What is Responsible Sourcing?
According to the International Chamber of Commerce responsible sourcing is “a voluntary commitment by companies to take into account social and environmental considerations when managing their relationships with suppliers”.
Responsible sourcing is an approach adopted by brands and companies to manage sustainability risks in their supply chain by actively and consciously sourcing products and services in an ethical, sustainable, and socially conscious way.
What does responsible sourcing involve?
To implement an effective Responsible Sourcing strategy, businesses need to consider how their sourcing operations may affect people and the environment. Most common areas covered in any good Responsible Sourcing strategy should cover.
- Labor standards (based on the international development in the labor and basic human rights areas such as The United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and ILO core conventions.
- Internal instruments on sustainability and environmental conservation such as United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, type, nature and magnitude of the environmental impacts generated by the supply chains of a business.
- Good governance and anti-corruption related risks exist in the supply chains and sourcing practices based on international instruments such as United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Transparency International, the United Nations Global Compact and the World Economic Forum guideline etc.
There are many Responsible Sourcing and supply chain sustainability management models are available and globally used by many corporations, many big brands have also developed their own Code of Conducts for their global supply chains, few of the prominent Responsible Sourcing models include.
- SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audits)
- SLCP (Social & Labor Convergence Program)
- BRCGS Ethical Trade and Responsible Sourcing
- RBA (Responsible Business Alliance)
- SA 8000 etc. (Social Accountability Standard developed by Social Accountability International)
How QSE can help?
Responsible Sourcing solutions for Brand and Buyers
QSE’s team of experts can work with your procurement and sourcing teams to develop a complete Responsible Sourcing program suitable to your organization and support in implementing it through out your chain, the program may include.
- Defined methodology for analyzing your supply chain to identify what sustainability related risks associated with your sourcing activities.
- Developing supplier code of conduct addressing the analyzed significant risks.
- Suppliers risk assessment methodology and implementation of risk assessment process.
- Development of Supplier’s Self-Assessment programs.
- Development of risk mitigation programs for the identified supply chain risks (including determination / development suitable supplier’s assessment and auditing models).
- Implementation of supply chain risk mitigation programs.
- Development of continual improvement and Corrective Action and Follow-up programs.
Responsible Sourcing compliance support for suppliers
If you are part of a supply chain of any global brand or supplying to a business who cares about the sustainability performance of its sourcing activities, you might be subject to a responsible sourcing audit either directly by the client or by an Audit Service Provider approved by the client.
Responsible sourcing audits are extensive and stressful as they cover broad scope which may cover areas related to your HR, Health & Safety, Subcontracting, Environmental Performance, Treatment of employees, Record Keeping and business ethics and integrity areas etc.
QSE can support your organization in managing compliance of your buyers’ code of conduct or Social Compliance requirement, so you can pass the buyer’s assessment / audits without any trouble, our support service in Responsible Sourcing compliance include.
- Gap analysis on your buyer’s code of conduct or Responsible Sourcing requirements.
- Training of your senior management, key managers, supervisors, and work force on social compliance so you can better understand and implement your buyers code of conduct / social compliance requirements.
- Support and Development of the compliance management system to ensure that you have an effective system in place to always ensure compliance to all applicable requirements.
- Mock Audits to familiarize with Social Compliance and Responsible Sourcing audits and determine your string and weak areas.
- Support during buyer’s audits and providing support in addressing audit findings / non-compliances.