SMETA 4-pillars Audit: Responsible Sourcing

SMETA Audit - LRQA - Sedex - SMETA ethical audit

"Lloyd's Register is a Nestle approved supplier able to deliver SMETA audits"

SMETA 4-pillars was developed by AIM (Association des Industries Marque) in order to meet the changing needs of consumer goods organizations. Placing a greater emphasis on environmental issues and business integrity, SMETA 4-pillars goes beyond the requirements of a standard SMETA audit.

LR has 115+ qualified responsible sourcing auditors worldwide, and our team of experts has delivered SMETA 4-Pillar Audits around the world since 2008 in the United States, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, India, Germany, Egypt, Hungary, France, UAE, UK, Russia, Spain, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Greece, Spain and Japan among others.

SMETA 6.0 Audits

Sedex launched SMETA 6.0 in April 2017. It’s the latest version of the world-leading Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit format, which aims to help businesses and their supply chains streamline the monitoring and reporting of their ethical trade practices. It has been updated to bring the requirements up-to-date, to incorporate stakeholder feedback and to strengthen the format. SMETA 6.0 audits started from June 1, 2017 for all new audits. The SMETA 5.0 methodology can be used for up to a year for follow-up audits.

SMETA is not a pass or fail audit. The non-conformances, observations and good examples are a way to help a site improve and build on good practice.

Who can use SMETA 4-pillars?

SMETA 4-pillars was designed for, and is primarily used by, Sedex members to help meet objectives including promotion of responsible sourcing within the supply chain and improving ethical audit effectiveness and efficiency.

Organizations who aren’t Sedex members are also encouraged to use SMETA with the aim to improve audit transparency through sharing of auditor qualifications and practices as well as audit methodology.

Why is SMETA 4-pillars important for your business?

SMETA 4-pillars was designed to support responsible sourcing practices and sustainable production systems. Through common evaluation methods, benefits include:

  • Reduced costs through standardised and shared approach to sharing audit information
  • Improved supply chain management
  • Benchmarking opportunities against an international network
  • Improved brand protection through commitment to responsible sourcing


SMETA 4-pillars benefits

Our social audits focus on the areas and issues that are important to your business and with our global network of assessors in over 120 countries, you can be sure that LRQA has a knowledge of the local language, culture and legislation that affects your organization.

SMETA Resources & Helpful Information

Download these complimentary resources to learn more about SMETA 4-Pillar Sedex Audits:

Why choose LR for SMETA audits?

LRQA has been delivering SMETA audits since 2008 and our unique assessment methodology ensures our Sedex Member Ethical Trade Audits (SMETA) focus on the areas and risks that are important to your business, key stakeholders and supply chain.

Global Footprint. We operate in more than 120 countries and have 115+ responsible sourcing auditors around the world. This global network ensures both worldwide presence and knowledge of local language, culture and legislation.

Social Responsibility Expertise. Our assessors are social compliance, social responsibility, sustainability and SMETA experts with years of experience, matched with your business needs, enabling an effective and robust assessment of your system. Our experts are recognized voices in the industry and regularly participate in the technical committees that develop and improve standards, the non-certifiable guidance on social responsibility and the G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines themselves.

SMETA 4-pillars audits from by LR helps to ensure ‘best practice’ with regards to responsible sourcing, leading to:

Competitive advantage. LR is a market leader in the provision of assessment, certification and training services, and some of the world’s best known organizations choose LR for their SMETA audit and social responsibility assessment needs.

Continual improvement. Improve responsible sourcing processes throughout the organization and drive improvements across your supply chain.

New business opportunities. Audits from LR significantly improves your ability to work with the many organizations where SMETA 4-pillars is a contractual obligation or expectation.

SMETA audits and Sedex upload. Once LR SMETA audits have been carried out and technical approval is given, we provide you with a detailed report which can be uploaded into Sedex on your behalf. Sharing your report through Sedex demonstrates transparency to your stakeholders through a globally recognized brand.

Contact us to learn more about SMETA audits