How To: Validate Supply Chain Sustainability Claims … And Avoid Greenwashing

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Companies regularly make sustainability claims about their supply chains, from ethical and organic to deforestation- and child labor-free. These claims were traditionally supported by audits and certifications, which only validate a sample of suppliers, but new legislation requires accountability for the full end-to-end supply chain. With companies sourcing from thousands of suppliers and new technology that enables end-to-end traceability, audits and certification are no longer best practice: it’s time for comprehensive supply chain due diligence. That’s where supply chain transparency comes in. Here’s how it works:

  1. Know your suppliers, down to the last one. That means discovering who supplies your suppliers and their suppliers, and building up an extended database of every farm, every mine, every factory and distribution center, until you can trace each product from raw material finished good.

  2. Understand your risks: benchmark your suppliers to make sure that they live up to your codes of conduct, and incentivize them to improve performance year over year. This includes collecting data on their practices and comparing that self-reported data with trusted third-party sources.

  3. Verify the authenticity of your supply chain: make sure that your suppliers are actually who they claim to be by tracing and reconciling every transaction. Anything less than traceability means you’re exposed to smuggling or adulteration, which means your supply chains isn’t what you think it is.

  4. Validate the supply chain: this is the most important part. Make sure that there is a clear, well-documented business process in place to validate the data through buy-in from internal and external stakeholders and a secure tracking repository.

At Sourcemap we empower companies to take 100% control of their extended supply chains through software that supports best-in-class business processes, all while saving time and money. Get in touch and find out how easy it can be. Your general counsel will love you for it.