improve implementation systems

Implement ethical supply chains

To achieve ethical supply chains, companies must develop effective systems and take action in areas such as traceability, supplier management, responsible production and processing practices, and robust monitoring. The Accountability Framework provides detailed guidelines – along with tools and examples – to help companies fulfill these and other implementation aspects in accordance with best practice.  Users can assess their systems and practices, identify priorities for improvement, and access best practices and how-to guides to improve implementation of supply chain goals.

Assess implementation systems

If you have not yet done so, start by reviewing your company’s existing implementation systems and practices against the Framework using the AFi’s self-assessment tool.

Use the Accountability Framework to help develop effective systems and practices to achieve ethical supply chains.


Click the activities to the right for more detail

Manage a supply chain

To achieve supply chains that are free from deforestation, conversion, and human rights abuses, companies must ensure that these outcomes are achieved throughout their entire supply base. This requires commodity buyers to identify the origins of the materials they buy, assess compliance or risk, and constructively engage non-compliant suppliers on a pathway  toward full compliance with ethical supply chain requirements. 

The Accountability Framework is a resource to help companies design effective systems for these purposes. It provides in-depth guidance on several aspects of supply chain management including traceability, risk assessment, supplier engagement, and management for supplier compliance. This guidance is based on collective experience from diverse supply chains and stakeholders and helps clarify key details for companies working to establish or improve their supply chain management systems. The Framework can also be used as the basis for communicating expectations to suppliers or for developing supplier assessment tools or questionnaires.

Read and apply expectations and best practices for traceability

Read and apply expectations and best practices for managing for supplier compliance

Establish and maintain responsible production systems

For companies with production or processing operations, achieving ethical supply chains requires adhering to responsible practices for site establishment and for the management of operations to respect human rights and protect natural ecosystems on an ongoing basis. These responsibilities also apply to companies that finance or support the establishment or operation of production or processing sites.  

The Accountability Framework clarifies specific expectations and details for responsible production systems as well as tools that companies can use to help achieve them. 

Read and apply expectations and best practices for establishing and maintaining responsible production systems

Read and apply expectations and best practices for ensuring respect for human rights in production & processing operations

Learn about related initiatives and tools for achieving responsible production systems, and how they may be used in tandem with the Accountability Framework

Take action beyond the supply chain

To fully mitigate risks of deforestation, conversion, and human rights violations in their supply chains, companies must sometimes collaborate with governments, local communities, or other stakeholders to institute broader solutions and address root causes of these issues. For this reason, a growing number of companies are participating in multi-stakeholder collaborations – including in landscape, jurisdictional, and sectoral initiatives – to support effective implementation of supply chain goals at more actionable scales. Such collaboration can enable companies to address social and environmental issues that are beyond their full control while contributing to broader and longer-lasting positive impacts.

The Accountability Framework includes guidance on how companies can effectively engage in such collaborations to meet ethical supply chain goals, including through jurisdictional sourcing, investment, and partnerships. 

Learn about the use of landscape, jurisdictional, and sectoral initiatives to achieve ethical supply chains


Monitor operations & supply chains

Robust monitoring and verification systems are essential components of ethical supply chains. Companies should establish effective monitoring systems that assess risk, performance, and progress toward full achievement of goals including no-deforestation, no-conversion, and full respect for human rights. Credible monitoring and verification is also a primary basis for external reporting to demonstrate progress to buyers, investors, civil society, and other stakeholders.

Read and apply expectations and best practices for monitoring and verification

Learn about related initiatives and tools for effective monitoring and reporting

Nana Darko Cobbina What does the Framework offer? It addresses deforestation. It addresses responsible acquisition of land. It addresses responsible engagement of stakeholders, including local or indigenous communities. It addresses workers’ rights and land rights. It's an extremely important tool to support the effective implementation of these processes.

Nana Darko Cobbina
Director of Africa Regional Programmes, Proforest


Still have questions?

If you have specific questions about how the Framework can be applied in your context, or if you would like to speak to a member of the AFi team, please contact us below.

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