Friend of the Sea Announces Launch of Virtual Audits

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Milan, Italy—Friend of the Sea is making the most of the coronavirus outbreak, according to a press release, by launching the Sustainable Augmented Reality Audit (SARA), which will allow a qualified auditor to carry out an onsite inspection from a control panel commanding remote ‘eyes’ and recording a complete video of the audit. The video and audit report are saved on Blockchain to prevent any possible editing.

Paolo Bray, Founder and Director of Friend of the Sea, explained in the release: “The Coronavirus outbreak experience led us to introduce an additional major innovation, perfectly matching our online strategy. We realized that it does not make sense anymore to carry out onsite audits. They are unsustainable, dangerous, and unreliable. They imply days of global traveling to carry out a few hours of in-factory audit, which could be carried out more effectively with available remote video recording platforms. Old style factory audits are dangerous for auditors’ health and safety. In some cases they are carried out at sites with live animals, with risk of infection. Last but not least, onsite audits potentially expose auditors to situations where integrity is compromised and may result in subjective conclusions. Only a full blockchained video recording of the audit can represent undisputable evidence of compliance. This way, we are saving tons of emissions, improving auditors’ health and safety, and providing consumers with verifiable audits.”

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The move is the latest in a chain of moves by Friend of the Sea to move activity online: The NGO holds webinars, instead of online events; launched the Sustainable Marketplace online platform instead of onsite One to One Days; and the NGO no longer goes to major tradeshows, instead investing in SEO for their websites friendofthesea.org and friendoftheearth.org.

Bray noted that the companies who work with Friend of the Sea approve: “Companies have reacted positively as they understand the value of SARA’s audits, which allow them to optimize time and costs, while greatly increasing certification credibility.”

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