Assess Suppliers


Deepen your insights into supplier sustainability practices to fortify your procurement processes and drive more robust sustainability strategies.

Share this Practice on:LinkedIn

Evaluate suppliers to ensure they align with your sustainability ambitions, making use of data, engaging in dialogue and collaborating with peers to support broader standards shifts.

Use publicly accessible supplier data

Kick off your supplier assessment by exploring publicly available data such as supplier websites, sustainability reports, and databases like CDP, SEDEX or EcoVadis. Review supplier documentation like sustainability policies, CSR reports, and self-assessment questionnaires. These documents can reveal a supplier's commitment to sustainability and their efforts to uphold it.

Gather your own data for additional insights

Consider conducting investigations for a deeper insight into suppliers’ sustainability efforts, employing site visits, interviews, or audits. Fostering an open environment is important, rewarding transparency and trust-building over pure performance in the early stages. Encourage candid discussions about suppliers' operations, paving the way for productive dialogue and action plans. Employ market engagement methods like workshops, webinars, or roundtables, which allow discussions about sustainability and opportunities for shared best practices, innovative solution exploration, and co-created strategies. Regular follow-ups can maintain dialogue and momentum and ensure the effectiveness of sustainability plans.

Collaborate with industry peers and value chain stakeholders

Sharing and standardising critical value chain data with industry peers or other stakeholders in your value chain can reduce the assessment burden and promote consistency. This collaborative approach can lead to agreed industry-wide data collection and assessment standards, saving time and resources for everyone involved. For example, industry associations or sustainability networks often provide platforms for such collaborations.

Sedex  cover


Sedex offers technology, data insights and services help companies build socially and environmentally sustainable businesses and supply chains.

Map Your Value Chain: Sedex provides tools and a data platform to assist businesses in mapping their supply chain, gathering supplier information, and facilitating supplier engagement and onboarding [PAY TO USE].

Assess Suppliers: Sedex also defines ethical sourcing and provides free resources and events, including key trends in responsible sourcing webinar and a supplier questionnaire

Business Declares cover

Business Declares

The suite of resources includes an example of a detailed Supplier Sustainability and Ethics Questionnaire

Responsible supply chain management top tips cover

Responsible supply chain management top tips

Bates Wells’ guide sets out priorities for managing a responsible supply chain.

How to Tackle Suppliers’ Emissions: A Guide for Procurers cover

How to Tackle Suppliers’ Emissions: A Guide for Procurers

Produced by Business in the Community (BITC) in collaboration with CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), the toolkit is designed to support faster progress on tackling supply chain emissions through supplier ‘Know, Grow, Go” methodology.

ESG Risk Analysis Tool cover

ESG Risk Analysis Tool

This free tool by Responsibly offers a materiality analysis to identify risks associated with sourcing countries and supplier industries. This can help you prioritise areas of high risk to align efforts with your ESG objectives and assess suppliers on sustainability criteria. Beyond the risk analysis, the platform offers additional pay to use options to view progress in risk mitigation, engage suppliers, and set goals within your procurement process.