Andrew Martin

Senior Manager - Monitoring and Continuous Improvement, Foreign Trade Association

Placed by Acre

Andrew joined the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) in May 2015 as Capacity Building Manager for the Business for Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). His impact in the first 6 months led to him being rapidly promoted to the position of; Senior Manager - Monitoring and Continuous Improvement. In this newly created role he is responsible for leading the overall strategy and implementation of all monitoring (auditing & assessment), and continuous improvement (capacity building, training and development) activities for the Sustainability division of the FTA, including both BSCI and the emerging Business for Environmental Performance Initiative (BEPI).

Setting the Scene

The FTA is the leading business association of European and international commerce. The company represents over 1,800 retailers, importers and brands supporting their businesses by providing information and practical solutions towards sustainable trade in their international supply chains of over 35,000 factories. The association has a growth rate 20%+ per year and represents a turnover of €800bn and aims to implement an innovative and behavioural changing social compliance Code of Conduct.

Achieving Rapid Social Impact

Upon joining the role, Andrew aimed to create the ultimate impact. With the objective to improve working conditions for internal and external members of the supply chain, he has developed capacity building and is transforming auditing. Through this he has stimulated:

Creating a Lasting Legacy

In creating a lasting legacy Andrew has focused his attention to 3 aspects.

To effectively challenge passion, good-will and commitment into a cause Andrew has established professional processes, procedures and expectations, including defining strategies with clear goals and deliverables supported by metrics and accountability.

To maintain this passion and commitment Andrew believes motivating communication encourages employees and external partners to stay focused on the vision and have this vision at the core of each decision.

Dionne Harrison (Director) / Impactt Ltd – UK stated:

“He is creating teams from the ground up, giving people a chance, support and space to unravel their true potential. He is not afraid to make the tough decisions and is really shaking things up. I am excited to be working with. I have a feeling there is much more to come and I look forward to seeing the revolution he leads as it unfolds.”

Advice for Creating Positive Impact

“Be comfortable with discomfort.

If you want to bring about real change within any system (organisation or other wider system) you need to know what your own values are and be prepared to act and behave in accordance with these even when it is difficult. Be engaging and open to other, accepting that everyone has something to contribute (even when you disagree) and know that the best engagement comes in starting from where others are at – try to see the issues from their side and understand where they are coming from. If you can show openness and empathy they are more likely to go on the journey with you.

However – Overall relax if it feels uneasy, and be patient – real change and progress often comes at the edges – Console yourself with the fact that if it feels difficult and challenging, you may just be on to something – stick with your values.”

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