SMETA 4-pillars responsible sourcing

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What is SMETA?

SMETA stands for Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit. Sedex is a not for profit membership organisation that aims to improve ethical and responsible business practices in global supply chains. A SMETA 2-pillars audit covers labour standards and health and safety. Environmental and business ethics elements are added for the more comprehensive 4-pillars audit.

Benefits include:

  • An effective way to share information with your customers and reduce duplication of audits by uploading data onto the Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) database.
  • Improved supply chain management and brand protection through a commitment to responsible sourcing.
  • More efficient and effective evaluation of data thanks to the common methodology.

Why choose LRQA for your SMETA audit?

LRQA has a long history of providing environmental, health and safety and ethical audits that enable our clients to demonstrate a holistic approach to responsible business throughout the global supply chain. Our unique methodology ensures that our social audits focus on the areas and issues that are important to your business and can help you build a robust system to identify potential hazards and risks and control these risks at the right place in the supply chain.

We have been delivering SMETA and SA 8000 audits since 2008 and have over 100 auditors worldwide. The technical know-how and project management expertise of our experienced and highly trained auditors ensures that we can adapt our assurance services to your business needs.

The local knowledge and soft skills of our auditors are particularly important, as they help to put the workforce at ease so that they feel comfortable to give an open and frank testimony of their working conditions.

We work with Partner Africa, a leading not-for-profit social enterprise and a pioneer in the field of ethical and socially responsible business practice, to deliver social compliance audits (including SMETA) for our clients and their supply chains across Africa. Their participatory methodologies enable workers to take a more active part in the audit process, enable auditors to understand the root causes of issues, and provide the facility with valuable insights into their business and practical recommendations for improvement.

SMETA 4-pillars audit process

The foundation for any SMETA 4-pillars audit starts with four key areas of focus - the four pillars of:

  • Labour standards
  • Environmental management
  • Health and safety
  • Business integrity

These pillars are considered at every stage of the audit.

SMETA 4P audit process diagram