25 January 2022

3 min read

Tackling the 'S' in ESG supply chain risk


Today’s 24/7 news cycle has increased public scrutiny on ESG, with recent events like COP26 drawing global attention. Elsewhere, changes to due diligence legislation mean businesses in the EU are now required to disclose human rights breaches within their supply chains. In this context, the way organisations navigate and respond to the ever-changing risk landscape has never been more important.

In this episode of S-RM Insider, we focus on the 'S', or social criteria, in ESG supply chain risk. Speaking with Associate Director Fabienne de Blois, we delve into the topic and provide practical steps for listeners wanting to understand the complexities surrounding social aspects of their supply chains.


Companies face reputational damage, the loss of shareholder or consumer confidence, and potential litigation when they do not take ESG seriously. Brands must ensure that ESG commitments are well-thought-out, long-term, and realistic, rather than 'performative'. Indeed, accusations of social washing are becoming ever more frequent in the media.


Increasingly for consumer brands, or those that rely on large and diffuse markets, there is a tangible benefit to clearly communicating ESG credentials. The brand benefit of this clear and honest communication, especially when it's coupled with long-term commitments that date back to before January 2020, when ESG (as an umbrella term) really gained momentum, is clear."


Getting ESG communications right can help build trust with consumers and stakeholders, as organisations like H&M and Boohoo have demonstrated through their willingness to face social issues in their supply chains head-on. ESG, however, is about more than just identifying, remediating, and managing risks. Done well, it can support value creation, unlock investment, and enable competitive advantage.

About the speakers

Fabienne de Blois, Associate Director

Fabienne has spent over 12 years working on human rights, political, civil society, and anti-bribery issues in the MENA region. She works with clients to understand and address the human rights and environmental impact of their operations. She also helps financial institutions and the public sector understand the provenance of private funds from the Middle East, with a particular focus on war economies.

Rosie McKeown, Head of Content

Rosie is Head of Content at S-RM. She has over 20 years' experience in content and communications across a variety of roles in education and accountancy.

S-RM supports clients globally to identify, manage, and remediate their ESG risks. We work with ESG leads, general counsel, boards, and investment and compliance teams across a range of sectors including finance, FMCG, agribusiness, and energy. Find out more about our ESG practice.


Fabienne de Blois
Fabienne de Blois
Associate Director, Investment Migration Due Diligence

Fabienne has spent over twelve years working on human rights, political, civil society and anti-bribery issues in the MENA region and across the globe. She joined S-RM in 2018 and now co-leads the business’ dedicated investment migration due diligence team, working closely with clients to understand the regulatory and reputational risks they face every day, such as the provenance of funds originating in war economies, as well as news risks which are emerging for organisations in the space, such as child abduction. She also works with clients to understand and address the human rights and environmental impact of operations across their value chains.

Prior to joining S-RM, Fabienne was a MENA-focused researcher and case manager at two UK-headquartered global risk consultancies, delivering complex human rights due diligence, deal advisory, litigation support, regulatory compliance and asset providence assessments for high profile corporate, public sector and institutional clients. She joined the industry having worked as a TV producer and teacher in Syria between 2008 and 2011 and then as freelance journalist, focusing on labour rights in informal workforces in Jordan, in 2012. During this time, she also worked as a research assistant for a well-established UK-based Egyptian political scientist and with the Danish Refugee Council on project focused on statelessness in Libya.

Fabienne holds a BA in Arabic and Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

Fabienne de Blois
Fabienne de Blois

Associate Director, Investment Migration Due Diligence

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