Consumer, investor and government concern for ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues continues to grow, and with this increased focus comes increased intent from businesses to measure company performance in non-financial areas.
Established in 2013, the Authenticate supply chain platform has empowered leading food businesses with the software to connect with suppliers through the tiers to ensure compliance and manage risk. As priorities evolve, Authenticate has adapted existing solutions and developed new, future-proofed digital tools to meet the needs of its customers, and the launch of the ESG Maturity Assessment back in November 2021 is no exception.
With over 150 food businesses already successfully completing the ESG Supplier Assessment in just 3 months, here we explore what it entails, why companies are completing it, and what results you can expect to receive.
The ESG assessment, sent and managed via Authenticate and developed in partnership with global sustainability specialist Anthesis, provides businesses completing all 60 questions with a standardised, validated scorecard and report.
Whether completing on behalf of your own business or sending to suppliers mapped throughout the chain, the report details performance and maturity levels (foundational, transitional or transformational) within strategy, execution and results sections against critical ESG matters.
Speaking of the launch in November 2021, Authenticate CEO Paul Marples said:
“Authenticate has worked with major food companies and retailers for many years, supporting them with their supply chain management programmes. We have witnessed a proliferation of different ESG based questionnaires being used, which is leading to a significant increase on the burden being put on suppliers to respond to multiple requests for very similar data. By working with Anthesis to build a standardised assessment set, we seek to harmonise the measurement of organisations ESG credentials and provide them with a far more efficient and useful way to measure their progress over time.”Paul Marples, Managing Director, Authenticate
With regulations and expectations linked to vital challenges affecting people and the planet on the rise, businesses must tackle the issues that matter most with suppliers to protect brand reputation and all actors throughout the chain.
From scope 3 emissions, biodiversity, water use and waste related to the environmental agenda or diversity, human rights, modern slavery connected to social considerations, understanding current performance against these issues can provide your business with the insight needed to build a brighter, more responsible tomorrow.
Since launch, over 150 food businesses have completed the ESG Assessment template, independently or following a customer request.
With leading brands including ABP Food Group, Bidfood and CH & CO using the results to prioritise environmental, social and governance efforts, we look forward to other businesses discovering the benefits in the coming months.
Using the completed standardised data sets, the ESG Assessment is already showing valuable trends, although expectedly, there is a wide variation in company progress and performance at this stage.
Businesses seem to be further ahead in the social and governance categories (with an average maturity level of transitional), compared to an average environmental maturity level of foundational. This could indicate the complexity posed by matters impacting the environment, although the score breakdown highlights better performance within the results section vs. strategy and execution.
With the average overall maturity level across all organisations sitting between foundational and transitional, by seeking insights around ESG performance, businesses are clearly actively taking one of many steps in the right direction to strive for transformational status across all categories.
Without transparency, it can be difficult to truly understand supply chain impact and risk.
Although access to the ESG Assessment is free for all companies within the Authenticate network (also known as a basic membership), by becoming an enterprise customer, your business unlocks the ability to send the assessment to all or some suppliers. Once the supplier completes and shares the assessment with you, your organisation can then access the full scorecard/report and begin benchmarking performance.
In addition to the ESG Assessment, enterprise customers can leverage our other solutions, including: