01 March 2007 | Paul Snell
Some suppliers are suffering from "audit fatigue" because of the intense focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to David Lawrence, governance director at Diageo Global Procurement.
Lawrence told delegates at a conference in London that there was an increasing desire for companies to look at long-term sustainability in the supply chain.
He admitted, however, that Diageo was probably focusing on CSR as large retailers were taking such an interest in it. "It helps in terms of driving it forward if big customers are saying so," he said.
The drinks manufacturer, which has up to 40,000 suppliers worldwide, is tackling the fatigue in two ways. It assesses new suppliers with a questionnaire to make sure they are acting sustainably. For existing suppliers, it prioritises those in need of assessment by considering how risky their country and materials are and how closely the product is associated
It has also signed up to Sedex, the supplier exchange programme that allows suppliers to share data with companies about their supply chain practices.
Lawrence said the firm was also looking at how it could assess the carbon footprint of its supply chain.