SAI Leadership Transitions to Shared CEO Role: Starting July 2013, SAI President and Executive Director will alternate as CEO, working with new Director of Operations & Administration

Jay Owen SRI/ESG News, Sustainability News


SAI Leadership Transitions to Shared CEO Role

Starting July 2013, SAI President and Executive Director will alternate as CEO, working with new Director of Operations & Administration

SAI President Alice Tepper Marlin and Executive Director Eileen Kaufman by PLMA Live during a video interview with PLMA Live – see video @

Building on  over 16 years of cooperation,  SAI President Alice Tepper Marlin and Executive Director Eileen Kohl Kaufman will share the CEO position, serving in alternating quarters of the year. They will work closely with Richard Cook, CFO, Jane Hwang, Director of Corporate Programs & Training, Craig Moss, Executive Advisor, and Michelle Bhattacharyya, SAI’s new Director of Operations. Both Ms. Tepper Marlin and Ms. Kaufman will participate actively as SAI develops and implements its new 5-year strategic plan.

“The long standing collaboration between Alice and Eileen over almost all of the entire history of SAI, is now being formalized now in rotating leadership” said SAI Board of Directors member Dana Chasin, Economic Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Jon TesterLike the SAI Pillars in Practice Program. “No doubt this arrangement will strengthen the organization as it grows, bringing to bear their distinctive skills, perspectives, and connections.”

Ms. Tepper Marlin and Ms. Kaufman have worked closely together since SAI started in 1997, helping to build this global…>>Read more

For more information, please contact SAI Executive Assistant Carolyn Collantes – 
[email protected].

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SAI Pilots ESMS Handbook & Toolkit for IFC in Serbia

Pilots launched at Vino Zupa’s Fruit Juice and Wine Production Plants

Group photo of the SAI team IFC staff and colleagues from Vino Zupa in Serbia. [Photo credit: Yogendra Chaudhry]

On May 28-31, SAI carried out workshops in Belgrade and Kapaonik, Serbia  for the World Bank’s  International Finance Corporation (IFC). These comprised the first field visit to pilot the Environmental and Social Management Systems (ESMS) Handbook and Toolkit that SAI has developed for the IFC. The ESMS Handbook and Toolkit is designed as a user-friendly guide to help companies to develop and implement management systems for environmental and social performance, in accordance with the IFC Performance Standards 1-8.  Key performance areas include: 1) environment; 2) labor; 3) community; and 4) occupational health & safety. This Handbook and Toolkit focuses on the Food and Beverage sector; SAI and IFC have plans for 14 more in other sectors.

In Serbia, IFC staff and its selected local consultants were joined by SAI: Jane Hwang, Director of Corporate Programs & Training; Craig Moss, Executive Advisor, Corporate Programs & Training; and Yogendra Chaudhry, SAI Environmental Expert and Lead Trainer.

On May 28, SAI and IFC HQ staff from US and France led a TOT (train the trainer) for IFC regional staff and consultants from Serbia, Macedonia and Ukraine. The purpose was for IFC staff…>>Read more

For more information contact SAI Director of Corporate Programs & Training, Jane Hwang[email protected].

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SAI’s Training Team in India Grows for ‘WE Programme’ 

Meet the trainers for Tchibo GmbH’s ‘WE Programme’ in India

Photo above, clockwise from top left: Deepti Mittal, Direction Towards Responsible Development; Mamta Sardana, Glades Consultants; Monica Ramesh, ASK; Raghunatha K.M., Four-D Management Consulting

In the June 2012 newsletter, SAI highlighted the expansion of Tchibo’s WE Programme with GIZ in India that promotes dialogue between workers and managers for social quality. This new chapter builds on 5 years of experience from the WE Programme’s initial chapters in China, Bangladesh, Laos and Thailand. The Indian training track launched in February 2012 with a ‘Training of trainers’ (ToTs) in New Delhi. Four participants from the ToTs event were selected to implement the first stage of the WE Programme in India. SAI is pleased to introduce and welcome Deepti Mittal (Coach), Raghunatha Kothamangalam, Mamta Sardana and Monica Ramesh to the team.  

Since last year, the ‘WE’ trainer team has been working with ten supplier factories in India for the implementation of the WE Programme. Four worker-management dialogue trainings have been conducted in each factory by the team. Most were customized to accommodate factories’ needs and requests. “Challenging issues like monitoring child labour, health and safety provisions, reducing absenteeism, working hours and quality rejects were covered in these trainings,” said Deepti Mittal, Coach of the WE India training team. “Two workshops have been conducted to bring all ten factory representatives from different levels of seniority to the table to reflect on their achievements, experiences, brainstorm on common issues and outline the road ahead under WE Programme…>>Read more

To learn more about the WE Programme visit For more information, contact SAI India Program Director Rishi Sher Singh at [email protected].

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RAGS Project: Interview with Mona Gupta

SAI local trainer Mona Gupta comments on the RAGS Project in India, focusing on gender equity in the garment sector

Mona Gupta, at a RAGS Training in India focused on gender equity in garment sector workplaces

Joleen Ong: Can you describe your role in the RAGS Project, and how you became acquainted with it?

Mona Gupta: I have worked in the ready-made garment (RMG) and textile industry for almost two and a half decades. About a year and a half ago, I was involved in the development of SAI and UN Women’s Gender Equity Seal, where I gave input about gender issues from an Indian perspective. This was useful for the draft document. My involvement was followed by a presentation on gender in the Indian garment sector, and subsequently Sutradhara – a voluntary initiative – of which I am an Honorary Founding Director – became a partner to SAI’s RAGS Project.


With Sutradhara, we work on other issue areas that are relevant to India, such as gender and development, market access & micro enterprise development, child labor, home workers, human rights, poverty and sustainable development.

JO: From your experience, what are some of the biggest challenges for workers that you’ve witnessed in the Indian RMG sector, and how might the RAG Project help to improve some of these conditions?

MG: Challenges range from issues such as wages, health and safety, contract workers, migrant workers, to home-based workers…>>Read more

To learn more about SAI’s RAGS Project in the Indian garment sector, visit For more information, please contact SAI Communications Manager Joleen Ong-[email protected].

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Stakeholder Engagement: SA8000 Revision Process 

Featuring excerpts of an interview with an SA8000 Standard stakeholder on how it can be strengthened

Venugopal Balakrishnan: Managing Director of DAS Certification India Pvt. Ltd.; CEO of IQ Global Solutions; and a Director of AV Cert International FZE/UAE.

The SA8000:2014 standard revision is under way and gaining momentum. From now until the end of July 2013 a select multi-stakeholder group of Standard users and subject matter experts are being interviewed by Alex Katz, SAI’s Senior Manager of Research and Stakeholder Relations and are submitting unique and novel ideas about strengthening the SA8000 standard.

This month we are pleased to feature an interview with Venugopal Balakrishnan (Venu),  the Managing Director of DAS Certification India Pvt. Ltd., CEO of IQ Global Solutions and a Director of AV Cert International FZE/UAE. Here are a sample of his comments and recommendations that we’d like to feature as food for thought, separated by element of the standard:

  • Purpose and scope: Need for clarity of management system processes (where people take priority over profits) in the context of SA 8000 must be stressed as part of the ‘Introduction’ or as part of the elements of ‘Context of the Organization’
  • Forced and Compulsory Labour: It should be mandatory that recruitment agents be brought under the subcontractor or compliance process with a remediation process similar to the child labor remediation. This is very important for international migrant labor…>>Read more

The SA8000:2014 review plan and timeline is available at A summary of the comments received from the SA8000: 2013-2014 revision process will be available in July 2013. For more information, contact SAI Sr. Manager Alex Katz – [email protected].

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SAI Supports OEKO-TEX® ‘STeP’ Auditor Training

SAI trains OEKO-TEX® auditors to assess social working conditions in textile facilities

Photos, clockwise from top left: 1) OEKO-TEX® auditors during a breakout session at the training in Zurich; SAI Field Services Director Doug DeRuisseau speaks with Trainer Adrian Meili from Testex AG; 3) OEKO-TEX®auditors in Hong Kong during a small group breakout session; 4) SAI Lead Trainer Badri Gulur leads the presentation in Hong Kong. Photo credit: David Pircher, OEKO-TEX®.

On May 27-29 in Zurich, Switzerland and June 4-6 in Hong Kong, the textile products certification standard OEKO-TEX®trained the first 50 auditors for conducting the facility audits in the framework of the new STeP certification. SAI Field Services Director, Doug DeRuisseau, in Zurich, and SAI Lead Trainer Badri Gulur, in Hong Kong, worked with OEKO-TEX® to train auditors to assess the social working conditions in the textile production facilities, as required by STeP. The three-day training sessions were divided into different workshops to cover all aspects of the modular STeP certification system.

“The most valuable part of such a training,” says OEKO-TEX® product manager David Pircher, “is sharing experience.” Regular meetings amongst OEKO-TEX® auditors as well as with specialists from organizations such as SAI are planned to ensure the continuing exchange of experiences from the audits. “This type of partnership,” Mr. Pircher explains, “is a valuable and economically practical way of achieving…>>Read more


For more details about STeP certification please visit For more information, contact SAI Field Services Director Doug DeRuisseau – [email protected]

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