Defining sustainability expectations and requirements on suppliers and supply chain

By Ann-Christin Pålsson, Johan Widheden

In the work with suppliers and the upstream supply chain actors, the organisation need to define and communicate expectations and requirements that the suppliers should fulfil, as well as how requirements should be cascaded further up in the supply chain. This is used as basis in the selection of suppliers.

Requirements may be based on:

  • the sustainability strategy and targets
  • expectations from customers & consumers
  • legal requirements, etc.

In the development of requirements, different functions within the company generally have different roles; for example the management decides the overall policy for stakeholder and supplier relations, marketing and sales is responsible for identifying customer and consumer demands that are relevant for the upstream parts of the supply chain, and often sourcing can have a coordinating role in compiling the requirements.

See also Measurement and follow-up of supplier sustainability performance at this site.