AIM-PROGRESS - Program for responsible sourcing
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10 April 2015

Fourth member survey confirms further progress on responsible sourcing

2014 survey results continue to demonstrate progress and a focus on continuous improvement, in line with our strategy. Members rated themselves higher along the maturity continuum, with 61% having either established or mature programs in place;  audit activity has increased by 76% since 2012 and remediation continues to be a priority area with a 75% increase in closing corrective action plans.

Across the membership, in-scope supplier compliance to companies’ respective requirements reached 49% in 2014.

While risk mitigation remains a top driver for responsible sourcing, more than half of the members see responsible sourcing as important to being perceived as an industry leader. This may be the reason for senior level executive leadership of the RS programs in 81% of the responding companies.

Companies are tracking and reporting more, and KPIs are focused on impact over activity. For the first time, AIM-PROGRESS asked about how many workers were positively impacted by corrective action plans (373,000 workers for 8 companies who anwered this question).

Most members continue to base the responsible sourcing function in Procurement, with a marked decrease in housing the work under the legal department. Headcount and budgets have generally remained intact or increased in 2014 over 2013.

Where members' RS activities still fall short of expectations is in implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights (Ruggie). AIM-PROGRESS will be stepping up its activities to fast-track members to operationalising this business-critical framework.


Members continue to see strong benefits in AIM-PROGRESS membership. As a member commented, “The benchmarking that we are able to do at meetings has enabled us to bring innovative ideas to drive our program with minimal resources.”

This year we asked a forward-facing question about what more can we do as a membership. Companies that rated themselves as more mature were looking for more collaboration and best practice sharing. Companies that rated themselves lower on the maturity continuum are looking for more advice and guidance.


AIM-PROGRESS will continue to cater to all member maturity levels; our ultimate goal is to "to raise the floor and ceiling" for responsible sourcing in the supply chain. 


Please find here the executive summary of the survey results.








30 March 2015

PepsiCo hosts AIM-PROGRESS membership meeting in Theale

PepsiCo’s responsible sourcing program “Performance with Purpose” is reflective of the AIM-PROGRESS strategy drivers on how companies should evolve their way of doing business towards a sustainable future. This was confirmed at  the last AIM-PROGRESS membership meeting on 26-27 March, hosted by the company at their Theale headquarters (UK).  Financial performance should be underpinned by environmental considerations, workplace safety, product quality and investment in local communities. PepsiCo believes there is a pre-competitive opportunity for collaboration through AIM-PROGRESS on visibility of global supply chains, joint solutions, data gathering and capability building. Company testimonials are a highly appreciated element of AIM-PROGRESS meetings, and participants further heard about Mars’ and Ferrero’s responsible/sustainable sourcing efforts.


Dexter Galvin, head of CDP’s supply chain program, gave an update on the CDP scope, which has expanded substantially and has become a de facto global standard for company reporting on carbon, water and also deforestation.  The supply chain program enables manufacturers  to ensure that the rest of the supply chain is also engaged in impact reduction. Joe Maguire shared Diageo’s experience implementing CDP's reporting and engaging their suppliers in a GHG reduction journey.  


The new elements of the updated Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA), a key benchmark for AIM-PROGRESS audit requirements, were reviewed. The membership discussed the evolving responsible sourcing requirements of leading brand manufacturers and the need to take the common AIM-PROGRESS mutual recognition criteria to the next level. A critical enabler to benchmark members’ audit protocols is the AIM-PROGRESS-ITC protocol benchmarking tool which is being updated and will soon become available as an on-line version.  Changes have now been included to broaden the common audit elements expected by AIM-PROGRESS members and to cover common requirements regarding audit methodology.Thus, little by little, AIM-PROGRESS will help raise the bar for responsible sourcing.


The Annual Benchmarking Survey, which provides an overview of member companies’ approaches to responsible sourcing, showed that there has been significant progress over the last four years with a 76% increase in audit activity, continued focus on remediation and generally higher maturity levels of companies. The discussions on Engaging in Responsible Sourcing allowed companies that are just developing their responsible sourcing programs to learn from their peers, whereas more mature companies shared their views of how positive impact can be delivered beyond simple compliance.  


The meeting participants also heard the updates on a series of regulatory developments that will have impact on their responsible sourcing activities. A standing meeting item was the review of progress and future plans of the work streams (business integrity, mutual recognition, supplier capability building and environment).  


The next meeting will be hosted by General Mills on 23-25 June in Minneapolis (US).





24 March 2015

Responsible Sourcing through a Human Rights lens

Respecting Human Rights is part of the scope of what responsible sourcing means for AIM-PRORESS members. The UN Guiding Principles for Business & Human Rights (2011) have changed how responsible companies are looking at their supply chains. AIM-PROGRESS recognised this in 2012 and set up a specific work stream on the topic to teach members what this means for their sourcing approaches. The latest of the deliverables is a one day training course, co-organised with Twentyfifty, which took place on 24 March in London and was attended by 20 member companies. The workshop enabled participants to

  1. describe the implications of the UNGPs for responsible sourcing
  2. identify the key elements of a human rights program for the supply chain of their company (policies, codes, impacts, due diligence, remediaton, grievance mechanisms)
  3. articulate the main elements of a business case to colleagues
  4. generate ideas for future AIM-PROGRESS deliverables.

The workshop will be repeated on 22 June, on the occasion of the next AIM-PROGRESS membership meeting.





24 March 2015

New addition to AIM-PROGRESS membership

AIM-PROGRESS welcomes the International Flavors and Fragrances Inc. (IFF) as the latest addition to membership. IFF is a leading global creator of flavors and fragrances used in a wide variety of consumer products. This now brings AIM-PROGRESS membership to 42 FMCG sector companies. 




16 March 2015

Barry Callebaut joins AIM-PROGRESS

We are pleased to welcome Barry Callebaut as the latest addition to AIM-PROGRESS membership. Barry Callebaut is the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, with a global network of production sites in Europe, Africa, North and South America as well as Asia Pacific. This now brings AIM-PROGRESS membership to 41 FMCG sector companies. 


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