The frequently asked questions about the CSR Risk Check are listed below. We explain some definitions, the content of the CSR Risk Check, how to use the CSR Risk Check and user services. Does this leave your question unanswered? The CSR Risk Check team of MVO Nederland can help by providing tips or brainstorming about possible action points. Fill out this contact form and we will contact you as soon as possible.
1. What is a CSR risk?
A ‘CSR risk’ does not refer to a (financial) risk for the organisation, but to a risk related to the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We define a CSR risk as the potential damage that companies may cause towards people, the environment and society, either by direct involvement, or by indirect contribution via trade partners. It is therefore an externally oriented interpretation of risk (risks for society) rather than a company risk. Causing damage to society could have a negative effect on the company, e.g. reputational damage or financial liability, but those risks will not be discussed in the CSR Risk Check
Internationally accepted CSR-themes include corruption, human rights and environment. This page provides a complete overview of all CSR theme that are included in the CSR Risk Check.
2. What is CSR risk management?
Governments, NGOs and business partners expect from companies to operate with respect for people and planet. Internationally, this is laid down in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Companies are urged to identify, prevent and reduce CSR risks in their production processes and supply chain. This approach is also known as ‘due diligence’ or ‘CSR risk management’. We have divided the implementation of CSR risk management into a roadmap with 8 practical steps.
THE CONTENT OF THE CSR RISK CHECK
3. Where does the information in the CSR Risk Check come from?
The CSR Risk Check shows briefly described risks identified by us related to countries and/or products & services, on 22 themes. We extract the information on risks (and the related advices) from public online sources, so we can refer you to the original source for more information.
Information on CSR risks is not (yet) available for all countries and products, but this does not mean that there are no risks. We are continuously working to ensure that the tool is and remains as exhaustive as possible. If you have any suggestions for interesting tools, or relevant sources for specific countries/products that should be included in our database, please fill out this contact form!
4. How often is the information updated?
The CSR Risk Check team is continuously updating risks and advices in the extensive database. We do this in a number of ways. Firstly, we ensure that sources are no older than five years, by checking for newer sources, or by removing the risk/advice if it is no longer relevant. If you do encounter a source that is older than five years, the source has been checked and we consider the information still relevant. Secondly, there is a large number of sources that appear periodically and that we therefore update annually (or more frequently). Thirdly, we keep an eye on media and newsletters, from which we extract new information. Finally, experts in the field of CSR and users point us to new sources, which we use to update risks and advices.
5. How reliable is the information in the CSR Risk Check?
The risks and advices described in the database come from public online sources, of which we always do a reliability check. For example, a source cannot have a commercial purpose, we check to what extent the information is independent and the author (person or organization) must be recognizable and reliable. If you believe one of the sources provides incorrect information, please let us know so we can remove the source if necessary.
MVO Nederland does not make any statement on the severity of the identified risk, or on the likelihood that the risk will actually occur in your supply chain. You are responsible for: 1) interpreting the severity of the risks in relation to the activities of your company, and 2) formulating and implementing appropriate measures to prevent or reduce these risks. This can be achieved by following the steps of the Roadmap to CSR Risk Management.
USING THE CSR RISK CHECK
6. Who should use the CSR Risk Check?
The CSR Risk Check is meant for entrepreneurs who purchase/import from abroad, or produce there themselves. After completing the CSR Risk Check you will know what international CSR risks are related to your trading activities and what you can do to limit the risks.
7. What results do I get from the CSR Risk Check?
The results that appear after completing the three steps of the tool, are also available for download as a pdf. This report includes all the risks and advices in the database regarding the 1) selected country; 2) selected product/service; and 3) country-product combination.
Products and services: There are several levels within the product list. For example, one of the main categories is ‘vegetables and fruit’, under which products are divided into subcategories. If you search for a specific product, like oranges, you will get the results of this specific product AND all product categories where this product belongs to. In this case, the CSR Risk Check will also show the category ‘vegetables and fruit’. If you choose a general product category, you will not receive the information about the underlying products.
Countries: If you only search for a country, you will see the risks from the database for only that country. The results that belong to specific products from that country, will not be shown.
Country-product combinations: If you choose a country-product combination, you will get the results for both this combination, the country-results and the product-results.
8. What information can the CSR Risk Check not show?
Since we only collect information from public online sources, the CSR Risk Check database does not include information from paid sources or scientific research that is not publicly available. The information in the database is an independent summary we produce based on the consulted sources, and is not the opinion of MVO Nederland or the government. We also describe the general theoretical risk related to the selected country and/or product. This risk is not specific to your company, as we do not know how your supply chain is organized and what measures you may already have taken.
If you want to gain more specific insight into the level of risk for your company, please contact us for tailored advice.
See also the disclaimer for more explanation about boundaries and characterictics of the tool.
9. Why does the CSR Risk Check not show information about the different components of my product?
The CSR Risk Check only shows risks that, according to the sources consulted, are directly related to the selected product (or service). Since we do not know what and how many components your product consists of, we cannot give information about them.
For example, if you enter "clothing" you will get information about the risks in clothing production, but not about the risks related to cotton production, because textiles are not necessarily made of cotton. To find out the specific risks in this case, you would have to search for "cotton".
10. If I don’t find any risks in the CSR Risk Check, does that mean there's no problem?
The CSR Risk Check shows possible CSR risks based on public and online sources. We can only show information that is available, yet that does not mean that a product/service or country is risk-free when there are no risks in the database. It just means that there is no information available (yet). Especially for countries with which little business is done (such as North Korea) or products that are traded mainly by companies among themselves (such as metal parts of machines), little information is available.
If no risks are shown for your choice, try searching for a more specific product. And consult stakeholders such as NGOs to find out what possible risks might be.
See also the disclaimer for more explanation about boundaries and characterictics of the tool.
11. What kind of advice does the CSR Risk Check generate?
Based on the same sources that we use to summarize risks by product/service or country, we also write brief advices. There are considerably fewer advices than risks available, so we make sure that for each theme there is always one generic theme-advice with general tips for addressing risks related to that theme.
Would you like more advice for your specific situation? Then contact us via the contact form.
12. What can I do after using the CSR Risk Check?
If you use the CSR Risk Check to analyze a country and/or product, you will receive a pdf containing information about the potential risks associated with it. Use the Roadmap to CSR Risk Management to take further steps in your supply chain, such as measures to manage the risks found, or ways to motivate your suppliers to transition into a more sustainable business. You can also use the Supply Chain Influence Checklist to find out how you can exert more influence in your supply chain. Are you curious how CSR themes are linked to the Sustainable Development Goals? Check out this page.
If you create an account in the CSR Risk Check, your results will be saved and you will receive regular updates by email when the information for your countries/products changes.
13. Is it mandatory to create an account?
No, it is not necessary to create an account in order to use the CSR Risk Check. However, there are a number of advantages to having a (free) account:
- Access to the Quick Check Priorities;
- Automatically save your searches;
- Save reports in a personal overview;
- Receive notifications when the information on your country/product has been updated.
14. How can I help improve the CSR Risk Check?
Because the CSR Risk Check is a free and anonymous tool, we don't get much feedback from users, even though we think that's very valuable. We would like to know your opinion on using the tool, and your recommendations for improvement.
If you're willing to contribute to this, please fill out our short user survey.
Of course you can also send an email to the Risk Check team, in that case send us a message through the contact form.