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Raising the bar for responsible sourcing: AIM-PROGRESS helps members advance their programmes

AIM-PROGRESS 2014 membership survey results clearly demonstrate that members are benefiting from participating in our global responsible sourcing (RS) programme.

61% now have established or mature RS programmes 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 answered 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.

Companies 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.

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