Supplier Sustainability: A Selected List of Resources

If you are in procurement, then you are well aware of the importance of sustainability when evaluating suppliers. Articles appearing in procurement and supply chain trade and professional literature have been increasing and it can be predicted that the topic will only grow in importance. Adding another contribution is this list of selected tools and resources that will aid procurement professionals in sustainability efforts, especially in the areas of supplier management and discovery.


CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply) Sustainability Index

The CIPS Sustainability Index (CSI) allows you to benchmark your suppliers’ organizational sustainability with a cross-sector financial, social and environmental audit. Currently available in the UK and Ireland, with plans to expand worldwide it is a measurement tool that allows suppliers to prove their sustainability credentials and buyers to obtain essential sustainability information in an efficient manner.



CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, runs a global disclosure system that enables companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts. Basically, CDP asks companies, cities, and regions for data on their environmental performance, which is then transformed into analysis on critical environmental risks, opportunities and impacts and made available to businesses. In 2016, 89 organizations requested data from over 8,300 suppliers worldwide through CDP’s supply chain program (website).



CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability information and ratings on major global companies covering the categories of Community, Employees, Environment, and Governance. CSRHub pulls together information across a wide range of different sustainability measurements and data sources and transforms it into a 0 to 100 scale, with 100 being the best rating. The amount and quality of data sources used to calculate the ratings is truly impressive. Examples of sources include ASSET4, CDP, EIRIS, IW Financial, RepRisk, Trucost and Vigeo. Company ratings are open source. Subscribers, paying a reasonable fee, have access to detailed information, including purchasing reports from source providers.


Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI)

The Dow Jones Sustainability World Index was launched in 1999 as the first global sustainability benchmark. Now, the DJSI family is offered cooperatively by RobecoSAM and S&P Dow Jones Indices and tracks the stock performance of the world’s leading companies in terms of economic, environmental and social criteria (website).



Founded in 2007, EcoVadis operates a collaborative platform that provides Supplier Sustainability Ratings for global supply chains. The EcoVadis solution combines the ratings platform with a portfolio of scorecard and monitoring tools that include:

  • CSR scorecard – for companies to monitor environmental, ethical, and social practices of suppliers and business partners across 150 purchasing categories and 110 countries. It shows CSR performance of each supplier on 21 CSR indicators grouped in 4 themes (Environment, Labor/Social, Fair business/Ethics, and Supply Chain) rated from 1 to 100
  • The Benchmark tool – allows you to compare one supplier to others within the same purchasing category or within the same country.
  • Strengths and Improvements Area – provides more details and insights into the 4 theme scores.
  • Corrective Action Plan – collaborative tool helps with developing effective dialogue between buyers and suppliers.
  • Category Profile – offers practical insight into the key sustainability issues which are applicable to the supplier industry of operation


ISM (Institute for Supply Management) Supplier Risk Index

ISM, partnering with the Ethisphere, offers the Supplier Risk Index, which measures risk throughout your supply chain. It can “help you identify potential supply disruptions — including disasters, and ethics, compliance and sustainability issues — to keep your business running and protect your brand.” The Index is a series of survey questions made up of three indices: 1) Risk Index, 2) Ethics Index, and 3) Sustainability Index.


ISO 20400 – Sustainable Procurement Guidance

ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 163 national standards bodies that publishes International Standards and related documents covering multiple industries. ISO 20400, Sustainable procurement – Guidance is a new standard in development will provide guidelines for organizations wanting to integrate sustainability into their procurement processes. As of August 2016, it reached a second Draft International Standard (DIS) stage. ISO 20400 will complement ISO 26000, Guidance on social responsibility (website).



RepRisk provides ESG (environmental, social and governance) risk data for due diligence, research, and monitoring. Products of interest include the RepRisk ESG Risk Platform and RepRisk Supplier Monitoring Brief. The ESG Risk Platform is the flagship offering and serves as the foundation for all their products and services, with a research scope covering 28 ESG issues. RepRisk Supplier Monitoring Briefs allow you to systematically screen large supplier bases and identify suppliers who are most exposed to ESG risks. You can customize the briefs to include suppliers of choice, the frequency of delivery, and the ESG criteria. Delivered in PDF format, the Supplier Brief is generated to include the latest data from the ESG Risk Platform.



Sedex, (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange), is a nonprofit membership-based organization dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. Sedex is a collaborative platform that shares supply chain data for the purpose of analyzing ethical assessments, action plans and corrective actions, and to track progress over time. For buyers, a variety of reporting tools enables you to keep track of your suppliers’ performance. The core product allows members to store, share and report on information in four key areas: Labor Standards, Health & Safety, The Environment, and Business Ethics. Three different types of memberships are offered: Buyer, Buyer/Supplier, and Supplier.


Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council

The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPCL) launched in July 2013 and is a “non-profit organization whose mission is to support and recognize purchasing leadership that accelerates the transition to a prosperous and sustainable future.” SPLC has defined leadership in sustainable purchasing according to the five principles: Understanding, Commitment, Results, Innovation, and Transparency. The Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing helps an organization understand and optimize the environmental, social, and economic performance of its purchasing.


The Sustainability Consortium

The Sustainability Consortium was created in 2009 and is represented by a membership that includes corporations, NGOs, academic institutions, governments, and trade organizations. The Consortium is dedicated to improving global consumer products sustainability efforts, including global supply chains. It is jointly administered by Arizona State University and University of Arkansas with offices in Europe and China. The consortiums most helpful resources include these interactive Product Sustainability Toolkits:

  • Category Sustainability Profile (CSP) – a summary of the best available, credible, and actionable knowledge about the sustainability aspects related to a product category over its entire life
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI) – questions that companies and organizations can use to assess and track the performance of suppliers on critical sustainability issues
  • Sustainability Snapshot – a one-page summary of relevant issues, hotspots, and improvement opportunities for a product category in an accessible overview

Photo by Master Wen on Unsplash

Copyright © Copyright 2024 Cottrill Research. Site By Hunter.Marketing