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SMETA – Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit

Ensure ethical trading in your supply chain with SMETA.

A SMETA audit from Lloyd's Register (LR) helps businesses streamline the monitoring and reporting of their ethical trade practices.


SMETA is an audit procedure developed by Sedex - the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, which is a not for profit organisation that supports businesses that are committed to continuously improving the ethical performance within their supply chains. What Sedex aims to do with SMETA – the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit – is to make it easier to ‘do business that’s good for everyone’.

Sedex compiled good practices and techniques used in ethical auditing including the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) code along with local regulations and laws that are applicable in each country as measurement tools to produce the specific SMETA methodology. This reduced duplication and multiple levels of audits that a supplier undergoes, so they have a single audit rather than a different one for each client. Organisations can share the results of their audits with multiple clients through the Sedex database, which is one of the largest platforms in the world for sharing responsible sourcing data on supply chains.

There are 2-pillar and 4-pillar versions of SMETA. The 2-pillar audit covers health and safety and labour standards; the 4-pillar audit covers these plus the environment and business ethics. One great feature is that it is open source – so you don’t have to be a Sedex member to use the methodology. The SMETA Best Practice Guidance and Measurement Criteria documents are openly available on the Sedex website to any companies that want to consult them.

What we offer

LR recognises that every organisation is unique. At LR, we take time to understand the needs and unique circumstances of our clients and their businesses, to act with judgement, sensitivity and care. Our independence means that we’re committed to doing things the right way to reach the highest standards and best outcomes for all, giving our clients confidence in our decisions every time.

SMETA audits and Sedex upload
Once audits have been carried out and technical approval is given, we provide you with a detailed report that we can upload into the Sedex database on your behalf. Sharing your report through Sedex demonstrates transparency to your stakeholders.

We provide practical client training courses worldwide in various languages, led by trained and qualified tutors. Many of our courses are endorsed by relevant professional bodies and based on our experience of assessing management systems. We offer both public and in-house training services including customised training solutions.

A wide range of assurance services
Don’t let your assurance journey stop with SMETA; at LR, we deliver certification, validation and verification assessment services to all of the world’s leading standards and schemes including quality, health and safety, environmental, sustainability, energy management, business continuity, cyber security and many more.

What are the benefits?

Ethical supply chain assurance
SMETA is the world’s most commonly used ethical audit format and 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
  • Reduce duplication by using an approach that is widely accepted
  • Improved supply chain management
  • Benchmarking opportunities against an international network
  • Improved brand protection through commitment to responsible sourcing

Why choose LR?

Lloyd's Register has a long history of providing environmental, health and safety and ethical audits that enable our clients to demonstrate a holistic approach to responsible business throughout the global supply chain. Our methodology ensures that our social audits focus on the areas and issues that are important to your business and can help you build a robust system to identify potential hazards and risks and control these risks at the right place in the supply chain.  

We have been delivering SMETA and SA 8000 audits since 2008. The technical know-how and project management expertise of our experienced and highly trained auditors ensures that we can adapt our assurance services to your business needs. 

The local knowledge and soft skills of our auditors are particularly important, as they help to put the workforce at ease so that they feel comfortable to give an open and frank testimony of their working conditions.  

We work with Partner Africa, a leading  not-for-profit social enterprise and a pioneer in the field of ethical and socially responsible business practice, to deliver social compliance audits (including SMETA) for our clients and their supply chains across Africa. Their participatory methodologies enable workers to take a more active part in the audit process, enable auditors to understand the root causes of issues, and provide the facility with valuable insights into their business and practical recommendations for improvement.

Your business helps LR to help others
The profits we generate fund the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a charity that supports engineering-related research, education and public engagement around everything we do. All of this helps us stand by the purpose that drives us every single day: working together for a safer world.

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