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How to address the increasing need for Supply Chain Due Diligence and Transparency

Article, Industry Insights

How to address the increasing need for Supply Chain Due Diligence and Transparency

Across the world, organisations globally are being swept up in a metaphorical ESG regulatory net. This new era of regulation requires companies to assess human rights and environmental risks within their supply chains and report proactively on their mitigation efforts. But how to address this increasing need for supply chain due diligence and transparency? And how to collect and assess the detailed information these regulations require to comply with their rigorous reporting requirements?

A cost-effective solution to supply chain due diligence and transparency

The Achilles Transparency & Due Diligence Module is a simple, efficient and cost-effective way for companies to access the qualitative and quantitative human rights and environmental information that they need to comply with new supply chain due diligence legislation.

In its simplest form, the Module is a dynamic, online vendor questionnaire that provides a  standardised way for suppliers to provide the information that larger companies need for compliance.

The information collected provides a clear picture of the end to end supply chain, enables supply chain risk to be assessed, identifies where due diligence actions, support and improvement are most required, and produce the all-important reports required to demonstrate regulatory compliance.

Multi-lingual to support you wherever you are in the world

The questionnaire is provided in more than 20 languages with simultaneous translation of responses. Simply choose the language you want to work in and get started. Not only does that make it easier for vendors to engage with the process and share the level of detail needed for compliance, it also gives the buyers the information they need in their own native language. It also makes it easier for global teams to share important supply chain information across organisations and support more integrated streamlined procurement and supply chain processes.

Reducing the burden on suppliers

Importantly, vendors complete the form once and the information they provide can then be accessed by multiple customers and prospects – helping to reduce the impact of new legislation on the supply chain. The Achilles Transparency & Due Diligence Module also provides an effective way for suppliers to demonstrate their openness in sharing human rights and environmental information as well as their alignment to internationally recognised standards.

Comprehensive supply chain due diligence to meet international regulation and standards

The Achilles Transparency & Due Diligence Module draws on a wealth of Achilles knowledge and gained over 30 years of unrivalled supply chain transparency and risk management to global businesses as well as international guidelines, conventions and standards including:

  • International Labour Organisation (ILO) Fundamental Conventions – A set of core international labour standards that establish basic principles and rights at work. The conventions act as a crucial step in promoting fair and equitable labour practices globally.
  • Office for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises – Recently updated, the Guidelines provide a framework for ethical and sustainable business practices including human rights, environmental protection and anti-corruption.
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) – Adopted in 2015 as part of the Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 17 SDGs cover a variety of areas including promoting decent work, reduced inequalities and climate action.
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) – Adopted in 1948, the UDHR consists of 30 articles covering a range of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that should be recognised and protected. Articles include those that promote equality and non-discrimination and freedom from torture and slavery.

The new module has been compiled based on Achilles’ history of working with international human rights NGOs and charities and the voices of over 10,000 worker interviews in LATAM, North Africa, Europe, South and East Asia collected during the course of Achilles’ own extensive work in conducting social and ethical audits across the world

Why is It Important?

The Achilles Transparency & Due Diligence Module is an increasingly important element of our supply chain risk management and due diligence service. It’s important for several reasons including:

  • Alignment to International Standards – By aligning itself to international standards and conventions the module enables us to evaluate a company’s alignment to fundamental principles that countries around the world are signatories of. It has also been aligned with existing international supply chain due diligence legislation including the Lieferkettengesetz in Germany and Åpenhetsloven in Norway.
  • Increased Transparency – Identifying human rights and environmental risks and opportunities within international supply chains is a complex task and is multifaceted. The module enables company’s to provide information on what they are doing, as well as identifying areas that they may need support to improve on. Greater transparency enables greater opportunity to improve.
  • Continued Improvement – By analysing the data within our module we can support customers, industry and government bodies in identifying areas that require improvement. Findings from our existing questionnaires and audits have been used by international industry bodies and governments to improve prospects for people and the planet.
  • Promoting Collaboration – Our Transparency Module enables businesses around the world and supply chains to collaborate on improving risks and promoting opportunities. Transparent information, visible to multinational companies supports businesses in making the right, sustainable decisions.

Supply chain due diligence and transparency is increasingly being enshrined in law. In the 75 years that have followed the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, those laws are more important than ever. UN and Achilles own data shows that rather than getting better, things are actually getting worse for a significant proportion of the world’s population.

Achilles seeks to increase transparency, not just to support our clients in meeting legal obligations but to support everyone within the supply chain by promoting business as a force for good, acting in a transparent manner, helping companies improve by sharing best practice and enabling collaboration.

Further reading

Learn more about supply chain regulation across the world with our comprehensive guides:

Canada’s Bill S-211

Germany’s Lieferkettengesetz

Norway’s Apenhetsoven

India’s BRSR Core

EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (EU CS DDD)

Arrange to talk to a Supply Chain Due Diligence expert