Assess Suppliers


Deepen your insights into supplier sustainability practices by gathering the necessary information.

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Understanding supplier sustainability helps you ensure they align with your sustainability ambitions, fortify your procurement processes, and drive more robust sustainability strategies.

Use publicly accessible supplier data

Begin 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, and transparency in general, are useful indications of a supplier's commitment to sustainability.

Gather your own data for additional insights

You can investigate supplier sustainability efforts through site visits, interviews, and audits to gain deeper insight into their sustainability efforts. Keep in mind the importance of fostering open and trusting relationships with suppliers. This requires a focus on rewarding transparency over performance, particularly in the early stages of a supplier relationship.

It also entails facilitating candid discussions with suppliers to pave the way for open and productive dialogue. To do this, consider employing market engagement methods like workshops, webinars, or roundtables. Such events can be used to create space for value chain sustainability discussions around sharing best practices, exploring innovative solutions, and co-creating strategies. Regular follow-ups can maintain dialogue and momentum, helping to 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 reduces the burden of conducting assessments and promotes consistency. Taking a collaborative approach can lead to 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.

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Business Declares

Business Declares curates a suite of sustainability resources including an example of a detailed Supplier Sustainability and Ethics Questionnaire.

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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), this toolkit is designed to support faster progress on tackling supply chain emissions through a supplier ‘Know, Grow, Go” methodology.

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ESG Risk Analysis Tool

This freemium AI tool by Responsibly can help streamline supplier data collection, management, and analysis. It will also help you prioritise high risk areas in your value chain and better align your efforts with your ESG objectives.