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ICS (Initiative Clause Sociale)

The members of the French Federation of Commerce and Distribution (FCD) launched the "Initiative Clause Sociale" (ICS) in the fall of 1998 based on the relevant ILO conventions and inspired by the SA 8000 standard.

The initiative has been focused towards direct suppliers of manufactured non-food consumer products in source countries. From the beginning, the ICS scheme involved a uniform audit questionnaire with a rating system and systematic use of external independent audit companies. Meanwhile, ICS has been opened up to other French retailers and has grown in terms of number of audits performed to one of the world's largest social trade initiatives.

As outlined in the ICS Code, it is the objective of the ICS scheme to promote and support continual improvement of all relevant social and health / safety aspects of the overall working conditions in the factories supplying the ICS members. The ICS Code defines the core requirements of the ICS members whereas their individual Codes of Conduct, which they are free to maintain, can stipulate additional or enhanced clauses. The principal conclusions of all audits initiated by ICS members are registered on the ICS database and exchanged among the ICS members, in order to avoid unnecessary repetitive audits.

The representatives of all ICS member companies meet in principle bi-monthly in order to follow jointly the progress of the global implementation of the ICS initiative and to decide upon development actions. The permanent ICS secretariat handles all organizational and coordination functions.

As specified in the Deontological Code, the ICS members promote the ICS scheme and follow the established rules. Basic information is shared in order to jointly monitor the audit conclusions and to initiate the continual improvement of working conditions in the source countries.

ICS members:

  • Carrefour
  • PPR Group (Fnac, La redoute, Printemps, Conforama)
  • Okaidi
  • Monoprix
  • Galeries Lafayette
  • Casino
  • Auchan
  • Systeme U
  • E. Leclerc
  • Cora Provera
  • Jules 

Intertek has qualified auditors for the ICS program worldwide, and is working with most of the French retailers on this program.

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