Initiative for Compliance and Sustainability (ICS)

What is an Initiative for Compliance and Sustainability (ICS) audit?

Initiative for Compliance and Sustainability (ICS) is an international sectoral initiative with the aim of enhancing working conditions along global supply chains of its member retailers and brands.  ICS is composed of 47 multinational retailers and brands in the sectors of textile, retail, footwear, electronics and furniture.  The members collaborate with common tools to mutualize audits, contribute to the reduction of ‘audit fatigue’ and share knowledge and best practices.

One of the unique elements of ICS amongst other audit schemes and membership groups is that ICS audits are mandated and managed by member companies who are solely comprised of brands and retailers. Audit launch is a member prerogative, which ensures total control of the use of ICS tools.

ELEVATE conducts ICS audits wherever we have auditing capabilities (effectively covering over 100 countries).

ICS actions are based on shared tools and a common methodology applied by all ICS members. This secures complete control of the audit process by brands.

  • ICS Social and Environmental Code of Conduct defines the core requirements that suppliers must commit to.
  • The cornerstone of the ICS system is the audit report questionnaire used in 65 countries, shared by all members.
  • After the completion of the audit, the factories and the ICS members work on the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) that is recommended by the auditor via an online CAP monitoring system.

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  • We conduct approximately 18,000 social and environmental audits per year in over 100 countries.
  • ELEVATE has one of the largest networks of full time, on-staff, fully focused social compliance auditors.
  • Auditors are local, bilingual and have a clear understanding of region-specific trends and challenges.
  • ICS member clients of ELEVATE have access to program trend analysis of all audits conducted by ELEVATE – for members to benchmark their factories’ performance against all ELEVATE clients, and to showcase trends that come to the surface during the course of our auditing work.
  • APSCA certification is a minimum requirement at ELEVATE – we go above and beyond. Our ELEVATE Assessment Manual, our focus on transparency and additional ELEVATE Academy training make ELEVATE auditors the most trusted in the profession.

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Why you can expect more from ELEVATE.

An audit/verification report from ELEVATE means something. Our brand represents a choice for quality and integrity.

Over the last 15 years, ELEVATE has emerged as the most trusted service provider in responsible sourcing, ethical business and sustainability solutions. ELEVATE is the only independent sustainability and supply chain services provider with global reach, and are engaged at all levels of the value chain. This includes assessment and Corrective Action Plan (CAP) management, engagement with managers and workers in factories, world-class eLearning and training, and consultancy at the corporate level to assess risk, support improvement and drive impact.

ELEVATE’s online EiQ ecosystem is a comprehensive suite of supply chain analytics designed to engage brands, suppliers, factories and workers to achieve business driven sustainability.

EiQ supply chain analytics enables audit data to unlock corrective measures that provide a lasting business impact. This includes:

  • Identifying supply chain and business risks.
  • Tracking site performance.
  • Benchmarking audit results of your business or supply chain.

EiQ Supplier Solutions makes it easy for factories, farms, vendors and suppliers to manage social and environmental compliance and improve operational performance.

Partner with ELEVATE to reinforce your standing in ethical compliance.

ELEVATE is approved to work with brands, retailers, suppliers and factories to conduct assessments and audits representing a range of industry initiatives. Select a scheme for more information