AIM-PROGRESS - Program for responsible sourcing
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26 July 2016

18,000 audited supplier sites available for mutual recognition

One of the main drivers for setting up AIM-PROGRESS was to enable mutual recognition of ethical audits with the objective of reducing audit costs and fatigue. A simple spreadsheet through which member companies share supplier sites they have audited over the last three years - duly anonomysed by the Secretariat - provides a central resource for participants to check whether a supplier they wish to audit has already undergone an assessment by another company, and which they might be ready to recognise. We are pleased to report that the latest list contains over 18,000 supplier sites which are available for mutual recognition of audits.

Of course, mutual recognition can only work if audits are based on equivalent audit protocols - the AIM-PROGRESS benchmark is the SMETA 4 pillar audit. Given the increasing member expectations for ethical audits AIM-PROGRESS is actively contributing to an enhancement of SMETA to include more checkpoints, such as land rights, migrant labor, human trafficking, increased environmental and business integrity expecations. The updated SMETA protocol is expected for the end of 2016.

To learn more about how AIM-PROGRESS enables mutual recognition you can go to the relevant page on our website.






06 July 2016

Latest AIM-PROGRESS survey on Responsible Sourcing in FMCG

AIM-PROGRESS members continue to demonstrate progress on responsible sourcing reveals the latest responsible sourcing survey by the initiative, now in its 5th edition. 27% of partlcipating companies report their programmes are ‘Mature’ or ‘Advanced’ in 2015, an 11% increase over 2014. To support this progress, members are resourcing programmes with increasing budgets and more employees, and report more senior-level oversight than in previous years. Most members have commitments or targets, and track input metrics such as the number of supplier assessments completed. More mature members also track impact KPIs.


In 2015, AIM-PROGRESS members were doing more to integrate responsible sourcing (RS) expectations into procurement processes: the number of members that have RS expectations as part of supplier authorization has increased by 16% to 32 companies. More mature programs are more likely to integrate RS expectations into buyer or supplier incentives.


Companies are conducting more supplier ethical audits and report higher rates of effective remediation in 2015. Over 17,700 audits were conducted in 2015, an increase of 26% compared to 2014. Members plan to conduct more audits in 2016. More suppliers required corrective action in 2015 as compared to the previous two years, but closure rates are higher in 2015, with 86% of suppliers closing their corrective action plans by the end of the year. Over 350,000 workers were impacted by corrective actions implemented in the workplace, which is slightly less than in the previous year, but may be due to a different reporting base .

Responsible sourcing continues to be strongly influenced by the international Human Rights agenda. 76% of members indicated that they are currently implementing or planning to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, a 10% increase over 2014. In addition to the influence of new regulations, such as the UK Modern Slavery Act, companies highlight forced labor and human trafficking as emerging areas of concern in their supply chains. About half of members integrate human trafficking content in codes of conduct and offer suppliers access to a grievance mechanism.
Members continue to derive value from AIM-PROGRESS membership, and programme maturity correlates with the number of years a company has been a member of AIM-PROGRESS. Members cite opportunities to share best practices, benchmark against peers, gain external credibility, and access the mutual recognition programme as the most valuable aspects of AIM-PROGRESS.
On the downside, challenges remain for supply chain capability building - a key to increasing maturity on RS - with companies still concentrating on internal training, rather than on supplier education. Also, more engagement is necessary to drive the human rights agenda, in particular the fight against human trafficking and supplier access to grievance mechanisms. Impact KPIs should be established not only by more mature companies but by all AIM-PROGRESS members. AIM-PROGRESS is conducting a project to equip members with the necessary methodology and tools.
An executive summary of the survey findings is available to interested readers.






01 July 2016




The new APSCA (Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors) Executive Director has been appointed. We are pleased to report that longstanding AIM-PROGRESS member Rona Starr, formerly with McDonald's will officially take the position on August 1st 2016. 



APSCA is an initiative launched in 2015 to enhance the professionalism and credibility of the individuals and organisations performing independent social compliance audits. “The Association is aiming to bring a vital level of quality and credibility to the industry and this is the right time to drive this agenda forward." says Starr. 


We are happy to see Rona in such an important role for our industry and looking forward to working closely in the future.


To read the detailed announcement, please click here.

To read the full press release, please click here.






13 April 2016

AIM-PROGRESS welcomes Bel Group to the membership

AIM-PROGRESS is pleased to announce that Bel Group has joined its membership. Bel is an international cheesemaker, based in France, specialised in processed and semi-processed cheeses, in particular single-serving portions. Bel serves 400 million consumers in 130 countries around the globe. Bel is also an actively engaged company with corporate responsibility going beyond the doorstep of its plants given that its business also impacts the environment and local communities. The engagement in AIM-PROGRESS is a logical step for a company with an established responsible sourcing programme.




07 April 2016

AIM-PROGRESS releases UNGPs training deck


The UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights (UNGPs) have triggered a change in perspective on how companies need to address supply chain risks. It is no longer just about impact of business on stakeholders with a focus on labor rights or the environment, but impact on everyone in the supply chain, especially vulnerable people or “rights-holders”. This includes looking at issues such as land, property, water or privacy rights, and meaningful engagement with groups affected by the business activities.


Companies need to alter their approach to responsible sourcing and what they expect of their supply chain partners. To help its members become more knowledgeable in implementing the UNGPs, AIM-PROGRESS organised two face-to-face training workshops together with human rights consulting firm TwentyFifty in 2015, and is now releasing an interactive training deck for companies to use internally and with their suppliers.


The deck is available for AIM-PROGRESS members and can be downloaded from the member zone of the website, in the WS Human Rights section.




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