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SMETA audit confirms CHEP commitment to ethical trade best practice and supply chain transparency

CHEP, the world’s leading provider of pallet and container pooling solutions, has concluded a SMETA audit process at its European sites. The audit confirms that CHEP has the right process in place and carries out ethical trade best practices in line with its customers’ needs.

SMETA – which stands for Sedex Members’ Ethical Trade Audit – is a globally respected social audit format developed by the Sedex Associate Auditor Group, which helps organisations manage risk by driving transparency throughout the supply chain. A secure, online platform is used to share and manage information related to Labour Standards, Health & Safety, the Environment and Business Ethics.

Fernando Rodríguez, Vice-President Plant Operations for CHEP’s European Pallets business, said: "The SMETA audit has helped us to verify that we had the correct practices and procedures at our sites across Europe. This is the first large ethical audit that we have undertaken as a company and we felt well prepared and found it straightforward to complete, largely thanks to our strong code of conduct and corporate policies in this area.

"Following this audit, we have received very positive customer feedback. A good example is Nestlé, who appreciates CHEP’s long history of strong corporate culture supporting best practices in ethical standards. Nestlé has also highlighted the positive work we are doing on sustainability and responsible sourcing. We feel very proud of that."

CHEP offers an environmentally friendly business model, driven by the continuous repair and reuse of pooled pallets. In its efforts to meet its own CO2 emissions reduction targets, Nestlé stands to benefit from CHEP’s strict adherence to sustainable sourcing of timber for pallets and CHEP’s certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), two of the world’s most respected forest management organisations.

Sedex CEO, Carmel Giblin, said: "It is really positive to see how CHEP has used Sedex and SMETA to effectively audit standards at its sites of employment and gain additional visibility of business practices and procedures. We look forward to continuing collaborating with CHEP on its efforts to drive continual improvements across its global operations."

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