Ecovadis is a sustainability ratings provider and information portal that assesses the environmental, social and ethical risks of businesses and their supply chains across a range of sectors. These risks are organized into four main areas of concern: the environment, labor and human rights, ethics, and sustainable procurement.
The assessment’s output takes the form of a scorecard that organizations can use to monitor and improve their sustainability performance, as well as that of their trading partners, and compare with piers in their industry.
Ecovadis says its aim is to evaluate, collaborate and improve sustainability performance to foster transparency, innovation and growth. As an independent assessor, its ratings are highly valued and its methodology and process mean that stakeholders can rely on its assessment as an indicator of the integrity of suppliers within the supply chain.
There are about 85,000 businesses in the Ecovadis network, with more than 750 industry leaders using Ecovadis to improve sustainability in their value chains. Notable companies connected to lubrication include Azelis, BASF, Brenntag, Clariant, Condat, Croda, Dow, Evonik, Kraton, Lanxess, Nynas and OQ Chemical, as well as end-users such as GM, Renault-Nissan and Stellantis.
An evaluation of a company’s sustainability activities starts with an online questionnaire and a request for supporting documentation. This is combined with external data sources, including a scan of news, sanction lists, non-governmental organization labor and environmental monitoring reports, and is analyzed and validated by a team of industry experts who generate an evidence-based rating that is customized to the specifics of the client’s industry, category, size and country.
Ecovadis’ methodology aligns with international standards, such as ISO 26000, CERES Roadmap and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative.
The resulting sustainability scorecard – with scores ranging from 1 to 100 across the four themes, as well as a carbon scorecard with five levels – forms a benchmark that allows comparisons of performance with other users by industry, company size, location and theme.
Scorecards include feedback on the company’s strengths and improvement areas and are linked to a collaborative action plan tool and an e-learning academy, which together guide companies toward improvement and help track progress.
Combining the scorecard results with improvement areas results in a race to the top, according to Ecovadis, in which entire industries potentially compete to achieve global best practices. Companies that earn high scores can earn medals, which can be parleyed into publicity content to showcase success, differentiate businesses from competitors, strengthen sales and marketing propositions, enhance employer brand and improve talent retention and recruitment.
Introduced last year, platinum is the highest distinction and is given to companies that achieve an overall rating in the top 1%, which currently this equates to a score over 73.
Benefits to the Lubricant Industry
As with other industries, lubricant companies can use Ecovadis to tackle sustainability challenges. Those companies can confidently get rated on sustainability.
Lubricants fall into the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities under chemicals. Some examples of key challenges in this industry include energy consumption and greenhouse gases, water conservation, cleanliness and wastewater emissions, manufacturing waste, consumer and employee health and safety.
Going through this process allows companies to respond to customer and partner demands for transparency and demonstrate their dedication to sustainability.