Sedex, the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, is a not-for-profit organization based in London, UK, open for membership to any company anywhere in the world.

Sedex is a membership organization for businesses committed to continuous improvement of the ethical performance of their supply chains. Companies join Sedex in order to use the Sedex web-based system, participate in Sedex governance, participate in working groups, network and engage with other Sedex members , utilize Sedex value-added services.

Sedex enables member companies to efficiently manage the ethical and responsible practices of their global supply chains, generating transparency through the provision of a data exchange.

Sedex focuses on four pillars. Members commit to improving their supply chain performance accordingly.

  1. Labour Standards
  2. Health & Safety
  3. Environment
  4. Business Integrity

The tool used by Sedex is named SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit). It incorporates 3 elements:

  1. A best practice guidance on conducting ethical trade audits
  2. An audit report format
  3. A corrective action plan format.

SMETA is designed to benefit retailers and consumer brands and their suppliers, reducing duplication of effort in ethical trade auditing. Companies who are not members of Sedex are able and encouraged to use SMETA as well.

SMETA is not a new code of conduct or standard to which audits should be conducted. It is rather a compilation of best practice in ethical trade audit technique, intended for experienced auditors to help them to conduct high quality audits that will be accepted by multiple retailers and brands


The SEDEX is not a standard nor a code of conduct, through the SMETA tools it compiles best practices for auditing.

Nature of the instrument – database of best practice guidance.