The control phase of the sustainability management cycle is used to ensure that variances from the desired objectives and targets are detected and corrected.  This may be achieved through auditing, training and corrective action.

Internal Auditing – Internal auditing should be conducted by a team of individuals that follow an audit checklist and schedule.  Individuals look for conformance to the sustainability policy, objectives, targets and that measurements are taken to assess performance.  Any observations that identify non-conformance with the sustainability plan should have a root cause identified and a corrective and/or preventive action implemented.

Supplier Auditing - Ensure alignment and follow-up internally (remediate supplier non-compliance and invest in continuous improvement).  Critical components of an effective supply chain risk management strategy: Supply chain third party checking, testing and auditing. Internal and external auditing and checking of third party facilities, ingredients, components, quality, safety and labor rights needs to be part of the deal. Companies with extensive supply chains and supply chain risk should consider having an internal supply chain risk audit team or developing part of their internal audit function to accomplish such ongoing and periodic tasks. [

Track performance against goals and verify conformance – Be aware of suppliers’ operational performance at all times:

  1. Product / material disclosures
  2. Transparency and public Corporate Sustainability Reports with goals
  3. Performance Assessments and Auditing –
    • Supplier Report Card
    • Business Reviews
    • On-site evaluation to look at location, type of activities, potential impact on the company buying from this supplier
    • Possible third-party audit
  4. Corrective actions and monitoring; Appropriate penalties
  5. Improvement assistance
  6. Recognition System - Reward suppliers for sharing sustainability knowledge and experience

Corrective Action – Anytime there is an observation where continuous improvement is being hindered, including targets not being met, or performance not being measured, then a corrective action should be developed to understand the root cause and then a plan to correct the issue should be identified and implemented.

Training – Training is an element of continuous improvement that will benefit the company’s performance and the performance of each individual.  Company should consider what training is necessary and appropriate for the individual’s role in the company.

Management Review – The company’s performance towards the elements of the sustainability plan, including policy, objectives, targets, measures of performance, and communication, should be reviewed with management on a periodic basis.