Guide for Ethical Sourcing in Asia

Discover how to conduct ethical sourcing in China and other Asian countries


Ethical sourcing is becoming an important part of modern business strategies. As the world becomes more connected and consumers become more aware of where their products come from, pressure is increasing on companies to challenge ethical practices in their supply chains. In this guide, we explore how companies can apply ethical sourcing when working with suppliers in China and other Asian countries.

What is ethical sourcing?

Ethical sourcing is about ensuring fair working conditions, respect for human rights, and environmental responsibility throughout the supply chain. It means that companies take responsibility for the social and environmental impact of their activities, and strive for positive change.

The importance of ethical sourcing in Asia

Asia is a hotspot for manufacturing and sourcing, thanks to its competitive prices and enormous production capacity. However, the region is also notorious for its challenges in labor rights and environmental protection. This makes ethical sourcing in Asia all the more crucial.

people running on dirt road during daytime

Steps to ethical sourcing

1. Do thorough research:

Gather as much information as possible about potential suppliers. Check their reputation, read reviews, and try to find out how they deal with labor rights and the environment.

2. Visit the factories in person:

An on-site visit can give you a better idea of the working conditions and the way the factory is run.

3. Set clear expectations:

Make it clear to suppliers what your standards are in terms of working conditions, human rights and the environment, and ensure that this is recorded in contracts.

4. Build long-term relationships:

Long-term collaborations can contribute to stability and give you the opportunity to work on improvements together with suppliers.

5. Conduct regular audits:

Monitor the performance of your suppliers and conduct regular audits to ensure they meet your standards.


You can also sign up for an ethical sourcing seal of approval, such as​ Amfori BSCI or Sedex SMETA.  BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) and SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) are both initiatives that focus on improving ethical and social standards within companies' supply chains.

Benefits of ethical sourcing

Ethical sourcing not only benefits workers and the environment, but can also have positive effects on your business. It can contribute to a stronger brand image, more customer loyalty and even financial stability.


Ethical sourcing is essential in the modern business world, and nowhere is this more important than in Asia. By being proactive, setting clear expectations and conducting regular audits, companies can contribute to a more just and sustainable world, while strengthening their own operations. Ethical sourcing is not only the right thing to do, it's also good for business.

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What is sustainable procurement?
and how can you implement sustainable sourcing from Asia?