Supply Chain Influence Checklist

  1. How can you tackle the risks occuring in your supply chain?

    You might be aware of CSR risks occuring in your supply chain.
    If necessary, use the CSR Risk Check to get more insight into these risks.

    Answering the questions in the following checklist will help you in influencing the CSR performance of you suppliers. You can do more than you might expect!

    All questions and suggested actions in this checklist have been based on the report The corporate responsibility to respect Human Rights in Supply Chains (Ruggie Framework)
  2. Where in the supply chain does the risk occur?

    With your direct supplier or further down the chain?

  3. Can you influence your direct supplier’s actions?

     

     

    When do you have influence?

    You have influence if you are able to change certain practices of (indirect) trade partners. This is the case if:

    • By talking to your business partner you manage to change his/her behaviour.
    • The conditions in your contract with the organisation leave room for inclusion of CSR requirements.
    • Your company represents a large part of the organisation’s turn-over.
    • The organisation is susceptible to your promises with regards to future assignments or support in provision of training.
    • Working together with you benefits the organisation ‘s reputation, whereas breaking off the relationship with you could potentially harm its reputation.
    • You are in a position to co-determine the organisation’s financial and operational policy.
    • You work together with other parties in the supply chain to exert pressure on the organisation (for example by means of a supply chain initiative).
    • You work together with the government to implement CSR-related rules and regulations; or to ensure adherance to the existing legal framework.
  4. Can you influence your direct supplier’s actions?

     

    When do you have influence?

    You have influence if you are able to change certain practices of (indirect) trade partners. This is the case if:

    • By talking to your business partner you manage to change his/her behaviour.
    • The conditions in your contract with the organisation leave room for inclusion of CSR requirements.
    • Your company represents a large part of the organisation’s turn-over.
    • The organisation is susceptible to your promises with regards to future assignments or support in provision of training.
    • Working together with you benefits the organisation ‘s reputation, whereas breaking off the relationship with you could potentially harm its reputation.
    • You are in a position to co-determine the organisation’s financial and operational policy.
    • You work together with other parties in the supply chain to exert pressure on the organisation (for example by means of a supply chain initiative).
    • You work together with the government to implement CSR-related rules and regulations; or to ensure adherance to the existing legal framework.
  5. You probably have more influence than you think

    Discuss the risk and possible solutions with your supplier

    How do you influence your supplier?

    During a meeting with your business partner discuss the risk and see if you can reach a solution together. The CSR Risk Check provides useful tips for targeted actions. Present these tips to your supplier.

    If you feel you have to exert more pressure to address the risk, you may want to:

    • Include specific conditions with regards to CSR in your contract with the organisation. Make sure you also include agreements on consequences in case your supplier does not meet the requirements.
    • Assess whether the organisation is receptive to promises about future assignments or support in conducting training sessions.
    • In case your company represents a large part of the organisation’s turn-over, use this as a lever to demand change.
    • Assess whether the organisation’s reputation benefits from cooperation with you, and would be damaged if you would end the relationship.
  6. Discuss the risk and possible solutions with your supplier

     

    Which solutions do you present to your supplier?

    The CSR Risk Check provides useful tips for targeted action per risk. The type of risk determines which actions are relevant. As it has now become clear that you can influence the organisation where the risk occurs, you can map out possible actions and start working on this with your supplier.

    Example: In case of corruption, targeted action could be keeping a list of dubious payments or drawing up an anti-corruption policy. You could require your supplier to keep such a list or draw up such a policy.

  7. Take the following actions:

    Step 1. Increase your influence on your direct trade partner

    Step 2. Present the risk, and possible ways to deal with it, to your supplier

    How do you increase your influence?

    You can increase your influence by:

    • Entering into talks with your supplier
    • Providing training to the organisation.
    • Joining an exisiting chain initiative
    • Including CSR conditions in your contracts, with mention of the consequences of non-adherance by your supplier.
    • Cooperating with other parties in the chain (such as the local community, governments and other customers of your supplier) and exerting direct pressure on the organisation.
    • Realizing change at regional and sectoral level in cooperation with other parties.

    Which solutions do you present to your supplier?

    • The CSR Risk Check provides useful tips for targeted action per risk. The type of risk determines which actions are relevant. As it has now become clear that you have influence on the organisation where the risk occurs, you can map out possible actions and start working on this with your supplier.
      Example: In case of corruption, targeted action could be keeping a list of dubious payments or drawing up an anti-corruption policy. You could require your supplier to keep such a list or draw up such a policy.
  8. Can you work with an alternative product involving no (or less significant) risks?

     

    Which type of alternative products should I think of?

    In case of severe risks and no alternative way of addressing these risks you may choose to stop your trade in this type of product. You can possibly avoid a risk by working with an alternative product. For example by switching to:

    • A different raw material
    • A different country/area of origin
    • A different supplier
    • A different product

    When looking for an alternative product please make sure that potential risks with this product are smaller than those involved in the original product. Use the CSR Risk Check to gain insight into the risks linked to the alternative product.

  9. Have you done everything within your power to address the risk?

    Then take steps to work with an alternative product.

    Why would you change to an alternative product?

    You have identified a risk that cannot be tackled directly, but can be avoided. We advise you to investigate possibillities to do this, such as: changing over to a different product, raw material or country/area of origin, or stopping your trade in the type of product in question.
    This could mean that you will have to start looking for a different business partner. Before doing so, give your suppliers a chance to improve and help them if this is deemed necessary. Abruptly ending a relationship is usually no solution nor desirable, as the problem is then shifted to a different buyer. In addition, the continuity of delivery may be jeopardized, especially with critical (strategic) suppliers, and the original supplier’s shortcomings with regards to sustainability remain unchanged. Take into account that suppliers are more likely to comply with your requirements if you employ fair trade conditions and prices, and if you try to maintain a pleasant working relationship.

  10. Have you done everything within your power to address the risk?

    Is there nothing else you can do?

    Unsustainable labour conditions and environmental issues occurring at your foreign suppliers will ultimately also influence your company’s sustainability. Be prepared to explain your actions.

  11. Is the risk being addressed by the organisation in your supply chain?

     

     

    How do you judge whether the risk is being addressed?

    You can ask the organisation to provide proof that:

    • Relevant management systems have been implemented.
    • Inspections in which the risk was assessed have taken place.
    • The organisation is being checked on this issue by other customers as well.
    • The organisation or its products bear relevant certificates or quality marks.
    • The organisation takes part in a relevant chain initiative.
  12. Can you influence the trade partner where the risk occurs?

     

    When do you have influence?

    You have influence if you are able to change certain practices of (indirect) trade partners. This is the case if:

    • By talking to your business partner you manage to change his/her behaviour.
    • The conditions in your contract with the organisation leave room for inclusion of CSR requirements.
    • Your company represents a large part of the organisation’s turn-over.
    • The organisation is susceptible to your promises with regards to future assignments or support in provision of training.
    • Working together with you benefits the organisation ‘s reputation, whereas breaking off the relationship with you could potentially harm its reputation.
    • You are in a position to co-determine the organisation’s financial and operational policy.
    • You work together with other parties in your supply chain to exert pressure on the organisation (for example by means of a supply chain initiative).
    • You work together with the government to implement CSR-related law and regulations or to ensure adherance.
  13. You probably have more influence than you think

    Discuss the risk and possible solutions with your (indirect) supplier.

    How do you influence the organisation in your supply chain?

    Enter into talks with the organisation where the risk occurs. Discuss the risk and see if you can reach a solution together. The CSR Risk Check provides useful tips for goal-oriented actions. Present these tips to the organisation.

    If you feel you have to exert more pressure to address the risk, you may want to:

    • Assess whether the organisation is receptive to promises about future assignments or support in conducting training sessions.
    • (In case your company represents a large part of the organisation’s turn-over) use this as an argument for change.
    • Assess whether the organisation’s reputation benefits from cooperation with you, and would be damaged if you would end the relationship.
  14. Discuss the risk and potential solutions with the party in your supply chain

     

    Which solutions do you present to the organisation in your supply chain?

    The CSR Risk Check provides useful tips for targeted action per risk. The type of risk determines which actions are relevant. Now that it is clear that you have influence on the organisation where the risk occurs, you can map out possible actions and start working on this with the organisation.
    Example: In case of corruption, targeted action could be keeping a list of dubious payments or drawing up an anti-corruption policy. You could require of your supplier to keep such a list or draw up such a policy.

  15. Can you influence your direct trade partner’s actions?

     

    When do you have influence?

    You have influence if you are able to change certain practices of (indirect) trade partners. This is the case if:

    • By talking to your business partner you manage to change his/her behaviour.
    • The conditions in your contract with the organisation leave room for inclusion of CSR requirements.
    • Your company represent a large part of the organisation’s turn-over.
    • The organisation is susceptible to your promises with regards to future assignments or support in providing training.
    • Working together with you benefits the organisation ‘s reputation, whereas breaking off the relationship with you could potentially harm its reputation.
    • You are in a position to co-determine the organisation’s financial and operational policy.
    • You work together with other parties in the supply chain to exert pressure on the organisation (for example by means of a supply chain initiative).
    • You work together with the government to implement CSR-related law and regulations or to ensure adherance.
  16. You probably have more influence than you think

    Present the risk, and possible ways to deal with it, to your direct trade partner and discuss whether you can address the risk together.

    How do you influence your supplier?

    Enter into talks with the organisation where the risk occurs. Present the risk and possible solutions to your direct business partner and see if you can reach a solution together which would ultimately change the bahaviour of the party in your supply chain. The CSR Risk Check provides useful tips for targeted actions. You may want to use these tips in your talks with your business partner.
    If you feel you have to exert more pressure to address the risk, you may want to:

    • Include specific conditions with regards to CSR in your contract with the organisation. Make sure you also include agreements on consequences in case your supplier does not meet the requirements.
    • Assess whether the organisation is receptive to promises about future assignments or support in conducting training sessions.
    • Assess whether your company represents a large part of the organisation’s turn-over and use this as an argument for change.
    • Assess whether the organisation’s reputation benefits from cooperation with you, and would be damaged if you would end the relationship.
  17. Present the risk, and possible ways to deal with it, to your direct business partner

    Discuss whether you can address the risk together

    Input to guide the discussion with your supplier

    You are aware of a relevant CSR risk further down your supply chain. You could inform your supplier of this risk and together assess to what level the chain in which you are both active is affected. You could point out examples of codes of conduct to your supplier – check the codes of conduct of Philips, AkzoNobel, and IKEA for inspiration– as well as relevant supply chain initiatives. You could, together with your supplier ,draw up questionnaires or arrange visits to the organisation harbouring the risk. Creating awareness of CSR risks and of the possibillities to tackle them could lead to a domino effect throughout the whole chain.
    In case your supplier (contrary to yourself) is able to directly influence the problematic organisation you could provide concrete advise through your supplier on changes the organisation could implement. Please refer to the CSR Risk Check for practical tips and concrete points of action.

  18. Take the following actions:

    Step 1. Increase your influence on the organisation in your supply chain where the risk occurs

    Step 2. Present the risk, and possible ways to deal with it, to the organisation in your supply chain

    How do you increase your influence?

    You can increase your influence by:

    • Entering into talks with organisations in your chain
    • Providing training to the organisation.
    • Joining an exisiting supply chain initiative
    • Cooperating with other parties in the chain (such as the local community, governments and other customers of the organisation) and exerting direct pressure on the organisation.
    • Realizing change at regional and sectoral level in cooperation with other parties.

    Which solutions do you present?

    The CSR Risk Check provides useful tips for targeted action per risk. The type of risk determines which actions are relevant. Assuming you managed to gain influence over the organisation where the risk occurs, you can map out potential actions and start working on this with the organisation.
    Example: In case of corruption, targeted action could be keeping a list of dubious payments or drawing up an anti-corruption policy.

  19. Can you work with an alternative product involving no (or less significant) risks?

     

    Which type of alternative products should I think of?

    In case of severe risks and no alternative way of addressing these risks you may choose to stop your trade in this type of product. You can possibly avoid a risk by working with an alternative product. For example by switching to:

    • A different raw material
    • A different country/area of origin
    • A different supplier
    • A different product

    When looking for an alternative product please make sure that potential risks with this product are smaller than those involved in the original product. Use the CSR Risk Check to gain insight into the risks linked to the alternative product.

  20. Have you done everything within your power to address the risk?

    Then take steps to work with an alternative product

    Why would you change to an alternative product?

    You have identified a risk that cannot be tackled directly, but can be avoided. We advise you to investigate possibillities to do this, such as: changing over to a different product, raw material or country/area of origin, or stopping your trade in the type of product in question.
    This could mean that you will have to start looking for a different business partner. Before doing so, give your suppliers a chance to improve and help them if this is deemed necessary. Abruptly ending a relationship is usually no solution nor desirable, as the problem is then shifted to a different buyer. In addition, the continuity of delivery may be jeopardized, especially with critical (strategic) suppliers, and the original supplier’s shortcomings with regards to sustainability remain unchanged. Take into account that suppliers are more likely to comply with your requirements if you employ fair trade conditions and prices, and if you try to maintain a pleasant working relationship.

  21. Have you done everything within your power to address the risk?

    Is there nothing else you can do?

    Unsustainable labour conditions and environmental issues occuring at your foreign suppliers will ultimately also influence your company’s sustainability. Be pr

  22. Check regularly with your suppliers whether the risk is being addressed

    Has your trade partner indeed taken action?

    Be aware that reducing risks is a continuing process

  23. Check regularly with your suppliers whether a risk is still being addressed

    Be aware that reducing risks is a continuing process

  24. Thank you

    You now have an indication of your influence on your (indirect) supplier.

    Would you like to tackle CSR risks by integrating them into your purchasing policies? MVO Nederland guides you through this process with the Step-by-Step Plan for Sustainable Procurement.

    Do you have any further questions or comments about the CSR Risk Check? Please contact us at: CSRRiskCheck@mvonederland.nl

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