Business entity public supplier lists

Indicator Phrasing

#of target business entities with a publicly available supplier list including [specify relevant features according to project priorities]

Indicator Phrasing

English: #of target business entities with a publicly available supplier list including [specify relevant features according to project priorities]

What is its purpose?

This indicator measures the willingness of business entities to have their supply chains traceable to external organizations (such as workers’ rights organizations and trade unions). It is useful to CSOs whose projects or programs aim to monitor and address labor exploitation and abuse in business entity supply chains and to hold business entities accountable. The indicator can be used to understand if a project or program has increased business entity commitment to action on traceability within a defined time period.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Data Collection: 

CSOs can collect data to assess through desk-based research in two ways: 

 A. Directly from business entity websites to determine if the business entity publishes this directly and what features the published List includes, with reference to (a)-(h) below:

  • (a) All tiers (down to raw materials) 
  • (b) Definition of tiers 
  • (c) Name and address of supplier facilities 
  • (d) Type of products produced by suppliers 
  • (e) % suppliers by source country (or % spending by source country) 
  • (f) % suppliers with collective bargaining agreements in place for workers 
  • (g) Duration of relationship to supplier 
  • (h) Supplier workforce information split by % women and % migrant workers    

 B. Websites run by CSOs who monitor supply chain traceability for CTIP and collate and publish information on a range of business entities' practices on it. These include, in some cases, the detail included in in (a) – (h) above.

Some platforms that follow this practice can be found here (please note that these websites do not monitor all business entities in a particular sector, and the following list may also not be a comprehensive list of sources):

  • Corporate Human Rights Benchmark / World Benchmarking Alliance assesses and ranks business entities on human rights performance including mapping and disclosing supply chains in the apparel and automotive manufacturing sectors and transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. 

  • Know The Chain benchmarks business entities on traceability and risk assessment from the ICT, Food and Beverage, and Apparel and Footwear sectors. 

  • The Fashion Revolution reviews supply chain traceability for many of the world's largest fashion brands. 

  • The Fair Labor Association assesses risk assessment and traceability practices in manufacturing and agricultural supply chains. 

  • The Transparency Pledge collates information on Apparel and footwear business entities’ publication of supplier lists. 

  • Oxfam scores large supermarkets on supply chain traceability. 

  • The Open Apparel Registry / Open Supply Hub is a data tool that maps apparel production facilities worldwide. 

Calculation Method:

Step 1. Define criteria:

Select all features from (a) – (h) to feature in your indicator, as per your project or program needs.


Step 2. Using desk research methods (A) and / or (B), count the number of business entities that meet the terms of your indicator criteria.

Disaggregate by

  • Business entity size (e.g., # employees and / or annual turnover) 

  • Sector (e.g., construction, fishing, agriculture, fashion, ICT and others) 

  • Suppliers / buyers 


Important Comments

The indicator can also be adapted for qualitative monitoring of small numbers of business entities (e.g. 2 or 3). In this case, it can be described in writing which business entities are being monitored for action on traceability under the project or program, and which features from (a) – (h) (as relevant to the project or program) are included in those business entities’ published supplier lists.



Target business entities: The term “business entity” is used in a general sense to denote legally recognized organizations formed for the purpose of engaging in economic transactions, provide goods or services, and generate profits, engaged by the project or program. This may range from small businesses, for example a local restaurant chain that employs less than 50 people, to a multinational company with thousands of employees.  


Assessing the presence of TIP: This refers to a structured procedure for identifying actual or potential TIP cases from business entity’s activities using defined indicators. 


Supply chain tiers: These are groups of supplier business entities that share the same level in the production chain leading to production of the final product that is sold to customers. For example, Tier 3 suppliers provide products to Tier 2 suppliers who process them in some way, then provide the products to Tier 1 suppliers who sell goods directly to customers. Some business entities may take control of multiple stages of the supply chain, from harvesting raw materials all the way through to selling the finished product to customers. This is known as a vertically integrated business entity, consisting of internal supply tiers

This guidance was prepared by Winrock (Rights Lab) ©

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