priority for the RBA and its members and this initiative will build on industry best practices, scientific data, and worker and stakeholder input to further improve the health and wellness of workers in global supply chains,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director, Responsible Business Alliance. “Collectively, RBA members have made significant strides over the years and our goal is to take these efforts to the next level.”
More information about the initiative to advance worker well-being can be found here on the RBA website.