Behind the Ratings: Labor Rights

Fair TradeHere at GoodGuide, it’s our goal to give you meaningful information about the health, environmental and societal impacts of products and companies so that you can vote with your dollars by making purchases that reflect your personal values. The GoodGuide rating — now available for more than 220,000 everyday products – is made up of data from over 1,000 different sources, including scientific institutions, governmental agencies, commercial data aggregators, non-governmental organizations, media outlets and corporations. Once collected, our scientists apply rigorous methodologies grounded in the sciences of informatics, health and environmental risk assessment, life cycle assessment and social impact analysis. When all is analyzed, we generate the official GoodGuide rating, with best performers receiving higher scores.

One dimension of the GoodGuide rating is Society, which tracks the social impacts associated with the manufacture and sale of a product, including management practices, transparency, consumer safety, community partnerships and policies related to its workforce. It’s this last dimension we want to highlight in this post, in honor of Labor Day in the U.S.A. The GoodGuide Worker Score rates company performance on such issues as occupational safety and health, diversity and equal opportunity, and human and labor rights. We’ve been advocates for improving worker conditions for a long time — check out GoodGuide co-founder Dara O’Rourke’s comment in April 2014 to the New York Times on the efforts to improve worker conditions following the tragic factory fires in Bangladesh. We applaud those companies that are taking action to implement positive change throughout the supply chain, and today shine our spotlight a just a couple of category leaders who are actively making a difference both through their practices and disclosure of Labor and Workers Rights policies.

MaggiesOrganicsCompany: Maggie’s Organics
Category: Apparel
G/G Worker Score: 9.4
G/G Society Score: 8.2
G/G Overall Score: 7.8
Certifications: Green America Seal of Approval – Gold Level
Behind the Ratings: Maggie’s Organics social policies, practices and performance place it among the best 5% of companies rated by GoodGuide. A recipient of the Gold Level Seal of Approval from Green America (formerly Co-op America) indicates that the company is leading the industry by embedding social responsibility in to their corporate DNA, operating in ways that solve, rather than cause, both environmental and social problems by adopting principles, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for their customers, their employees, communities, and the environment. Maggie’s Organics’ commitment to Fair Labor is transparently communicated on the company website.
Where to Buy:

NewmansOwnCompany: Newman’s Own Organics
Category: Food (Coffee, Drinks, Packaged Food)
G/G Workers Score: 7.8
G/G Society Score: 5.9
G/G Overall Score: 5.9
Certifications: Fair Trade Coffee Certification
Behind the Ratings: The Fair Trade Certified™ Label guarantees consumers that strict economic, social and environmental criteria were met in the production and trade of an agricultural product. To display the Fair Trade Certified™ label on their products, companies must buy from certified farms, pay Fair Trade prices, and submit to supply chain audits. Fair Trade USA certifies coffee, tea and herbs, cocoa and chocolate, fresh fruit, flowers, sugar, rice, honey, nuts and oils, vanilla, spirits and wine, personal care, apparel, and sports balls
Where to Buy:

SeventhGenerationCompany: Seventh Generation, Inc.
Category: Personal Care
G/G Workers Score: 7.7
G/G Society Score: 7.1
G/G Overall Score: 7.9
Certifications: Leaping Bunny Certified; Member of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO); PETA Animal Treatment Assessment; Green America Seal of Approval – Gold Level; B Corporation; EPA Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative – Champions; GRI Sustainability Reporting
Behind the Ratings: Adopted a Supplier Code of Conduct in 2013, revised supplier audit protocols and terminated ties with one supplier for non-compliance.
Where to Buy:

DrBronnersCompany: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps
Category: Personal Care
G/G Workers Score: 9.7
G/G Society Score: 8.3
G/G Overall Score: 7.8
Certifications: Safe Cosmetics Pledge; Coming Clean Campaign Endorsement Status; Leaping Bunny Certified; PETA Animal Treatment Assessment; Green America Seal of Approval – Gold Level; IMO Social Responsibility Certification
Behind the Ratings: Product sourcing is fully disclosed to the public on the company website. Since 2006, the company has sourced 95% of raw materials from certified Fair Trade suppliers. With regard to it’s internal compensation policies, the total pay for the highest paid employees is capped at 5x that of the lowest paid employee.
Where to Buy:

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