Raising the Bar for Products Bearing the Cal Logo, Name
Campus Played Key Role in Formulating Newest UC Code of Conduct
Posted February 2, 2000
Companies that produce Cal sweatshirts, caps and other products bearing the UC name, logos or trademarks will be held to stricter labor and environmental standards under a new code of conduct issued Jan. 5 by the University of California.
The revised code ã now among the strongest such university standards in the nation ã requires licensees and their contractors to pay a living wage and to comply with environmental and health and safety laws. It also prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy or union-related activities.
In response to a key concern of students and faculty, the names and addresses of the licensees' contractors and manufacturing plants will be made public.
UC's code of conduct grew out of the national movement to monitor the labor practices of multinational corporations that subcontract with domestic and foreign manufactures to produce apparel bearing collegiate logos and trademarks.
The revised code replaces the first UC Code of Conduct for Trademark Licensees, issued in Aug. 1998.
The Berkeley campus played a key role both in developing the initial code and in forming an advisory committee to gather input from the campuses and discuss how to strengthen the initial code. Chaired by Berkeley Vice Chancellor Horace Mitchell, the systemwide committee included UC students, faculty and administrators.
"The lead was taken by Berkeley," said Maria Rubinshteyn, director of marketing and management of trademarks for the Berkeley campus and a member of the advisory committee. "The issue was brought to light principally by our faculty and students as well as administrators."
All new licensees will be required to adhere to the code. Companies with existing UC agreements ã typically one year in length ã will be required to adhere to the strengthened code upon renewal of their continuing business agreements with the university.
"UC was one of the first universities in the country to adopt a code of conduct and one of the few to actually incorporate its code in its license agreements," said UC President Richard Atkinson. "Now I am pleased that UC has one of the strongest codes in support of humane labor standards."
In addition to adopting its own strengthened code, the university, at Berkeley's recommendation, has joined Harvard and other institutions in the Independent University Initiative, a study designed to gather information on conditions in factories that manufacture products bearing their logos. Its findings are expected in several months.
After the report is finalized, UC plans to design a system for monitoring compliance with the code.
The Web address for the new UC Code of Conduct is www. ucop.edu/ucophome/coordrev/policy/1-05-00code.pdf.