Governance, energy, labour, logistics (transport, packaging, storage), waste, water, suppliers, local communities...
- Do you have a sustainability and social responsibility strategy in place for reducing energy and water consumption, minimizing waste and pollution, reducing your impact on biodiversity and observing human rights across your entire supply chain?
- Do you regularly publish your company’s achievements, targets and timelines around responsible practices and are they publicly available?
- What processes do you have in place and what industry or multi-stakeholder collaborations are you part of, to ensure compliance on responsible practices across the entirety of your supply chain?
Energy and Emissions
- Are you calculating and disclosing both your direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from across your supply chain using tools such as the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard? What targets have you set over what period of time, to reduce your GHG emissions?
- How active are you in advocating for, and influencing policy-making on, a cleaner energy economy?
- What steps are you taking to reduce your energy consumption across the supply chain as well as your dependence on fossil fuels?
- What steps have you asked your energy provider to take to reduce the proportion of coal-fired power stations in their energy mix?
- Are you committed to using energy from renewable sources; where in your supply chain are you planning to use what percentage of renewable energy?
- How have you minimised the amount of energy you use to transport your goods and have you avoided air freight where possible?
- Where goods are shipped, are vessels as fuel-efficient as possible; have you consulted the Shipping Efficiency rating? Have vessels been (retro)fitted with propellers that minimize cavitation, fitted with sails to reduce engine use or do they simply travel at slower speeds, all of which reduce noise as well as fuel consumption?
- How have you ensured that the vehicles and vessels you use are efficient in their operations; for example do they never travel empty or are you working with drivers to support them to drive more efficiently?
- Have you tried to identify local suppliers and local markets for your products, to minimize your mileage?
- Have you explored the use of renewable fuels for the transport you use (for example, renewable electricity, used cooking oil)?
- Are you minimizing the amount of travel required by staff, especially where it necessitates flying, instead looking at alternatives such as video conferencing?
- Do you encourage staff to reduce their reliance on cars by promoting car shares, providing them with information about public transport services and offering advances on season bus or rail tickets, or allowing staff to purchase bicycles from pre-tax earnings?
- What steps are you taking towards achieving an A (most efficient) rating on your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your business premises?
- What measures have you taken to reduce energy wastage in your buildings, for example turning down the thermostat and regularly cleaning ventilation units?
- Do you use only energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
- What steps have you taken to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover all forms of waste generated in your supply chain?
- What policies and processes do you have in place to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover all the waste that your offices and outlets generate and what targets have you set to achieve more?
- Where waste is incinerated, what measures have been taken to prevent any mercury being released into the atmosphere?
- Can you assure me that your till receipts are not made from thermal paper that contains the harmful chemical Bisphenol A (BPA)?
- How have you minimised your packaging for both on-site purchases and delivered goods, and how much of the material you use can be reused or recycled?
- Do you accept back packaging for reuse or recycling, especially where it is not accepted for recycling by the local council?
- Can you offer a collection service for all flexible and rigid plastic packaging as well as composite packaging (where plastic is combined with foil; common in crisp packets and chocolate/ biscuit wrappers) that my local authority is not able to accept for recycling?
- What percentage of post-consumer waste does your paper and card contain?
- Is the paper or card you use from an independently-certified, sustainably-managed source?
- Where natural packaging (paper, cardboard and wood) is used, can you assure me that it has not been bleached with chlorine or treated with preservatives?
- Where plastic bags or sheets are used for the final packaging of non-food items, are they made from at least 75% recycled material?
- Are you considering alternatives to non-renewable oil-based plastic packaging that contain materials from responsibly-managed plant-based sources?
- Can you assure me that no endocrine-disrupting polyvinyl chloride (PVC), other chlorinated plastics or Polycarbonate (PC) have been used in your plastic packaging?
- Can you assure me that no endocrine-disrupting Bisphenol A (BPA) or closely-related chemicals such as Bisphenol S (BPS) or Bisphenol F (BPF), have been used in your plastic packaging or tin cans?
- Can you assure me that packaging in contact with food has not been treated with fungicides or other chemicals, or contains coatings, dyes or inks that contain phthalates?
Food (retailers and caterers)
- How much food do you throw away every week?
- Do you stock or serve wonky fruit and veg that would otherwise be thrown away?
- Do you have contracts with food suppliers that require them to overproduce; if so, how much waste has resulted from this practice?
- Have you researched extending the shelf-life of certain products to reduce waste?
- Do you redirect your food waste firstly to food banks, or for animal feed or to a bio-refinery to be made into other materials?
- How much waste occurs along the supply chain – during production, processing, transport and storage, and what steps have you taken to reduce this?
- Have you addressed the issue of water consumption along your supply chain particularly in countries currently experiencing, and those projected to experience, water shortages?
- How do you monitor your water use throughout your supply chain and what targets and timelines do you have in place to reduce your consumption?
- Are you equipping suppliers with tools to protect water resources in water-stressed areas?
- Are you developing Water of Life community projects in water-stressed areas where production sites are located to ensure access to safe water and sanitation?
- Are you investing in maintaining or improving biodiversity and ecological and hydrological processes at the catchment level, returning to the water cycle the equivalent amount of water used to make your final product? For example through reforestation, wetland recovery, or encouraging improved farming irrigation techniques.
- Do you use water-saving products in your buildings, such as water-efficient certified appliances and lower flow taps?
- Do you encourage staff to reduce their bottled water consumption by ensuring the provision of adequate drinking water facilities in your buildings?
- Is your water supplier investing in measures to reduce water loss in its supply system, particularly from leaky pipes?
- Does your water supplier have a ‘catchment management’ plan; do they have plans to re-naturalise any rivers and wetlands and are they working with farmers in the area to minimise soil erosion and chemical run-off entering the water supply?
- Do you have a purchasing policy that states how you conduct price negotiations, how you maintain on-going trading relationships, the appeals procedure and any other relevant issues?
- Do you pay your suppliers a fair price, pay them on time, cover the costs of storage, interest and insurance where delivery of goods has been delayed, respect contractual agreements and avoid unreasonable charges and penalties?
- Do you offer financial or other support to your suppliers, for example supporting community activities, sharing profits, enabling farmers to develop resilience towards climate change or any other training opportunities?
Labour and local communities
Labour (the entire supply chain)
- Do you observe national employment legislation and are you compliant with all relevant International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions related to labour?
- Can you assure me that there is no forced or bonded labour in your supply chain and have you exercised due diligence to prevent human trafficking?
- Can you assure me that no children below the age of 15 are employed in your supply chain and that no children below the age of 18 are employed in dangerous and exploitative work?
- Do you and your suppliers offer acceptable living wages, reasonable hours of work, decent and safe working conditions and empowerment in the work place (for example via a workers' union)?
- How are worker grievances aired and how are they monitored?
- For employees on plantation estates, do you provide them with adequate housing, access to schools, shops, safe drinking water and medical facilities and are they able to grow their own crops?
- Can you assure me that your suppliers have not participated in or benefited from illegal, forced relocations of individuals or local communities?
- Do your suppliers respect the rights of local communities and indigenous people, in particular land and property rights?
- Do your suppliers employ workers, and source goods and services, locally whenever practicable?