Sustainability / ESG

ESG Check Module
Carbon Footprint Module

Set your course towards a sustainable future

The food and other industries are particularly challenged when it comes to making processes, structures, and business models more sustainable. To help you determine your position and get an overview of your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts, IFS has developed the IFS ESG Check. The verified self-assessment delivers reliable and credible results. They create a sound basis to show your ESG engagement to your stakeholders credibly and set the course to better sustainability.

With IFS, you have a well-known partner widely accepted by major retail, wholesale, food services and other businesses. Renowned retail companies recognise the ESG Check as a tool to document sustainability management systems. Good to know: You can combine the ESG check with your IFS Audit or Assessment.


What is the IFS ESG Check about?

The IFS ESG Check assesses how your company integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles in its policy and management systems. The check features a unique combination of a self-assessment and a verification by an auditor on-site. The program has different

modules. The basic ESG Check module, focussing on assessing your company's sustainability management system, is compulsory. The other modules complementing the basic module are optional.
Click the boxes to learn more about the modules.  

Benefits of the IFS ESG Check

  • Determine your position regarding sustainability and ESG principles
  • Use the results to set your course towards more sustainability
  • Get ready for the evolving legal landscape
  • Provide your stakeholders with verified information
  • Credibly show your ESG engagement to stakeholders
  • Have a tool that renowned retail companies recognise
  • Benefit from the expertise of our partners ImpactBuying and natureOffice

How it works

  • Determine the modules suitable to your needs
  • Fill out the self-assessment form(s)
  • Contact a certification body
  • Have the on-site check performed by a trained auditor
  • Get a letter of confirmation and results in a comprehensive report
  • Make the documents available to your stakeholders
  • Identify additional potential, and plan the following steps

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ImpactBuying BV

To provide the IFS ESG Check training for auditors, internal auditors, and companies, we have partnered with ImpactBuying. This company turns supply chain challenges into business opportunities with a positive impact on people and the planet. They are well-known internationally for their expertise in unravelling complex supply chains with the support of data technologies combined with valuable insights from industry experts. The ImpactBuying Academy delivers a wide range of sustainability training programs building a solid foundation for the IFS ESG Check training courses.


Determining the corporate carbon footprint according to the GHG protocol is compulsory in the Carbon Footprint module. To offer companies a tool, IFS has sought cooperation with natureOffice, a consulting and IT development company specialising in sustainability solutions. They have developed the ecozoom calculation tool. Tailored to the food industry, it enables companies to independently create comparable, GHG Protocol-compliant, transparent, and verifiable company and product carbon footprints.

IFS ESG Check News

The new IFS ESG Check

ESG Check: IFS supports businesses on their way to better sustainability

  • The verified self-assessment helps small and mid-sized businesses to evaluate their current sustainability management practices
  • The model facilitates a transition to active climate protection in businesses

Berlin, 07.07.2022. The food industry is particularly challenged when it comes to making, processes, structures, and business models more sustainable. For this reason, IFS, the globally applied quality standard, has developed the IFS ESG Check that helps small and mid-sized companies to determine their own individual status quo.  The verified self-assessment creates an important basis for businesses to take more concrete measures on the way to better sustainability.

Hardly any other topic concerns people as much as climate change. This was the result of a study conducted by the European Investment Bank in 27 countries. Sustainability plays a crucial role in the food industry in particular, as global demand for food is rising while production and supply chains are generating additional CO2 emissions. To combat this, efforts are being made worldwide to enshrine new requirements for sustainable food production in law. With its ‘Green Deal’ program, which aims to make the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, the European Union is taking a pioneering position on this topic.

For small and mid-sized businesses to take initiative and become more sustainable, however, guidance is needed. IFS – International Featured Standards – has developed the ESG Check for exactly this reason; to help companies understand the sustainability of their own practices and operations and integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles. IFS is well-known as a trustworthy partner by over 30,000 certified businesses.

“The IFS ESG Check helps to record involvement in environmental, social, and governance issues in small and mid-sized companies, thus guiding businesses into the next phase of their growth,” says Stephan Tromp, Managing Director of IFS Management GmbH. “The IFS ESG Check creates the foundation on which businesses can align their sustainability management, identify risks, and plan their further engagement.”

Questionnaire captures the status quo and identifies opportunities for catching up

By filling out the questionnaire, companies determine their current situation and status quo. In the next step, an auditor verifies the answers given. This unique combination of self-assessment and verification ensures that the data are robust and trustworthy. 

The robust data collected can be further utilized in consultation with the customer to plan the next steps and take measures to improve sustainability management and identify the additional potential for making the company’s operations more sustainable. Furthermore, the IFS ESG Check makes monitoring progress and success easier and more visible. A combination of the IFS ESG Check with a traditional IFS Certification audit is possible.

The basic module of the IFS ESG Check focuses on recording a company’s ‘Sustainability Management System’. It takes the sustainability policy of the company, the commitment of senior management to its own sustainability goals, as well as any associated and suitable frameworks into account. As an additional module, the IFS ESG Check offers companies the opportunity to evaluate their carbon footprint management system and determine their own footprint. For this purpose, IFS works together with Nature Office, a consulting firm for sustainability topics. 

To prepare for the IFS ESG Check, IFS offers companies practice-oriented training. For this, IFS works exclusively with Impact Buying BV, a ‘B Corporation’ that specialises in analysis, consultation, and training on sustainable supply chains. 

In the future, IFS will help customers determine their own position even more accurately with new modules. As a dependable partner, IFS will continue to help companies drive their sustainable transformation and accelerate change in society. Those who know where they stand today can better define where they will be tomorrow.

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