The Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP)

Name of Organization Behind

The Consumer Goods Forum

Year of Launch






Sub Categories

Issues Addressed



The Global Social Compliance Programme's mission is to harmonise existing efforts and deliver a common, consistent and global approach across sectors for the continuous improvement of working and environmental conditions in global supply chains.

The GSCP’s objectives, as a global cross-industry platform, are:
• to build consensus on best existing practices and support upward convergence in approaches and requirements for social and environmental practices; in order to develop a clear and consistent message for suppliers globally (open source approach)
• to drive convergence by building comparability and transparency between existing systems, while preserving their specificities; and as a result to reduce audit fatigue and duplication and set the scene for more collaboration;
• to strengthen and develop collaboration in remediation and capacity building
The GSCP was born from the understanding that cross-industry collaboration is possible, and essential to truly drive change in this area. Today there is a need – and an opportunity – to work together to drive remediation to root causes of social and environmental non-compliances through continuous improvement, training and capacity building.


The Global Social Compliance Programme is a business-driven programme open to buying companies (brands and retailers) across all sectors and geographies.

The GSCP offers a global platform to promote the exchange of knowledge and best existing practices in order to build comparability and transparency between existing social compliance and environmental compliance systems. To this effect, the GSCP has developed a set of Reference tools and processes that describe best existing practices and provide a common interpretation of working and environmental requirements and their implementation. This approach will enable mutual recognition between existing systems using the GSCP Reference tools as a benchmark through the Equivalence Process.

The GSCP Reference tools

To drive convergence, the GSCP has developed a set of Reference tools and processes that provide a common interpretation, based on best existing practice, of fair labour/social and environmental requirements and their implementation in the supply chain.

This set of Reference tools includes the tools typically found in a monitoring system: a reference code of conduct, reference audit process and methodology and reference guidelines for auditing competence for both social and environmental compliance, and a reference tool on buying companies' social performance management systems. Access the full list of Reference tools:

The Reference tools are openly available for all to use. Users can include GSCP member and non‐member companies, suppliers and employment sites. Multi‐Stakeholder Initiatives, auditing bodies and other scheme owners can and are encouraged to use the GSCP Reference tools.

The Reference tools can voluntarily either be:

  • integrated in part or in full by organisations into their respective systems; or
  • used by organisations as a reference against which to compare, or otherwise review, their existing tools through the GSCP Equivalence Process

The GSCP Equivalence Process

The Equivalence Process is a mechanism by which a social and/or environmental compliance scheme is objectively benchmarked against the requirements defined in one or more GSCP Reference tools, to determine their level of equivalence. Through the Equivalence Process, the GSCP enables the comparison of various standards and schemes against the GSCP Reference tools, aiming at bringing convergence in requirements and approaches and building mutual recognition. 

Supporting collaboration on remediation and capacity building

The GSCP is ultimately working towards remediation of root causes of non-compliances, aiming at supplier ownership of solutions and their implementation. The Programme is therefore supporting the development of a collaborative approach to building capacity at supplier site.

This is delivered notably through:

  • the alignment of management systems to best existing practices (for both buyers and suppliers);
  • the development of models for capacity building
  • the development of training & mentoring protocols

In parallel the GSCP is supporting better needs assessment and implementation of actions through the establishment of local/regional networks and strengthening further the engagement of stakeholders, including suppliers, at all levels of the Programme’s work.