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Responsible Supply Chain Assessment

Assessing human rights risks and impacts throughout supply chains to meet due diligence requirements.

Customizable assessment that goes beyond workplace audits

Evolving requirements to respect and protect human rights and demands for supply chain transparency create an urgent need for decisive solutions that support your supply chain management, continuous improvement and efforts to meet due diligence requirements. The natural evolution of corporate social responsibility (CSR) also demands more robust responsible sourcing programs.

Moving away from traditional audits of working conditions, we can help you foster responsible business practices and mitigate human rights risks and adverse impacts across your supply chain, such as reputational damage and hefty penalties like fines and delayed time to market.

Special focus on your industry

Our tool can assess any organization’s human rights risks and impacts, and is easily adaptable to focus on risks and impacts specific to your industry or sector, as per international standards, evolving legal requirements and best practices.

From a traditional manufacturing or office setting to a farm or fishing vessel, we have many modules to suit the vulnerabilities and risks found within the diverse working environments throughout extended supply chains, including:

  • Food – farms, packing houses and fishing vessels, etc.
  • Automotive – car parts manufacturing facilities and assembly plants, etc.
  • Industrial manufacturing – factories, facilities and recruitment, etc.
  • Textiles – agriculture, manufacturing and logistics facilities, etc.
  • Service industries – IT, call centers, real estate and recruitment, etc.

More modules are still to come, as we evolve this service.

Assessment areas

We consider the varying formality of systems in different working environments, adapting to each circumstance to ensure the appropriate assessment and evolution of compliance. Assessment areas include:

  • Management systems and human rights due diligence
  • Compliance with laws and client requirements
  • Forced labor and responsible recruitment
  • Child/young labor
  • Discrimination, equality and diversity
  • Grievance mechanisms and disciplinary actions
  • Freedom of association and collective bargaining
  • Working hours
  • Wages and benefits
  • Health and safety
  • Environment
  • Anti-bribery and integrity

Key benefits

  • Understand your suppliers’ operations by collecting information on their facilities and practices
  • Create more productive and sustainable workplaces, and attract and retain talented workers
  • Save time and money through flexible and streamlined single or multisite audits
  • Showcase your shared values through managing and monitoring compliance with human rights regulations and international standards
  • Substantiate your sustainability/ESG reporting and evidence transparency across your supply chain
  • Promote a culture of respect for human rights and improvement of working conditions
  • Avoid costly penalties and delaying products going to market
  • Leverage a global network of experts, trained to assess risks in various industries and working environments, aligning with international standards, legal requirements and best practices
  • Contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including goals 1, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 16

Why SGS?

Our assessment tool aligns with numerous international standards, including:

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions and Recommendations
  • The ILO Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
  • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • All ILO forced labor indicators
  • Relevant principles like the Employer Pays Principle

Furthermore, SGS auditors conducting these audits meet the appropriate Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors’ (APSCA) qualification criteria.

Contact us today so we can discuss your needs in detail.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

We assess your suppliers’ performance, compliance and systems for accountability in respecting human rights and the environment. The visit to physical workplaces, such as factories, farms and fishing vessels, is just one aspect of the assessment. The assessment is also complemented by document reviews and interviews.

SGS has worked with multinational and sizable organizations for decades, so we understand the major human rights risks and impacts in their supply chains and ensure the term we use is more inclusive. Before a contract is signed for the assessment, we will evaluate the information you give us and advise you of the best journey for compliance.

If you are a listed company or an organization with a presence in certain locations, such as the EU, there may be regulatory requirements to disclose your social responsibility status across your supply chain, regardless of the locations of your supply chain. In certain contractual agreements, the assessment may be mandatory, so there can be better certainty of the human rights risks and impacts between the businesses.

Supported by a global network of experienced auditors and corporate social responsibility experts, we can cover different industries and different types of working environments. Contact us to discuss your situation and we can determine what resources are needed.

Our auditors undergo rigorous training processes to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to conduct assessments. They adhere to strict ethical standards and maintain professional development by participating in ongoing training programs. They also meet the appropriate Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors’ (APSCA) qualification criteria. APSCA enhances our auditing team’s professionalism, consistency and credibility, ensuring the highest quality and integrity of social compliance assessments.

Forced labor, child labor and discrimination are some human rights risks that can impact the key players in a supply chain. These can include exploitative working conditions, long working hours, unequal pay and limited opportunities for advancement. It is important to know the human rights risks and impacts in your supply chain and take steps, including regular assessment, to address them.

Retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and distributors must take responsibility to source materials and products ethically and sustainably. They should also collaborate with other stakeholders, such as NGOs and industry associations, to address common supply chain challenges and drive industry-wide improvements.

By assessing factors, such as working conditions, wages and labor practices, you can identify any potential issues and take steps to address them. With the increased regulatory requirements, the assessment benefits the workers involved and helps to protect your organization’s reputation and mitigate potential legal and financial risks.

Our assessment can help to assess compliance with regulations relevant to human rights and working conditions. It facilitates the endeavors to meet Human Rights Due Diligence obligations, especially under certain jurisdictions that require companies to conduct human rights due diligence. By identifying potential risks and taking proactive steps to address them, you can minimize the risk of legal penalties, negative publicity and reputational damage. To note, a satisfactory assessment does not guarantee compliance, as it is ultimately up to you to ensure your compliance with all relevant regulations.

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1 Place des Alpes,

P.O. Box 2152, 1, 1211,

Geneva, Switzerland