Tag Archives: audit

Looking for help and support for your EcoVadis participation?


EcoVadisIn winter 2016, we announced our partnership with EcoVadis, a company linking suppliers and buyers in a collaborative platform where suppliers are assessed on their sustainability performance. We will provide various levels of support to organizations answering EcoVadis.

1. Response check
Your company already has answered several questionnaires, but is still unsure of the format of documents, or the quality of the answers. DFGE will connect to the EcoVadis platform and check if the format or document match the type of questions, if some answers and references are missing, if the question paths are the most appropriate. For instance, if your company declares that it has a policy in place regarding Health and Safety, but the attached document is in fact results from a health and safety audit, we will indicate that this document is not the needed reference here, as it covers actions, and will briefly explain what a policy is.
In this sense, organizations can easily improve their performance as we would have identified the wrong references, and companies can easily add the right supporting documents.

2. DFGE complete: questionnaire and improvement plan
For companies who have never gone through an EcoVadis assessment, or who had several times but wish to quickly improve, we offer the EcoVadis support complete package. With this product, we will
– Make a prioritized list of documents that can be provided, to make sure that everything available has been provided
– Answer the questionnaire ourselves, by making sure documents are well referenced in the right format, by taking the right question paths
– Once the scorecard is published, we will launch a prioritized improvement plan, by improving the existing documentation, and by suggesting you solutions to address new improvement areas. For instance, if your company has an improvement area called “basic policy in human rights”, we will review the policy to know which topics are missing, to check if commitments are company-specific enough and then we will suggest improvements accordingly

3. DFGE services
We offer free webinars, one for Beginners on a weekly basis, one for Repeaters on a monthly basis. For those who want to completely master EcoVadis principles, we organize training sessions where theoretical principles will be put into practice by the attendees.
We are also willing to provide any support to your company, for instance byhelping addressing the improvement areas. For instance, we can assess your carbon footprint or help you take part in UNGC, among many others.

For a detailed description of our products, consult our Press Release: http://dfge.de/en/answering-ecovadis-expert-support-now-available/  or our webpage http://dfge.de/en/ecovadis/ , or feel free to contact us at info@dfge.de

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Towards more due diligence in the supply chain


Background story: The majority of our blog posts deals with CSR topics; we write about the latest developments in this field and try to relate it to a company’s daily business. Our background stories have a different perspective: Here, we explain trends, scientific background and societal implications of corporate sustainability – sometimes with a personal touch.

 

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Due diligence in the supply chain

Our partner EcoVadis recently hosted the Sustain event. EcoVadis unlocks the power of transparency in the supply chain, enabling buyers and suppliers to communicate on the results of a sustainability assessment through a collaborative platform. As such, EcoVadis offers a tool for sustainable procurement management, e.g. including social and environmental criteria within the supply chain. This topic has gained so much momentum over the past few years that it is now the object of legislation.  We try to explain thisphenomenon in this blog article, while describing solutions for companies faced with such issues.

Lack of transparency in the supply chain with outsourced impacts

Outsourcing has been growing for the past two decades. According to Deloitte, “the last two decades have been a significant rise in offshoring to external service providers”[1], though a small portion of companies are bringing some outsourced functions back to their home country. In this sense, the environmental and social impacts of production are now still mainly located in the supply chain level. Some events showed that the risks still exist and that scandals impacted the whole supply chain.

In April 2013, the Rana Plaza building collapsed, leaving more than 1,100 casualties and thousands of people injured in Bangladesh[2]. This building housed five factories for the garment industry. This disaster was covered by the media and shed light on the fact that clients don’t know what happen in their supply chain, and that basic safety rules and laws are not applied there. According to the Guardian, “investigators say several factors contributed to the building’s collapse: it was overloaded with machines and generators, constructed on swampy land, and the owner added floors in violation of the original building plan”.[3]

The same year, Europe was stained by the scandal of horsemeat, where horsemeat was sold as beef, showing the lack of transparency within a globalized supply chain. Many other examples could be found in this sense, but our point here is that there is a need for companies to tackle somehow these issues in their supply chain, for the suppliers’ sakes as well as theirs and their clients. [4]

Legislation as a driver for companies to tackle these issues

After these scandals, governments decided to act and to boost companies. Here are a few developments from the past three years.

Since May 2015, companies responding to certain criteria need to publish a statement on the actions they take to prevent slavery and human trafficking, according to the UK Modern Slavery Act.

In the US, the California Transparency in Supply Chain Act, some companies need to disclose in their websites the company’s actions to prevent such abuses.

France is trying to do the same, the bill on due diligence is still in validation by the government instances[5].

In case of non-compliance, some actions can be taken. In any case, companies will suffer from brand-damage, pressure from stakeholders, potential lawsuits …

These developments show that working conditions can be at risk in the supply chain, and that client companies have the power to investigate and require some practices from their suppliers. How can they tackle such issues?

Due diligence in the supply chain: solutions

First we recommend companies to edict clear requirements and made commitments, in the shape of public policies and statements

Then, companies need to let their suppliers/subcontractors know these requirements, so that they can act accordingly.

Suppliers don’t have the same level of risk according to their location, activity or size. We suggest companies to proceed to a risk-mapping. According to the level of risks, actions can be taken.

For instance, suppliers can be asked to be evaluated on their sustainability management system, for instance through EcoVadis or other sustainability assessments platforms.

For suppliers with high-risk level, we recommend having regular audits there, on sustainability topics, made by third parties, and by some members of the companies.

Then, what is key is collaboration and transparency. It is important that buyers, who are in touch with suppliers on a daily basis, are aware of such requirements, to explain them and pass it over to the suppliers. In this sense, we suggest different tools and approaches: training of buyers, dedicated team to help buyers in this sense; business reviews between suppliers and buyers, supplier scorecard including such topics, …

Reaching to your supplier is one thing. Reaching to the supplier of your supplier is another thing. In this sense, we recommend the use of EcoVadis as it enables to cascade requirements in the supply chain. Indeed, clients have their suppliers rated on their sustainability management system, including on how the suppliers handle their supplier sustainability management. Then, if the suppliers improve their own sustainable procurement practices, companies already reach another level in their supply chain.

Finally, we think that collaboration and knowledge sharing is key to success. We advise companies to train their suppliers, raise awareness through handbooks and code of conduct, organize seminars etc.

Last but not least, partnership with a local NGOs can help address the issues on the field and have more visibility on what is happening in the high-risk zones.

We know that it is hard for companies to reach such levels of the supply chain. However, we hope that this articles gives inspiration to solve such complex issues. If you are interested in solutions and consulting services, please contact us at info@dfge.de or consult our EcoVadis webpage.

Resources:

Article on latest regulations http://www.supplychainbrain.com/content/single-article-page/article/the-emerging-compliance-hot-topic-for-2016-regulations-regarding-trafficked-coerced-labor/

UK Modern Slavery Act: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/30/contents/enacted

 California Transparency in Supply Chain Act: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/164934.pdf

Sources:

[1] P.5, Deloitte’s 2014 Global Outsourcing and Insourcing industry http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/strategy/us-2014-global-outsourcing-insourcing-survey-report-123114.pdf

[2] http://www.cleanclothes.org/safety/ranaplaza

[3] http://www.theguardian.com/world/rana-plaza

[4] http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/horsemeat/

[5] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/mandatory-human-rights-due-diligence-government-1-devoir-poitevin?trk=hp-feed-article-title-share

Top 10 Sustainability documents


Financial Planning, Pen and Calculator and Review of Year End Reports

Lost in all the requests for information linked to sustainability management and reporting? DFGE has chosen the top 10 documents you can easily share with your stakeholders.

Nowadays, transparency is expected from companies and CSR/sustainability reporting has been increasing by 5 points from 2011 to 2014[1]. There are many channels where information can be reported: it can be asked directly from customers, it can be a need from the communication department, the sales department might need to answer a bid of tenders, the shareholders may want your company to publish a CSR report, audits are also taking these topics into account, among other examples.

To make your company save time, DFGE has listed the top 10 documents that can be provided in this sense and their interests, like the CSR report. To consult the full list please go to our press release.

You can also contact us directly at info@dfge.de or consult our website: http://dfge.de

[1] Source: http://www.grantthornton.co.uk/en/insights/trends-in-corporate-social-responsibility-2014/