ELEVATE Responsible Sourcing Standard

An assessment protocol based on best practice industry initiatives

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ELEVATE Responsible Sourcing Standard

The ELEVATE Responsible Sourcing Standard and associated protocol offers facilities, retailers and brands a suite of resources to proactively manage social compliance.

The protocol includes:

  • The ELEVATE Responsible Sourcing Assessment (ERSA) that acts like a code of conduct by outlining the relevant issues and expectations for suppliers and factories
  • Tools that translate the ELEVATE Responsible Sourcing Standard into a world-class assessment framework including an interactive assessment tool, checklist, grading matrix, data collection process etc.
  • Guidance that enables our team to deliver high / consistent quality. This includes the proprietary ELEVATE Academy, assessment manual, a report writing guide and more.

“The ELEVATE Responsible Sourcing Assessment (ERSA) and wider protocol are an integral part of ELEVATE’s ongoing commitment to elevating audit engagements, quality and transparency both within our own organization and those we work with each day.” Davis Guan, Vice President, Global Quality & Integrity

“Assessment reports produced from this process will also include enhanced analytics on industry trends and benchmarking insight around factory performance. Future iterations will include insight into equivalency against industry initiatives.” Dr Kevin Franklin, Senior Vice President

What is covered by our sourcing standard?

This provisions of the ELEVATE Responsible Sourcing Standard include:

  • Transparency & Business Integrity
  • Management Systems
  • Hiring, Disciplinary & Termination
  • Child Labor
  • Forced Labor
  • Harassment or Abuse
  • Non-Discrimination
  • Freedom of Association & Grievance Mechanisms
  • Foreign Migrant Labor
  • Wages and Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Health & Safety
  • Environment
  • Sub-Contracting
  • Homework


The criteria and guidelines are maintained by ELEVATE and were developed based on local and national laws, International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions and benchmarked against industry protocols including:

  • Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) (formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition)
  • Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)
  • amfori Business for Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI)
  • Global Social Compliance Program (GSCP)
  • ICTI Ethical Toy Program
  • Sedex SMETA 6.0 framework
  • Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)
  • And more 

How to use our sourcing standard in your organization

Any company interested in improving social conditions in their organization or supply chain may use the ELEVATE Responsible Sourcing Standard. The standard and its associated protocol, reporting framework and analytics platform can be deployed by ELEVATE auditors on behalf of your business and / or licensed for use internally. The ELEVATE Academy and associated auditor training resources will also eventually be available to ELEVATE clients and company internal assessment teams. 

The sourcing standard caters to a wide variety of industries with particular applicability for apparel, electronics, consumer goods and retail and agriculture. It is suited for facilities looking to implement the proactive management and monitoring of social compliance.