How to get an EcoVadis certificate

ESG

EcoVadis Certification: Passing the scoring process and becoming a more sustainable company. 

Consumers, investors, and stakeholders are increasingly demanding that companies take measurable steps toward environmental and social responsibility. In response to this growing demand, organizations around the globe are turning to third-party certifications to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. One such reputable certification is the EcoVadis certification. 

ThisRock Inc. has seen this demand first hand. Suppliers and vendors are being asked by their new or existing customers to have an EcoVadis certification or scoring. Rather than producing their own carbon, emissions, social, impact and governance metrics, large businesses assessing their supply chain are just asking their vendors or suppliers to do a third-party sustainability review that they trust. EcoVadis is a popular choice in North America in several industries, including technology, automotive, manufacturing and retail. 

What is EcoVadis? 

EcoVadis is a popular global company and platform that allows companies to get ranked on key Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) benchmarks. They provide sustainability ratings using their performance tool. Their certification process means that businesses have gone through a repeatable and measurable assessment, and they passed. Often times, those organizations inside a supply chain are asked to give an EcoVadis third-party score to continue supplying. EcoVadis assesses companies based on international sustainability standards, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), and the ISO 26000 guidelines. 

So – does your business have to get EcoVadis certified? Keep reading.

What topics does EcoVadis look at?

When you are ready to review your company against key ESG benchmarks – in an effort to get a good score on EcoVadis – you will have to access your business’ policies and practices across four main areas: 

  1. Environment – You will be asked questions in this category around environmental impact for your biz, how you use resources, how you address climate change, and even how you report your emissions and carbon metrics. You’ll need to know your Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, water consumption, waste management, and how you manage your environmental systems and procedures. Basically, how “green” is your organization? 
  2. Labour & Human Rights – In this category, EcoVadis looks at how you protect your people. Do you hire people over the age of 18? How are working conditions? Do you pay a fair and living wage? Does every employee have a contract? And, you’ll need to look at safety, health, and even diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as it relates to gender, representation, and even employment as a percentage. 
  3. Ethics – You’ll need to review and explain how you prevent corruption. Do you have anti-corruption policies in areas of concern? Do you adhere to ethical business practices – for example in your business’ taxation?  
  4. Sustainable Procurement – EcoVadis evaluates a company’s procurement practices to determine its efforts in sourcing sustainably and collaborating with suppliers that align with environmental and social responsibility principles.

How does EcoVadis Certification work? 

To keep it simple, there are a few steps to take if you need (or just want) your business to be scored by EcoVadis. Initially, you’ll simply need to register your company on their website. While several people from your business will need to be involved in this project, you’ll need to pick a project manager. We get it – it’s likely not anyone’s full time job on your team to take and pass sustainability reviews and certifications. Pick someone who is efficient and resourceful. Alternatively, hire an outside Sustainability Consultant to act as your company’s Fractional Sustainability Manager. ThisRock Inc. can help you today. Book a free 15-minute consult

The EcoVadis questionnaire is the first big step. Inside the user interface you’ll see questions bucketed in categories, as above. You can answer as you have time, and save your responses. You’ll be asked company size, industry, location, and other questions to fit you in a sector and weighting. Then, you’ll move to uploading and submitting. Documents such as your sustainable procurement or whistleblower policy will need to be uploaded and then attached to particular questions and responses. Any available data will also need to be typed in. This is a manual process. 

You’ll have an independent evaluation. It is rigorous and considers questionnaire, documents and data submitted. You should never lie on this work. Be truthful, transparent and honest. It is ok to not perfect. Explain where you company is today with sustainability. Every step forward matters. Once this is complete, you will receive an evaluation and score. EcoVadis rating system flow across Gold, Silver, Bronze, or no medal. These ratings help stakeholders quickly understand a company’s sustainability standing. You’ll be continuously improving. Take your score today. Make changes for tomorrow. Do your best. 

Why would my company take the EcoVadis certification?

There are awesome benefits of EcoVadis certification. For one, you might win or lose your next deal because of your certification. Think RPQs, customer renewals, RFQs and even hiring and retaining employees. Obtaining an EcoVadis certification offers numerous benefits to businesses:

  • Keep your Customers, and Attract New Ones: Some companies can’t work with businesses that do not have a certification. 
  • Enhanced Reputation: The certification demonstrates a company’s commitment to sustainability, ethical practices, and responsible sourcing. This enhances its reputation among consumers, investors, and other stakeholders, giving it a competitive advantage in the market.
  • Access to New Markets: Many large corporations and government agencies require their suppliers to meet certain sustainability criteria. EcoVadis certification can open doors to new business opportunities with these organizations.
  • Risk Mitigation: By addressing sustainability issues in their supply chain, companies can reduce the risk of reputational damage, legal issues, and disruptions in their operations.
  • Improved Supply Chain Management: The certification process helps companies gain insights into their supply chain’s sustainability performance, enabling them to make informed decisions and collaborate with responsible suppliers.
  • Cost Savings: Implementing sustainable practices often leads to cost savings through resource efficiency, waste reduction, and operational optimization.
  • Investor Attraction: As sustainability gains prominence among investors, certified companies are more likely to attract responsible investment and shareholder support.

Sustainable practices are becoming a necessity

EcoVadis certification offers a valuable tool for companies striving to demonstrate their commitment to responsible business practices. A client of our is being asked for an EcoVadis certification by one of the large automotive companies. If they don’t pass, they can’t continue doing business with this client. That’s huge. What a risk. The certification process provides a comprehensive evaluation of a company’s sustainability performance, enabling it to identify areas for improvement and make tangible progress toward a more sustainable future.

While the certification process has its challenges and critics, it remains an essential step toward fostering a more sustainable and responsible global business community. As consumers, investors, and governments increasingly prioritize sustainability, the EcoVadis certification becomes a strategic investment in the long-term success and reputation of a company. By embracing sustainability and engaging in continuous improvement, businesses can contribute to a more sustainable world and create a positive impact on society and the environment.