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EcoVadis: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 3) — SWOT, Competitors and Tech Selection Insights

CSR, sustainability

In this update of Spend Matters’ Vendor Analysis series, we have been analyzing EcoVadis, a provider of a cloud-based sustainability rating and monitoring “Solution” (with a capital “S” to denote a solution that transcends software) for your critical supply chain suppliers.

The supplier-friendly and buyer-friendly platform offers three modules: IQ for broad-scale risk assessments and visibility, Ratings for in-depth supplier sustainability ratings, and Spotlight for audit management. Ratings is the core of the solution and allows suppliers to self-register, complete a profile customized to them based on their UN ISIC industry code (and country and size), upload all relevant documentation and get assessed/rated for a 12-month period. As we wrote in Part 2 of this series:

The EcoVadis sustainability rating is not a formal certification from a regulatory agency, but the criteria is interestingly built up as a "best of breed" superset of requirements from existing CSR standards such as Global Reporting Initiative, the United Nations Global Compact and the ISO 26000. This relevance helps improve attractiveness and adoption by organizations that don't want to reinvent the wheel and can use a single rating to also help comply with the other certifications that are in force within their supply chain.

This final installment of our update of this PRO Vendor Analysis series covering EcoVadis offers a SWOT assessment, a look at competitors and a comparison with other similar and “crossover” providers in the supplier management market that also address ratings, CSR, risk and related initiatives. It also includes a user selection guide and summary evaluation and more tech selection considerations. Part 1 has a company and solution overview, as well as a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider EcoVadis. Part 2 offers a deep look at the product strengths and weaknesses.

EcoVadis: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses

CSR, sustainability

The market demand for supplier intelligence and data within procurement continues to increase. Whether it’s supply chain and supplier risk data provided by originators and aggregators or category and supply market-based general intelligence offered by analyst-driven models, an increasing number of firms are looking to third parties to augment their internal data-gathering and analysis efforts.

EcoVadis fits within this supplier intelligence/data and software landscape as a cloud-based sustainability rating/monitoring solution for global suppliers.

The buyer-friendly and supplier-friendly platform allows suppliers to self-register, complete a profile customized to them based on their UN ISIC code and categories of products or services offered, upload all relevant documentation, and get assessed and rated for a 12-month period. The EcoVadis sustainability rating is not a formal certification from a regulatory agency, but the criteria is interestingly built up as a "best of breed" superset of requirements from existing sustainability standards, such as Global Reporting Initiative, the United Nations Global Compact and the ISO 26000. This relevance helps improve attractiveness and adoption by organizations that don't want to reinvent the wheel and can use a single rating to also help comply with the other certifications that are in force within their supply chain.

Part 2 of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis Update explores EcoVadis’ product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider this provider of supplier intelligence solutions. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommended fit list of criteria for firms considering EcoVadis. The third part of this series will offer a company SWOT analysis, user selection guide, a look at EcoVadis’ competitors, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

EcoVadis: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 1) — Company Background & Solution Overview

Sustainability. Go back 10 years and that was not a topic that got much more than lip service from most procurement organizations. But in recent years, as discussions around climate change have become louder, organizations started to address sustainability much more seriously.

Now, the coronavirus pandemic may prove to be the tipping point as most experts seem to agree that the origin of COVID-19 lies in the Wuhan wet markets. In these types of markets, live animals are kept under questionable conditions, something that is proving to be the definition of unsustainable. Time will tell if this was the starting point for truly including CSR and sustainability as a key part of strategic sourcing.

Since Spend Matters’ last Vendor Analysis of EcoVadis in 2017, the provider of business sustainability ratings for global supply chains has released two new offerings, IQ and Spotlight, to help organizations manage their entire supply base. IQ is an offering using country and industry data to allow organizations to track the long tail of its suppliers. Spotlight helps manage audits of the most strategic suppliers. In between these, EcoVadis’ core offering remains its Ratings module. It supports sustainability requirements by defining and benchmarking a corporate social responsibility index across 21 sustainability indicators (built up from lower-level questions) categorized in four major areas: environment, social, ethics and supply chain.

In this updated PRO Vendor Analysis, we’ll dive into EcoVadis’ company background, its solution offering and some recommendations on how the firm is best used to maximize value. Part 2 will focus on product strengths and weaknesses. Part 3 will then wrap up with a company SWOT analysis, a look at EcoVadis' competitors and the market, shortlist guidance, and final commentary and recommendations.

EcoVadis CSR Index sees progress on labor and human rights, but procurement sustainability falls short

sustainable

Sustainable practices are slowly being embraced by companies around the globe, but performance has actually fallen in some key areas, according to EcoVadis’ newly released Global CSR Risk and Performance Index 2019.

The greatest increase was recorded in human rights and labor rights activities where aggregate scores for performance rose from 45.4% in 2017 to 46.7% in 2018, said the report from EcoVadis, a provider of  ratings for CSR, sustainability risk and performance for companies that fuel global supply chains.

EcoVadis attributed much of the gain to increased awareness and scrutiny of modern slavery as well as diversity issues in the workplace, with many governments introducing legislation requiring enhanced due diligence and reporting on these issues

EcoVadis, NYU report on the state of sustainable procurement

sustainability

Sustainability efforts paired with technological growth continuously affect the way business leaders plan for their companies’ futures. As budgetary and operational plans are considered, thought leaders in the supply chain and procurement space are evaluating sustainability as an asset that can stifle risk and bring about further economic growth.

EcoVadis, a firm that works to provide sustainability risk and performance ratings for global supply chains, recently launched its 2019 Sustainable Procurement Barometer in partnership with the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business.

Visibility is Key to Managing CSR Risks in Indirect Spend, EcoVadis Says (Part 3)

Indirect spend often gets overlooked by businesses because the outcomes from buying those goods and services are not the company’s core product, which relies on direct spend. But the potential for lost money and increased risk is so great that businesses must find a way to manage indirect spend.

“The broad reach of indirect spend, coupled with a lack of visibility creates risk, so the key to gaining visibility and managing this risk is to prioritize indirect spend management within an organization and start assessing indirect supplier performance in a formalized way,” said EcoVadis, a risk mitigation provider that offers business sustainability ratings and intelligence.

EcoVadis joined us for a Q&A to explore the next steps to figure out how to identify weak points, prioritize areas to defend against and create a plan for mitigating risks.

After EcoVadis’ Sustain 2019: How Its Offering Fits With Supplier Management, Risk Management Solutions (Part 2)

supply risk

Last week, I represented the Spend Matters analyst team at EcoVadis’ Sustain 2019 customer event in Paris. In between lessons on sustainable supply chains, vendor CSR ratings and French labor unions I never knew existed — thank goodness for British Airways when the Eurostar shuts down because a handful of customs workers at Gare du Nord decided to protest Brexit by striking — I had the chance to learn about the latest enhancements to the EcoVadis platform.

In Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO research series, we shared some of the most recent capabilities that EcoVadis has embedded in its sustainability and ratings supplier management platform. Today, we turn our attention to explaining how EcoVadis fits in the broader supplier management and risk solutions landscape. (Hint: It is a complement to other solutions, but not a replacement for them, at least not yet.)

We will conclude our series with a look at the EcoVadis solutions roadmap and landscape in the coming weeks with specific recommendations on what it means for current and future customers who are likely to also make investments in adjacent solution areas and need to think about the architectural “fit” of all these components together. But to answer that question, we first need to explore where EcoVadis sits today in the broader supplier management and supply/supply chain risk management technology and solutions universe?

This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides insight into all of the components that comprise the supplier management and supplier/supply chain risk management sectors. It then attempts to place EcoVadis, a sustainability and CSR specialist in vendor ratings and management, in the context of these two highly complex solutions markets. Our analysis includes detailed functional and requirements for each of these solution types.

EcoVadis: Vendor Analysis (Part 3) — Competitive and Summary Analysis

Upwork Pro

In this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot series, we have been analyzing EcoVadis, a provider of a cloud-based corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability rating and monitoring “Solution” (with a capital “S” to denote a solution that transcends software) for your critical supply chain suppliers. The supplier and buyer friendly platform allows suppliers to self-register, complete a profile customized to them based on their UN ISIC industry code (and country and size), upload all relevant documentation and get assessed/rated for a 12-month period. As we wrote in our last installment of this series: 

“The EcoVadis CSR rating is not a formal certification from a regulatory agency, but the criteria is interestingly built up as a "best of breed" superset of requirements from existing CSR standards such as Global Reporting Initiative, the United Nations Global Compact, and the ISO 26000. This relevance helps improve attractiveness and adoption by organizations who don't want to re-invent the wheel and can use a single rating to also help comply with the other certifications that are in force within their supply chain.”

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering EcoVadis offers a SWOT analysis, competitive assessment and comparison with other similar and “crossover” providers in the supplier management market which also address ratings, CSR, risk and related initiatives. It also includes a user selection guide and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep-dive solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider EcoVadis.

EcoVadis: Vendor Analysis (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses

sustainability

The market demand for supplier intelligence and data within procurement continues to increase. Whether it’s supply chain and supplier risk data provided by originators and aggregators or category and supply market based general intelligence offered by analyst-driven models, an increasing number of firms are looking to third parties to augment their internal data gathering and analysis efforts. EcoVadis fits within this supplier intelligence/data (and software) landscape as a cloud-based corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability rating/monitoring solution for global suppliers. To date, it has faced no direct competition for its unique bundling of cloud based software, content and services.

The buyer friendly (and supplier friendly) platform allows suppliers to self-register, complete a profile customized to them based on their UN ISIC code and categories of products or services offered, upload all relevant documentation and get certified for a 12-month period with a CSR certification. EcoVadis builds certifications as a smart superset of CSR mega standards (e.g., Global Reporting Initiative, the United Nations Global Compact, and the ISO 26000), which enables it to be more readily accepted across a buying organization’s customer base.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores EcoVadis’ product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider this provider of supplier intelligence solutions. It also offers a critique (pros/cons) of the user interface. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering EcoVadis. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

EcoVadis: Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview

For many industries and regions, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability are de rigueur. In several cases, there is also legislation to back them up, and there are no signs the resulting regulations are going away anytime soon.

Despite this, may companies pay CSR little more than lip service. There are numerous reasons for this. For one, CSR often has a hard time competing for budget and investments relative to other “hot” projects focused on short-term cost savings. This is a shame, because when CSR is extended to the supply base, it can actually be used to demonstrate not just regulatory/customer compliance but also to tap supplier innovation, lower costs, reduce supply risk and increase brand leverage.

The bigger tactical issue, however, is that extending CSR out to suppliers is simply hard to do cost effectively — especially if you want to do it properly. Getting hundreds (or thousands) of suppliers to adhere to basic contract terms and a vague supplier code of conduct document is one thing, but getting them to comply with more impactful and enforceable clauses for CSR/sustainability is even more challenging. If you’re a buying organization that’s truly concerned with de-risking your supply chain and looking beyond “check the box” compliance, you need to have a way to engage your suppliers in a more compelling way. Suppliers have many demands on their time and investments, too, so offering them something more than an edict is necessary.

But perhaps the most vexing question begins with measuring success. When you get down to it, how do you even define sustainability and responsibility? How do you measure it? And how do you know whether your performance against those measurements is good or bad for your industry or overall, especially when core requirements for CSR and sustainability differ across dozens of industries and hundreds of categories?

It takes expertise, and not just software. EcoVadis knows this, and that's why it has more than 150 CSR experts on staff to evaluate supplier profiles, documents and third-party audits to objectively gauge the corporate social responsibility of a company against a benchmarked numeric scale. It integrates this expertise into a unique combination of automated supplier surveys, certifications (gathering, analysis, validation, and publishing), benchmarking and training across 21 major CSR factors (with potentially hundreds of atomic level questions) derived from a combination of major global CSR standards — and augmented by best practice. It’s pretty cool when you see it in action.

In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, we’ll dive into EcoVadis’ company background, its solution offering and some recommendations on how the firm is best used to maximize value. Part 2 of this analysis will focus on strengths, weaknesses and production selection guidance. Part 3 will then wrap up with SWOT Analysis, competitive analysis, shortlist guidance and final commentary and recommendations.