Request to EcoVadis:
Disclosure of EcoVadis CSR assessment reports to the employees of assessed suppliers
=== Brief ===
This is about improving the credibility of assessments by EcoVadis SAS (Paris, France) of the “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) of suppliers.
Herewith the petitioners demand, that reports on assessments of the CSR by EcoVadis are disclosed to the employees of the assessed suppliers. Disclosing CSR assessment reports to their employees also contributes to more honest self-assessments by suppliers, because that enables the employees of the assessed supplier to compare their employer’s CSR assessment with the real CSR practice experienced by the employees.
=== Detail ===
CSR assessments and rankings became an important tool for “reputation management” of suppliers of goods and services. The pressure on customers to purchase “ethically” from “social responsible” suppliers still is increasing. This created a flourishing CSR assessment business. As of today, several CSR assessment providers help suppliers to advertise their CSR with rankings, awards and certificates. In too many cases such awards just are badges on the walls of the suppliers, because their customers don’t really want to know the details. They are happy to cover their bases just with their supplier’s CSR certificate, CSR award or CSR ranking and believe that such kind of “evidence” is enough for responsible purchasing.
One of the best known tools in the CSR ranking market is the DJSI (Dow Jones Sustainability Index). I mention the DJSI, because there is a critical assessment of such CSR assessment tools as well as a short excerpt from that critical meta-assessment. It gives you a general idea about the CSR assessment business.
This petition, however, is about an even simpler CSR assessment tool: EcoVadis.
EcoVadis works with a web-based tool which uses a supplier self-assessment questionnaire to generate scorecards based on allegedly validated data, describing the strengths and weaknesses of suppliers’ ethical and environmental performance. The tool is designed to rate and benchmark responsible performance in the supply chain. The design of the tool allows EcoVadis to assess thousands of suppliers at low cost.
EcoVadis assesses the management of CSR of companies which are suppliers of goods and services. Stakeholders of a supplier’s CSR practice are the society, the customers and the employees of that supplier.
- As for society as a CSR stakeholder, only few supplies disclose the “EcoVadis Premium Assessment Report” to the public. This kind of credible and transparent CSR reporting unfortunately still is exceptional.
- As for customers as CSR stakeholders, the EcoVadis tool supports a process by which customers can request CSR assessment reports from any evaluated supplier. The supplier can either accept or reject such a request.
- As for employees as CSR stakeholders, most suppliers do not disclose the CSR assessment reports generated by EcoVadis to their employees. They even reject requests by their employee representatives to disclose the CSR assessment report even though the report contains several pages on “LABOR PRACTICES & HUMAN RIGHTS”. Therefore the employees of an assessed company cannot compare their employer’s CSR assessment with the real CSR practice experienced by them as insiders. They cannot check whether their employer reported the truth to EcoVadis and/or whether that reporting is flawed by bias and imbalanced inclusion.
=== Petition to EcoVadis SAS, Paris, France ===
The disclosure of CSR assessment reports to the employees of an assessed supplier enables the employees to compare their employer’s CSR assessment with the real CSR practice experienced by the employees. Therefore EcoVadis should actively support the disclosure of the EcoVadis CSR assessment report to the employees of an supplier assessed by EcoVadis.
Possible means of such support: As in the past, suppliers assessed by EcoVadis decide themselves how, when and to which extent stakeholders they will disclose the EcoVadis CSR assessment report. However, besides issuing “gold” or “silver” awards, EcoVadis also will indicate in the EvoVadis Certificate issued to the supplier, to which degree that supplier is committed to disclose the EcoVadis CSR Assessment Report to the employees of that supplier.
Based on http://www.endress.com/_storage/asset/1576641/storage/master/file/6849002/download/eh_EcoVadis_Premium_Report_2016.pdf (chapter 10, p. 24/31) “legitimate stakeholder” as defined by EcoVadis are:
- Governmental organizations (i.e. government environmental protection administrations, anti-trust agencies, customers protection agencies)
- CSR networks and initiatives
- Trade unions and employers’ organizations
- International organizations (i.e. UN, ILO, UNEP, …)
- NGO’s (i.e. Greenpeace, Clean Clothes Campaign, Transparency international, UFC, …)
- Research institutes and reputable press (CSR Asia, Blacksmith Institute, …)
A corporate stakeholder is a party that can affect or be affected by the actions of the company and the achievement of its objectives (i.e. employees, clients, suppliers).
- https://www.dsm.com/content/dam/dsm/cworld/en_US/documents/handbook-for-product-social-impact-assessment.pdf (S. 116)
- https://odpowiedzialnybiznes.pl/public/files/Rate_the_raters_phase_2_report_AccountAbility_2010.pdf (S. 12: “If It’s Not Public, You’re Not Doing It”)