The AIM-Progress annual benchmarking survey again shows that the membership is continuing on its steep path to leadership in responsible sourcing: 2019 data reveals that nearly 80% of members are now at the two top maturity levels of our Responsible Sourcing Journey (RSJ). Supply chain due diligence through supplier assessments (whether audits, SAQs, desktop evaluations) is up by 30% compared to last year, and there is increased investment in supplier capability building.
Members have also understood the importance of stakeholder engagement when conducting due diligence and solving issues: this RSJ module is now the most mature of the four modules composing the RSJ.
Human Rights and forced labour have moved more to the centre of our members' responsible sourcing policies, in line with our AIM-Progress strategy re-orientation of "putting human rights at the heart of everyting we do". But there is opportunity for listening more to worker grievance and managing better relevant worker voice mechanisms, to help address outcomes and impact, which is still in its infancy.
The SDGs have become a guiding framework for all, although members are still struggling to translate the SDGs into actionable responsible sourcing goals.
Companies' responsible sourcing departments are being reinforced with new staff, especially part-time.
The survey was carried out with the help of CC Responsible Sourcing Solutions and MBL Sustainability, and took place before the Covid-19 crisis hit the industry. This will have a profound effect on how members are ensuring sustainability of their supply chains with strong signs that for most it will be accelerating the movement to ensure the future of sourcing for their brands.