SPLC’s supplier sustainability ratings

Published: January 1, 2019 by Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC)

Green Freight, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Energy, Thriving Forests, Zero Waste

Does your organization know whether its suppliers are sustainability leaders or laggards? Do you include supplier sustainability scores in purchasing and supplier relationship management decisions? Would you like to know how to identify highly credible rating tools that are suitable for use in a procurement context?

SPLC’s supplier ratings assessment project helps purchasers like you make sense of the landscape of supplier ratings tools.

Not all ratings are created equal, which is why SPLC conducted research on third-party tools for evaluating supplier sustainability. Ratings tools vary considerably in their methodologies and scope. Tools evaluated included CDP, EcoVadis, MSCI, oekom, RobecoSAM and Sustainalytics.

Factors SPLC considered to determine the reliability of the ratings methodology included:

- The extent of the sustainability issues they cover (the number of indicators on which they rate and at what level of granularity).
- Whether the issues they cover are adjusted to be relevant to what is material in the sector, region and/or size of the company.
- How comprehensive is the assessment across various CSR risk areas.
- The extent to which the rating assesses the company’s operational performance and/or also their supply chain sustainability risks.
- The presence of procedures to make sure ratings methods were being applied systematically and fairly.
- In terms of scope, SPLC looked for raters that could evaluate suppliers in many geographies around the world.

SPLC also looked at transparency, comparability, standardization, and customizability of the rating.

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