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Resource Library

Ethical Sourcing

General information and resources

Our Ethical Supply component is relevant to all organisations, but proportionality comes in. For smaller organisations, where there is no manufacturing or supplying of goods for example, less is expected. You are required to do what could be reasonably expected for a small organisation not supplying/manufacturing. For example, when looking at office supplies and PC’s, look for certification schemes (FSC for paper, Fairtrade for coffee etc.), source from a GBC member or use Ethical Consumer for information on suppliers.  Your organisation should also be aware of modern slavery issues, especially if you use agency workers and ensure you have measures in place for this.

Resources on Modern Slavery, Research, Publications, Supplier Codes of Conduct and examples from GBC accredited organisations below.

Key Principles with small organisations in mind

Understanding how to be a responsible organisation in your supply chain can feel like a daunting task for small organisations, particularly for those with few resources to take on a new project.

These points were taken from Ethical Consumer Founder, Rob Harrison’s workshop with GBC organisations.

What does ethically sourced mean? | Sedex 
Sedex define ethical sourcing and provide free resources and events, as well as a consultancy service. See their key trends in responsible sourcing webinar and their supplier questionnaire

Home | CIPS
The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) offer a large amount of resources on ethical procurement. See their Sustainable and Ethical Procurement Guide,
Ethical Procurement and Supply eLearning, Tracking Modern Slavery in Supply Chains and Circular Procurement. 

Resources for Embedding Sustainability | Embedding Project 
The Embedding Project create
and curate resources to help organisations do their part on sustainability.

Information for suppliers | Oxfam GB 
Oxfam has guides for their own SME suppliers, and they have a Business Advisory Service.

Home | Business Declares
Business Declares offer environmental training and resources, as well as having a good example of a detailed Supplier Sustainability and Ethics Questionnaire. 

Work with a greener supply chain | Zero Carbon Business
Zero Carbon Business provide environmental resources and training, as well as advice on how to work with a greener supply chain.

The next frontier of sustainable procurement | EcoVadis
EcoVadis are a business sustainability ratings organisation who offer services to assess supply chains and useful resources. Many industries and socially responsible companies already have initiatives in place to create a common set of standards around supplier codes of conduct that you can use to model your own practices. Examples include the Ethical Trading Initiative, Fair Labour Association and Electronic Industry Citizen Coalition. 

How to Tackle Suppliers Emissions: A Guide for Procurers | Business in the Community
This toolkit from Business in the Community is a simple guide with lots of links to other resources. They also provide a range of other toolkits, some free to non-members.