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What is OEKO-TEX® RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS?

OEKO-TEX® RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS is a practical assessment tool and third-party certification that helps companies implement, verify and communicate social and environmental due diligence obligations - throughout their supply chains.

Based on seven relevant elements, RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS enables holistic evaluation of a company's due diligence management system.

RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS customers can also map the implementation of their climate strategy toward achieving the 1.5°C Paris Agreement target.

How can RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS support you?

Assess - Target - Act - Communicate

Existing and pending laws are holding brands, retailers and distributors responsible for protection of people and planet through their entire supply network.

Compliance requires:

  • Actual knowledge of your company's practices, and those of your suppliers
  • Targeted and transparent plans to measure, remediate and act to protect human rights and the environment
  • Identification and assessment of potential risks
  • Plans to prevent, mitigate or remediate potential negative impacts from operations within your company and supply chain
  • Validated commitment to act responsibly, comply and communicate to all stakeholders

OEKO-TEX® RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS supports this process. The framework enables structured risk identification and analysis within your own company and your supply chains. It helps you systematically avoid or reduce negative impacts and communicate your commitment.

RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS - 2 Options

OEKO-TEX® RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS includes modular components: Self-Assessment and Certification
Self-assessment

Standalone Tool or Path to Certification

The self-assessment:

  • Provides a snapshot of responsible business management within the company itself and its suppliers
  • Helps the company evaluate the implemented due diligence measures
  • Enables identification of risks and areas for improvement - along their supply chains

During the self-assessment, companies complete an online questionnaire and submit all supporting documents as evidence.

If the self-assessment is used as a stand-alone solution (instead of obtaining the full certification):

  • We provide an unverified report with valuable insights that can be used for internal improvements
  • The results can NOT be communicated to any third parties
Certification

Third-Party Certification of Due Diligence Obligations

If a company wants to communicate the results from their self-assessment, we evaluate the submitted data and validate with an on-site audit at the company's facility.

Upon successful completion of the audit, we will issue a verified report and RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS certificate to the company.

On the certificate, the results of the self-assessment will be shown in a transparent three-level scoring for each of the six required due diligence elements:

  • Level 1:
    Due diligence implementation within all direct suppliers
  • Level 2:
    Level 1 + due diligence implementation through material production
  • Level 3:
    Level 2 + due diligence implementation through raw material production

RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS - Details

Benefits

RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS Benefits

  • Transparent communication with stakeholders within supply chains (B2B) and governments (B2G)
  • Flexible use of the RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS tool, either:
    • As an internal assessment for insights and improvement of due diligence
      Systematic and guided approach to analyze, implement and continously improve due diligence measures along your supply chains
    • As an independent certification to address external stakeholders and reporting requirements
      Credible communication/documentation of due diligence efforts through a third-party certificate
  • Identification and mapping of potential human rights and environmental risks within supply chains
  • Solid foundation for compliance with existing or future legal requirements
Who can apply?

Brands, Brand Groups, Retailers, Traders, Wholesalers, Distributors

in the textile and leather industries

OEKO-TEX® RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS assesses and certifies companies who sell finished textile and leather goods.

To meet due diligence obligations, these companies need to identifiy potential risks along their supply chains and implement measures to protect human rights and the environment.

Criteria / Requirements

RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS Standard

A company can earn RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS certification by meeting OEKO-TEX® requirements specified for six due diligence elements:

  1. Business policy
    Embedding responsible business practices into the company’s policy and management systems
  2. Risk analysis
    Mapping supply chains, identifying and prioritizing risks in the company's supply chains
  3. Plan of action & measures
    Integration of specified actions and measures to:
    - Avoid potential risks
    - Remedy adverse impacts
  4. Monitoring
    Continuous monitoring of the defined measures and ongoing adjustment where necessary
  5. Communication
    Transparent communication to all stakeholders on the due diligence process, including:
    - The risk analysis
    - Complaint process
    - Actions taken to address potential and actual adverse impacts
  6. Access to remedy
    Implementation of a grievance mechanism

    OPTIONAL:
  7. Climate
    If a company has already taken adequate measures to support the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement (e.g. by implementing a climate strategy or by specifying environmental goals), this will also be considered in the RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS certificate
Validity, Audit Cycle

What is the application, audit and renewal cycle?

The OEKO-TEX® RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS certificate is valid for 3 years and can be extended by any number of times via application.

Compliance audits must be performed annually.

Certification Process

RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS Certification Process

  • Application
    Applicant completes the application form and sends it to
  • Self-assessment
    Applicant completes the OEKO-TEX® online assessment, providing any necessary documents as proof
    Tip: Mapping all relevant suppliers as extensively as possible will create a sound basis for the risk assessment
  • Evaluation & audit
    • We thoroughly evaluate all data provided by the applicant
    • Our auditors verify compliance on-site, at the applicant's premises
    • If necessary, our experts provide further assistance in understanding the requirements
  • Certificate & verified report
    • We create a detailed and verified report and issue the certificate
    • The certified company is authorized to transparently communicate their level of compliance with the due diligence obligations

Please contact us if you need any help.

Downloads

Technical Guides

Contact
Ben Mead
Managing Director
Hohenstein Americas