With over 30,000 members worldwide, the SEDEX community provides companies with the assurance that their partner meets the best practice requirements of the SMETA catalog in terms of sustainability in the supply chain.
Companies that have a SEDEX audit performed according to the SMETA guidelines and share this information in the database can show their buyers that they respect the principles of ethical and social sustainability in production. The findings of your audit are used to produce a detailed report for the SEDEX database. There you can provide your clientele with insight into the audit results and thus demonstrate you meet the requirements of your clientele.
A SMETA includes assessing compliance to Labor Standards (including Entitlement to Work, Subcontracting, and Homeworking), Health & Safety, workers’ rights, an Environmental Assessment, and Business Ethics.
On the other hand, buyers get the opportunity to effectively manage their supply chain according to these principles and thus reduce their risk. A SMETA audit looks into the areas of a company (supplier) where they may be lax in their adherence to the principles set forth by SMETA guidelines. This includes suppliers who are responsible for meeting ethical standards throughout the supply chain.
The SMETA standard itself focuses on using audits and reviews to improve the training of employees, improve supplier management, and stop the occurrence of forced labor or dangerous products. These audits help create policies that eliminate fraudulent and inappropriate actions from happening again.
In terms of training and education, SMETA looks into whether or not suppliers are providing accurate and relevant training and other guidance materials. In addition to this, they also look into whether or not the training and other guidance documents are complete and accurate. In many cases, auditors conduct interviews with the employees of a company. During these interviews, they obtain further information on the attitudes and behaviors of the staff. From this information, the auditors create documents that focus on the areas of greatest concern. As a result of this, the auditors determine the areas of greatest concern and then create a draft of the SMETA guidelines for each supplier.
A social audit is one of the best ways to understand the working conditions at a supplier site. An auditor physically attends the site - or workplace - of a business, enabling the auditor to assess the conditions on the ground.
Social audits enable businesses to assess their suppliers, monitor the health and safety of workers, and signal zero tolerance of human rights abuses such as child and forced labor. Once an audit is complete, buyer and supplier businesses can work together to address any issues, based on a Corrective Action Plan (CAPR).
This social audit methodology is designed for suppliers to share one report with multiple customers, meeting multiple customer requirements and reducing duplication in social compliance auditing.
SMETA is not a certification process or standard - it is one of the most widely used ethical audit formats in the world. The Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI Code) serves as the basis. As a rule, the impetus for a SEDEX audit comes from a supplier’s customer.
The auditor will check your information for compliance with the criteria of the SMETA. At the same time, auditors record any deficiencies and develop a concept with you to implement the identified potential for improvement through suitable measures.
Sedex helps more than 55,000 members in more than 180 countries to work together to better manage their social and environmental performance and implement measures to protect people, the environment, and their businesses.