SMETA 4-pillars

SMETA 4 Pillars Responsible Sourcing

SMETA 4-pillars was developed by AIM (Association des Industries Marque) in order to meet the changing needs of consumer goods organisations. Placing a greater emphasis on environmental issues and business integrity, SMETA 4-pillars goes beyond the requirements of a standard SMETA audit.

Who can use SMETA 4-pillars?

SMETA 4-pillars was designed for, and is primarily used by, Sedex members to help meet objectives including promotion of responsible sourcing within the supply chain and improving ethical audit effectiveness and efficiency.

Organisations who aren’t Sedex members are also encouraged to use SMETA with the aim to improve audit transparency through sharing of auditor qualifications and practices as well as audit methodology.

Why is SMETA 4-pillars important for your business?

SMETA 4-pillars was designed to support responsible sourcing practices and sustainable production systems. Through common evaluation methods, benefits include:

  • Reduced costs through standardised and shared approach to sharing audit information
  • Improved supply chain management
  • Benchmarking opportunities against an international network
  • Improved brand protection through commitment to responsible sourcing

SMETA 4-pillars audit process

The foundation for any SMETA 4-pillars audit starts with four key areas of focus, the four pillars of Labour Standards, Environmental Management, Health and Safety, and Business Integrity. These pillars are considered at every stage of the audit – from opening meeting through to closing meetings.SMETA 4 Pillars Responsible Sourcing

SMETA 4-pillars benefits with LQRA

Our social audits focus on the areas and issues that are important to your business and with our global network of assessors in over 120 countries, you can be sure that LRQA has a knowledge of the local language, culture and legislation that affects your organisation. SMETA 4-pillars audits from by LRQA helps to ensure ‘best practice’ with regards to responsible sourcing, leading to:

Competitive advantage

LRQA is a market leader in the provision of assessment, certification and training services, and some of the world’s best known organisations choose LRQA for their assessment services. 

Continual improvement

Improve workplace communications and processes around responsible sourcing throughout the organisation and drive improvements across your supply chain.

New business opportunities

Audits from LRQA significantly improves your ability to work with the many organisations where SMETA 4-pillars is a contractual obligation or expectation.


Download our FAQ sheet and find out more about the frequently asked questions around SMETA and the 4-pillars