Social audits learning portal

Social audit reports issued by third-party auditors provide the necessary transparency needed to help drive positive change in our supply chain. We work to improve conditions for workers in our supply chain and to avoid any human rights abuses. Recognised auditing frameworks like BSCI, SMETA, and SA8000 focus on critical topics like bonded labour; child labour; working hours; compensation; and worker participation. XD Connects is a member of amfori BSCI and Sedex. Our suppliers, on the other hand, participate in BSCI (amfori) and SMETA (Sedex) audits.

Read on to understand how we use social audits to make sure certain social standards are met in our supply chain.

Social audits 101

Driven by the market’s demand for socially responsible supply chains, independent, non-profit institutions developed frameworks which third-party auditors can use to check factory conditions against recognised global values around human rights and labour rights. XD Connects recognizes social audits according to the amfori BSCI, Sedex SMETA and SA8000 frameworks. These are all independently developed. We do not design our own social audit criteria nor do we accept social audits designed by other companies; these are vulnerable to shying away from the big or complicated issues in the supply chain and are rarely conducted by independent, expert auditors. Furthermore, using recognised frameworks lowers the burden on suppliers as one audit can be used by all their suppliers who are members of these frameworks.

What does it mean for our suppliers?

Buyers such as XD Connects trigger a request for an audit at a supplier’s location. This is done through the portal offered by organisations like amfori or Sedex. When requesting an audit, there is a choice between fully announced, semi-announced, and unannounced audits. The supplier factory is visited by an auditor and is checked against the different parameters of the auditing framework. In general, social audits are conducted annually; this is considered good practice. The auditor’s report is shared with the supplier and then uploaded onto the portal where suppliers’ buyers can see it. These reports are great tools for buyers like XD Connects to engage with suppliers and to measure progress in our supply chain.

As an example, see below the principles and performance areas which the amfori BSCI audit framework considers:

The day-to-day at XD Connects

Social audits are integrated across our relationship with suppliers. Before entering into a business relationship with suppliers they are asked if they have a valid social audit, or are willing to start. We integrate the amfori BSCI code of conduct into our agreement with all suppliers, making them aware that we expect our supply chain partners to act in line with this code. Our Product Development team includes social audit performance in their annual evaluations with key suppliers. Furthermore, our ESG Department requests an update on how key suppliers are addressing the areas for improvement identified in their last social audit. We use data from social audit platforms related to our suppliers to set targets on human rights in the supply chain and social audit overall scores.

Insights for customers

Our commitment to transparency enables our customers to make informed choices when they purchase from us. Our web shop features a filter called ‘From socially audited factory’. The products under this filter have an amfori-BSCI logo on their product page. Customers can ask their XD Connects contact for copies of social audit reports for the products they purchase. Note that for privacy reasons we redact these reports to remove any personal data regarding our suppliers.


You think you know everything about the Social Audits? Test your knowledge!