Panama Papers Are A Reminder Of Ethical Risks Lurking In The Supply Chain

April 19, 2016 EcoVadis

Have You Reviewed Your Supplier Due Diligence Processes Lately?


The mind-boggling number of names and companies ensnared in the Panama Papers scandal leaves many people wondering if they might know or work with any of the entities on the list, and whether it means they are doing anything unethical, or breaking any laws.

This is the kind of thing that may make CPOs, risk and compliance managers uncomfortable. You may wonder things like: “Are any of my trading partners on that list? If so and it is revealed, what might be the consequences for my brand? and how can I avoid it in the future?”

“Ethics” is of course one of the four themes in the EcoVadis criteria. The Ethics theme covers corruption and bribery, and anti-competitive practices (as well as responsible marketing). Given the nature of the anonymous accounts in the Panama Papers, this naturally gives rise to questions as to what unethical or illegal things are being done with those accounts.

EcoVadis customers may be wondering if any companies on the Panama Papers list (e.g. who might be your supplier) have an EcoVadis scorecard, and what the impacts may be on their score. What could happen depends, of course, on the details:

First of all, there would need to be clear evidence of wrongdoing within our criteria, and with material consequences – e.g. they profited from a competitive advantage, bribe, or other action. This would have to be reported by multiple reputable sources to corroborate the finding. If the case is corroborated, then it would appear on the 360 feed for that Supplier, which is visible in the Scorecard on the EcoVadis Portal, in the 360 window. It could also negatively impact the score upon the next assessment that the supplier undergoes. You can learn more about our scoring in this paper on the EcoVadis methodology.


If the case is severe, we could consider a spontaneous update of the scorecard with a revised score.

If you are an EcoVadis client using our Enterprise Procurement solution and have questions about how Panama Papers or other incidents may impact the score, please contact your EcoVadis program manager.

If you’re looking for a supplier monitoring solution, and want to know more about the EcoVadis CSR ratings and scorecards and how it can help manage risk in your supply chain, Click here to contact us.


If you are a supplier and want to know what might impact your scorecard, the fastest way to get an answer is to visit our supplier help center and enter a support request.

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