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Social Impact Solutions

What is social impact?

Social impact is the result of activities that drive change to address social injustices and challenges.

For businesses, social impact can be defined as the overall impact a business has through its operations or relationships with its stakeholders. The social impact of a business often refers to practices related to its employees, employment, products, or services. The impacts can be both positive and negative and intended and unintended and can affect people’s human rights.

A sustainable business’s social impact should include practices and policies related to the responsible sourcing of products and raw materials, design, and manufacturing supply chains, working conditions, such as wages, employment laws, ethical hiring, the empowerment of women and minorities, lack of discrimination, affordable health care and other necessary benefits. It should also include the business’s wider impact on society.

We envisage a world free of poverty, hunger, disease and want, where all life can thrive. We envisage a world free of fear and violence…
A world of universal respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice, equality and non-discrimination; of respect for race, ethnicity and cultural diversity; and of equal opportunity permitting the full realization of human potential and contributing to shared prosperity…
a world in which every country enjoys sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all.

Why do businesses need to act now?

Consumers, employees and investors are increasingly demanding that businesses take responsibility for their social impact. Expected human rights regulations in many countries will drive businesses to identify and improve their social impact, so acting now can help to prepare companies and position them as leaders. 

Having a negative social impact can cause irreversible reputation damage and sometimes carries the risk of prosecution. Recent human rights violations covered in mainstream media have demonstrated the potentially devastating and lasting impact that violations can have on companies, making social impact a business imperative. Increasingly, risk assessments and due diligence need to become part of corporate practices to ensure reputation, profitability, and quality within the business.  

The following policy, frameworks and standards are tackling the world’s most pressing social challenges:


National PolicyInternational FrameworksIndustry Standards

National Policy

  • The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (UK)
  • Dodd Franks ACT (USA)
  • California Transparency Act
  • The Duty of Vigilance, The Loi PACTE (France)
  • Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive
  • Other

International Frameworks

  • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • UN Sustainable Development goals
  • Dhaka principles of migration
  • OECD guidelines

Industry Standards

  • The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)

What can businesses do now?

To understand how they impact people within their business and supply chains, businesses should:

  • Identify, prevent, avoid, and mitigate any salient risks to people from the issues arising from climate impacts and put in place robust remediation strategies.
  • Design policies, strategies, and programmes to prepare for and address social impacts within their operations and supply chain. A foresight-driven approach should be taken to factor the changing macro context to align human rights and climate change.
  • Build capacity within the organisation by establishing training, education and development on ethical trade, human rights, gender equality, purchasing practices, modern slavery, ensure health and safety.
  • Create grievance mechanisms and worker representation models for global supply chains.

Explore our Social Impact Services

factory workers

How can Anthesis help?

Working closely with supply chains, Anthesis supports businesses, governments and NGOs to understand their social impacts, and build a better understanding of current Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices in comparison to industry best practice. Our strategic approach considers all elements of a business’s operations and spans topics such as human rights, responsible sourcing, and wellbeing.

Anthesis can also support with preparing and implementing strategies and action plans for improvement, ensuring they link to the business values and strategy in a way that delivers commercial benefit.

Through this, we help companies to understand where they are in their CSR and sustainable performance journey and move from being reactive to fully integrated and purposeful.


Our global social impact team consists of industry-led subject matter expertise and experience spanning multiple geographies and sectors. We believe in addressing the root cause of social issues and consider transparency, empathy and embracing constant change are key in helping organisations to share beliefs and behaviours. We try and solve problems by building purpose through empathy, having the courage to be different, support action and collaborate for impact.

Our social impact services include:

  • Identification of risks within your business, supply chain and sourcing – We help you to identify and rank where the key human rights and salient risks are located within your business and supply chain, both geographically and within Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) parameters. This includes:
    • Identifying product risks through screening, sourcing and due diligence of ingredients and assessing human rights impacts
    • Supporting you to implement supplier audit programmes through supplier engagement and due diligence support
    • Working with you to improve supply chain transparency and traceability
  • Legislation and policy review – conducting a landscape review of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), sustainability, and human rights policy and benchmarking against competitors to identify vulnerabilities and trends. We can also provide insight into international frameworks, standards and legislation that may affect your current business and future growth
  • Strategy building – Using gap analysis based on business models and operational effectiveness, we create CSR and social impact strategies, including areas such as diversity and inclusion and gender equality
  • Policy Development – We work with you to develop policies, statements and annual reports covering, code of conduct, modern slavery, CSR and human rights, in line with industry-standard reporting such as the GRI and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs)
  • Corrective action plans – Supporting the development of corrective action plans, grievance mechanisms, and enabling effective worker representation
  • ESG supply chain strategy reporting and validations for investors
  • Reporting and Social Impact communications – To measure and report on the value delivered by social impact, we can support you to develop a social return on investment methodology and to create purposeful social impact communications designed to deliver change and bring policies to life
  • Capacity building – We can support you to build capacity around purchasing practices, diversity and inclusion, and training and development

We were able to create a leading policy on a tight timeline, thanks to the great collaboration and leading expertise provided by Anthesis.

Beth Greenaway
Team Lead Circular & Sustainable Products, Zalando


The supply chain report produced by Anthesis was a key element of the success of the initial public offering (IPO) of In The Style. The report ensured investor confidence in ITS and set out a clear roadmap to guide progress.


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Contact us

Ramesh Panavalli
Ramesh Panavalli
Principal Consultant