The Better Buying Purchasing Practices Index 2023 features a ‘Win-Win Sustainable Partnership’ category that measures brands and retailers’ contributions to reducing industry-wide audit duplication.

The ‘Win-Win Sustainability Partnership’ questionnaire showed nearly 88% of suppliers said buyers accepted results from recently completed audits/assessments of workplace conditions, rather than proprietary audits or assessments with 34.5% reporting that their buyer accepted SLCP’s Converged Assessment Framework (CAF).

BBI highlighted that these suppliers reported a number of benefits from their buyer accepting the CAF, including; greater clarity on corrective actions (71%); reduced staff time devoted to auditing (65%); and money saved on auditing expenses (52%).

Based on the report, of those suppliers who said they were saving money as a result of their buyers accepting the CAF:

  • More than half (59%) estimated they were saving up to $5,000 a year
  • 29% reported savings of $5,000-$10,000
  • 8% reported between $10,000 and $20,000 savings
  • 3.6% reported savings of $20,000 or more.

BBI noted the savings from reduced audits were redirected towards investments in the workplace, new programmes and higher wages:

  • 74% was invested into the workplace
  • 68.5% offered new programmes or services to workers
  • 58% invested in new technology
  • 42% contributed to surrounding communities
  • 24% paid higher wages to workers.

SLCP chief executive officer Janet Mensink believes less audits mean less pressure on staff, more chance to address workplace issues, and greater opportunities for savings.

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She adds this means resources can be ploughed back into important improvements for workers, such as higher wages, new services and contributions to the wider community.

Better Buying Institute president and co-founder Dr Marsha Dickson said: “It’s great that suppliers are continuing to save money as a result of their buyers accepting SLCP’s Converged Assessment Framework (CAF), for the benefit of workers, communities and suppliers’ own businesses. But there is still plenty of scope for buyers to improve. Buyers need to be improving their purchasing practices across all seven purchasing practices categories, to support supplier sustainability and deliver consistent benefits to workers.”

BBI added the full findings of the research will be explored during two online side-sessions held by SLCP and the Better Buying Institute at the OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector in Paris on Monday 19 February.

Global non-profit Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and multi-stakeholder initiative Social & Labor Convergence Program (SLCP) recently announced they have officially parted ways and become two separate entities but continue to collaborate for driving sustainability performance across the supply chain.