SEDEX is a non-profit membership organisation, which comprises over 50,000 members, multi-sector, in around 150 countries. To become a SEDEX certified organisation, a company must undertake a series of audits and implement the recommendations made by the auditors; the results of these audits are published on the SEDEX online platform and ethical audit reports are shared with customers. Such practice boosts the image of the company not just among competitors, but also among clients.
The SEDEX Member Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) was developed by SEDEX to regulate social audit codes and monitoring procedures; to easily expedite auditing procedures across the supply chain by sharing of reports, labour standards and improvement solutions.
When companies successfully become SMETA compliant, they are entered into the SEDEX online database where they can easily network with other suppliers and prospective clients, and increase their visibility in new markets across the globe.
The globally accepted SMETA methodology was conceptualised to implement consistent improvement processes and to converge social audit monitoring and standard practices within supply chains. It is primarily based on business ethics, health and safety, environment and best labour practices, the four pillars of SEDEX.
With SMETA, companies can effectively map and manage the best commercial practices across each tier of their supply chain and be informed about the risks, which may harm the chain and overall business.
The audit is based on 2-pillar and 4-pillar parameters. While the 2-pillar audits is based on standards prescribed by the Ethical Training Initiative (ETI code), the 4-pillar audit adds comprehensive environmental management standards, including best business practices. The audit also follows the ethical standards mandated by the SA8000, ISO14001 among other industry specific codes.
Owing to the vastness and complex challenges of modern supply chains, global companies are incorporating the SMETA format, because they believe it is a solution to improve the performances and sustainability of these chains. The SMETA solution is a collaborative effort towards achieving common goals as a result of implementing shared standards.
From a corporate social responsibility perspective, companies aim to consistently improve the transparency of their supply chain. They develop a transparent social auditing system of all tiers of the chain, which will enable them to achieve insight, thus creating value throughout the supply chain. With a SEDEX audit, companies can support local communities by promoting sustainable living practices.
When SMETA becomes a part of CSR, companies are motivated to focus on improving the entire supply chain, based on the four pillars of SMETA: Labour standards, Environment, Health and Safety, and Business integrity. Using SMETA’s tools and resources, companies achieve these goals, which result in responsible corporate practices and meeting CSR goals.
URS Verification Pvt Ltd is a Sedex Affiliate Audit Company. Sedex Services are delivered in association with URS Verification.
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