In order to ensure sustainability in the value chain, companies usually oblige their suppliers via codes of conduct to comply with environmental and social standards. The reference framework is often based on internationally recognized standards such as those of the OECD, the International Labor Organization ILO or the United Nations. These requirements are cascaded down the global supply chain - a fundamentally meaningful way. However, establishing them as a mandatory requirement for suppliers in the short term can place them in front of an almost impossible task.
Particularly companies in emerging and developing countries often lack the knowledge and qualified personnel required to establish the required social and environmental standards in everyday operations. Businesses should therefore pragmatically support their suppliers with know-how and training. Only then can awarding criteria effectively promote global sustainable business - and not lead to protectionism through the back door!