SEDEX Audits


Sedex, the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, is a not-for-profit organisation based in London, UK, open for membership to any company anywhere in the world.

Sedex is a membership organisation for businesses committed to continuous improvement of the ethical performance of their supply chains. Companies join Sedex in order to use the Sedex web-based system, participate in Sedex governance , participate in working groups , network and engage with other Sedex members , utilise Sedex value-added services.

Sedex enables member companies to efficiently manage the ethical and responsible practices of their global supply chains, generating transparency through the provision of a data exchange.

Sedex focuses on four pillars. Members commit to improving their supply chain performance accordingly.

  • Labour Standards,
  • Health & Safety,
  • Environment and
  • Business Integrity.

The tool used by Sedex is named SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit). It incorporates 3 elements:

  • A best practice guidance on conducting ethical trade audits,
  • An audit report format and
  • A corrective action plan format.

Reducing the number of audits

“This membership allows us to respond to our customers’ diversified supply chain needs. We can now help them monitor sustainable performance in the supply chain more effectively, providing more visibility on the results of our audits. By submitting supply chain audit results to the database, we help ensuring transparency and re-use of existing audit data. A manufacturer does not need to re-audit a company to qualify them as suppliers, but rather checks their status in the Sedex database.”

“Our collaboration with Sedex is an important step for the direction we are taking with supply chain activities. We intend to pursue relations with key players in the supply chain arena, underlining the growing importance of supply chain auditing for our business.”

The benefits

SMETA is designed to benefit retailers and consumer brands and their suppliers, reducing duplication of effort in ethical trade auditing. Companies who are not members of Sedex are able and encouraged to use SMETA as well.

Sedex is a comprehensive platform that enables the effective management of complex global supply chains, leading to real business benefits for your organisation.

Improve your reputation

Demonstrate to stakeholders and customers that you are committed to driving improvements in your supply chain.

Gain competitive advantage

Many customers see Sedex as an important part of their responsible sourcing practices and companies increasingly view Sedex membership as a condition of supply.

Reduce risk

The reports available on Sedex, and specifically the Sedex Risk Assessment tool, can help assess the likelihood of issues occurring in your supply chain. Improve supplier relationships

The Sedex model encourages increased supplier engagement, helping you to drive ethical and responsible improvements within your supply chain.

Save time and money

Sedex allows more time and resources to be spent on making improvements rather than on completing multiple audits and unnecessary paperwork.

SMETA is not a new code of conduct or standard to which audits should be conducted. It is rather a compilation of best practice in ethical trade audit technique, intended for experienced auditors to help them to conduct high quality audits that will be accepted by multiple retailers and brands