Human Rights Guidance Tool for the Financial Sector
Key Issues and Questions

Supply Chain

Identifying the human rights issues and expectations relevant to business
(based on internationally recognised standards and voluntary initiatives)

Companies face human rights issues and risks in their supply chain. They may purchase goods and services from other companies which are associated with poor human rights practice or controversy.

What are the main issues?

The issues identified in the Core Operations section may also apply to the supplier companies. Click on the links below to see information on these issues:

Tackling issues in the supply chain

  • Audits - suppliers can be audited on social and environmental grounds to ensure that they meet particular standards required by the purchasing company. Best-practice standard audits will be comprehensive and involve review by independent third parties.
  • Visits - ad hoc visits to supplier locations can be carried out by the purchasing company, or by a third party representative on its behalf, to check that standards are being upheld
  • Contracts - contractual agreements between suppliers and the company can contain specific human rights protection or performance clauses. Human rights requirements may form part of the invitation to tender/bidding process
  • Action Plans - companies can engage with their suppliers to support them in making changes over time in areas where required standards are not met.


December 2014     United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative