Facts about Sedex

What is Sedex?

Sedex is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve ethical and responsible business practices in global supply chains. Sedex stands for Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, which is an online system that allows suppliers to maintain data on ethical & responsible practices and allows them to share this information with their customers. 

How does Sedex differ from other organisations such as the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI)?

Sedex is an online database which allows companies to store and view data on ethical and responsible business practices. Sedex does not set any standards or determine the policy of its members. It is purely a tool for facilitating access to information.

Is Sedex based on a specific code? 

Sedex stores information on ethical and responsible practices covered by ILO Conventions, ETI Base Code, SA 8000, ISO 14001 and industry specific codes of conduct. Sedex members can use the information on the system to evaluate suppliers against any of these codes or the labour standards provisions in individual corporate codes. Sedex itself does not specify a particular code or state that suppliers have 'passed' or 'failed'. 

What are the benefits of using Sedex?

Sedex aims to prevent the unnecessary duplication of information and can actually help to reduce bureaucracy. Sedex members only complete one questionnaire and can share this with multiple customers. 

Sedex provides an efficient and cost effective way of communicating with your customers, by making one set of data available to multiple customers. This helps reduce the need for multiple audits, allowing both parties to concentrate on making improvements.

What is SMETA 4-pillars? 

Developed by AIM-Progress in order to go beyond the requirements of a standard SMETA audit, SMETA 4-pillars is a common audit format which places emphasis upon environmental and business integrity. SMETA 4-pillars has been designed to meet a number of objectives which includes promotion of responsible sourcing within the supply chain and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of evaluation using a common methodology and allowing for the exchange of assessment data. 

What’s the difference between a 2-pillar audit and a 4-pillar audit? 

A SMETA 2-pillar audit covers labour standards and health and safety as mandatory elements plus entitlement to work, subcontracting and homeworking and a shortened Environment assessment as additional elements. The SMETA 4-pillar audit covers everything in the 2-pillar audit with an extended environmental assessment and business practices audit.