About TSC

What is The Sustainability Consortium or TSC? Why does TSC exist?

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) is a global non-profit dedicated to transforming the consumer goods industry to deliver more sustainable consumer products.  

TSC was founded in 2009 to turn the complexities and obscureness of supply chain sustainability into simple and transparent data points that could be integrated into a buyer-supplier conversation. TSC offers a portfolio of services to help drive effective improvement and implementation. 

TSC convenes our diverse stakeholders to work collaboratively to build science-based decision tools and solutions that address sustainability issues that are materially important throughout a product’s supply chain and lifecycle.  

Our Members and partners include: manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, service providers, NGOs, civil society organizations, governmental agencies, and academics 

TSC’s theory of change is that the power of the buyer-supplier relationship can create more sustainable consumer goods. And since THESIS covers more than 90% of sustainability impacts in consumer goods, both retailers and brand manufacturers can use one, holistic system for nearly all its products. 

Learn more here 

Why does TSC exist?

Consumer goods bring countless benefits to society, dramatically improving lifestyles around the world. These benefits however come with an increasingly sizeable sustainability price tag—both for people and the planet.

Global production and use of consumer goods accounts for more than 60 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, 80 percent of water usage, and two-thirds of tropical forest loss globally.

With 2.5 billion more people joining the consuming class in the next few decades, we must address the production, use, and disposal of consumer goods: a sustainable world requires sustainable production and consumption.

TSC was founded in 2009 to turn the complexities and obscureness of supply chain sustainability into simple and transparent data points that could be integrated into a buyer-supplier conversation. TSC’s theory of change is that the power of the buyer-supplier relationship can create more sustainable consumer goods. And since THESIS covers more than 90% of sustainability impacts in consumer goods, both retailers and brand manufacturers can use one, holistic system for nearly all its products.

How do I become a member of TSC? What are the benefits of membership?

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) provides opportunities to learn about the issues and opportunities in consumer product sustainability, to network with industry sustainability leaders, and to improve supply chain sustainability.  

 For more information visit our Membership site. 

How is TSC governed and how is it funded?

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) is a non-profit, members-based organization that receives financial and in-kind contributions from our corporate, civil society, and academic members, We receive funding from the licensing of our tools and services.  

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) is governed by an elected Board of Directors with corporate, civil society, and academic representatives. TSC is managed by a global executive team. 

Learn more here 

Is TSC or SupplyShift affiliated with Walmart?

TSC is an independent organization jointly administered by Arizona State University and University of Arkansas.  

SupplyShift is an independent technology company that works with retailers and brands on THESIS as well as other topics related to responsible and transparent supply chains. 

How does TSC ensure that conflicts of interest are managed?

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) uses a multi-stakeholder approach to ensure that no single voice be allowed to dominate and to manage any conflicts of interest. All our work and decisions are shared transparently with our members, who help to monitor all our activities. TSC uses published research as its basis for evidence and conclusions and employs a variety of processes to ensure effective and appropriate stakeholder engagement.

Does purchasing a THESIS license make me a member of TSC?

Purchasing a license to use THESIS does not equate to TSC membership. TSC members can access and use THESIS free of charge on the Member Portal. New versions of THESIS content are available on the Member Portal before being released for non-member use. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a member of TSC, please visit our Membership page. 

About THESIS and Getting Started

What is THESIS?

The Sustainability Consortium has drawn on years of experience in engaging with both suppliers and retailers across the consumer goods industry to launch, The Sustainability Insight System (THESIS), with enhanced user experience that will provide additional value for all types of users.   

THESIS is a science-based performance and risk management system that allows users to understand, prioritize, make progress on, and solve the most important social and environmental sustainability issues across the supply chains of food and consumer goods.  

What does a THESIS License include?

Unlimited THESIS standard assessments 

The license includes access to all available key performance indicator (KPI) sets, including guidance, related hotspot information and improvement opportunities, as well as autosaving and an easy user interface to enter information and share with customers. 

Access to THESIS supporting documents 


  • Sustainability Snapshots: Overviews of the issues and opportunities for each KPI set. These are ideal for internal communication when collecting data, as well as communicating results to external audiences. 
  • Supply Chain Diagrams: Graphic representations of product life cycles that highlight locations of hotspots, improvement opportunities, and their associated KPIs. 
  • Downloadable KPI Sets: Versions of the KPI sets in PDF and interactive Microsoft Excel formats. 
  • KPI Calculation Tools  for offline calculators and response assistance tools for 12 common KPIs. 

Action Recommendations 

Every user will receive automated recommendations for performance improvement, based on responses to each KPI to help plan for action. 

Supplier Scorecards and Benchmarking 

  • A summary of your overall performance and KPI-level scores for each assessment completed. 
  • Anonymized peer-ranking data that updates in real time as others complete the same assessments. 
  • Suppliers can view THESIS-wide ranks and KPI-level benchmarking. 

Published Analytics 

New in 2020, suppliers will now have access to published analytics that allow for a deeper dive into anonymous peer data. Unlike the assessment scorecard, published analytics reveal response option-level insights. 


Access to TSC and SupplyShift customer support services, webinar trainings, and online tutorials. 

Unlimited Users 

Suppliers can add any number of colleagues to their profile, to allow multiple users to work on responding to assessments at the same time and view results. 

Multi-Retailer Sharing 

Communicate your sustainability performance results to all participating customers without having to re-enter data. 

This TSC Help Center video covers the Value of a THESIS License 

Contact help@sustainabilityconsortium.org for password.  


What is the cost of a THESIS license on Supply Shift?

A THESIS license is being offered by SupplyShift to suppliers, manufacturers, and producers at the same low rate as prior years: $699 USD. As always, the license will remain free of charge for TSC Members. TSC Members should contact their nearest TSC staff member or help@sustainbilityconsortium.org to obtain their discount code. 

Where is THESIS hosted? What is SupplyShift? Why did TSC partner with SupplyShift?

THESIS is hosted on the SupplyShift platform. THESIS has its own branding but is fully integrated into SupplyShift meaning THESIS users get the full benefits of the platform SupplyShift have built, and existing SupplyShift users can access THESIS using their existing account and log-in details.   

SupplyShift is an independent cloud-based technology company who works with retailers and brands on THESIS as well as other topics related to responsible and transparent supply chains. Learn more about SupplyShift on their website 

TSC ran a public RFI process and vetted several different potential partners. SupplyShift’s proven technology, novel network architecture, existing partners, and expert team made them the best fit for our needs. The SupplyShift platform seamlessly integrates TSC’s KPIs resulting in an improved experience for buyers and suppliers alike.  

SupplyShift also provides a full suite of supply chain management solutions in a single network, so that buyers and suppliers can choose additional services to collect and share any kind of information at any tier of the supply chain. 

Who will have access to my data when using THESIS on SupplyShift? 

The SupplyShift platform puts suppliers, manufacturers, and producers in control of who gets to see their THESIS Index results. Suppliers can choose to share results with one or many of their corporate customers on the SupplyShift platform.  

Peer companies using THESIS will not see your identifiable data. Once 4 companies have completed the same assessment, aggregated scores and anonymized rankings are provided on scorecards and Published Analytics will include additional peer comparisons of supplier activity captured by KPI responses.  

The Sustainability Consortium gets a copy of the results to improve the KPIs and to conduct any additional analytics requested by corporate customers selected to receive the assessment results.  

SupplyShift has access to all data for purposes of running the platform.  

Suppliers have the option to share assessment results publicly on TSC’s website, which will only be done if that permission is granted. 

How will I be able to share my data with my retail customers? What will my retail customers do with my results?

Once you are signed onto the THESIS platform you can select which retailers and other purchasing organizations you want to share your data with both before and after completing your sustainability assessment(s). This feature enables you to simultaneously share your sustainability performance data with your selected retail customers and purchasing organizations.   

At later dates, you can also log back in and share existing responses to additional customers.   

It is best to contact your retail customer directly to ask how they will use your results.   


TSC has seen retailers use THESIS results in several ways, including to:  

  • Establish baseline data with suppliers to then track year-over-year improvement or launch organization-wide commitments  
  • Identify areas of opportunities for collaborative goals across common suppliers  
  • Provide additional data to ethical/responsible sourcing teams for compliance audits  
  • De-risk supply chains ahead of launching new businesses  
  • Educate buying teams and consumers about sustainability hotspot issues 
How does THESIS relate to other sustainability initiatives or certifications? How are certifications and ecolabels considered?

THESIS aligns with widely-used certifications, standards and tools and is designed to support existing reporting efforts while offering deeper insight. More than 600 Certifications, Standards, and Tools are referenced in our KPI Guidance.   

TSC does not typically endorse specific certifications or ecolabels, but if their criteria are scientifically founded (i.e., based on studies that are publicly accessible & independently reviewed) and if they were developed in a multi-stakeholder context, then specific criteria can be adopted as improvement opportunities or into the KPI response option.  

TSC Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure performance across the entire supply chain at a product category level, which is different from sustainability measurement systems that focus on an organizational, factory, farm, limited issue, or product level. If included in the Guidance section for a KPI, it was determined to be a ready-to-use resource that can assist in the KPI calculations.   

The Background Information section of the KPI Guidance provides supplementary resources that you can reference to learn more about the issue.  

TSC cannot guarantee that is has provided an exhaustive comparison to every other certification, standard, or tool. 

Is THESIS content available in languages other than English?

THESIS content is currently only available in English. However, within the SupplyShift platform you will have the option to toggle to other languages for the mainframe of the platform.   

THESIS Help Center offers support videos with Mandarin and Spanish subtitles. Please contact TSC at help@sustainabilityconsortium.org for the THESIS Help Center password. 

How does THESIS align with Walmart’s Project Gigaton?

Walmart’s Project Gigaton is a separate platform specific to Walmart suppliers that focuses only on measuring greenhouse gas emission reductions.  

In many cases, suppliers acting to improve on certain TSC THESIS “hot spots” have set goals and will achieve emissions reductions which can then be reported to Project Gigaton. Walmart analyzes THESIS results to benchmark supplier performance, identify risks, and focus suppliers on continuous improvement on sustainability hotspots across the entire product lifecycle. 

The expansion and improvements to THESIS will not affect existing alignment with Walmart’s Project Gigaton. Historically, Walmart has referred to THESIS as The Sustainability Index and may do so going forward.  

What is the scope of an assessment?

Global Production: THESIS is designed to assess the global production of a product category. This means all regions and customers, unless otherwise noted in the assessment cover page or title. Assessing your global production of a product category is essential for the ability to simultaneously communicate results to multiple retail customers and gives you and your retail customers a more complete understanding of your sustainability performance.  

We recognize different impacts are more or less important in different markets. When data and research are being collected, TSC makes special note of assumptions and limitations concerning geographic applicability and includes experts who have knowledge of geo-specific impacts in the discussion. 

Activity-based scope: Each KPI addresses a specific impact or issue that occurs during a specific activity or set of activities occurring in the supply chain. KPIs address impacts throughout the supply chain and this activity-based scope means that completing a KPI can involve collecting data from multiple sites and multiple organizations, even if some of which may not be under the operational control of the final manufacturer.  

 Product scope: The product scope for an assessment is outlined on the assessment’s cover page. The lists of inclusions and exclusions are meant as examples and should not be considered exhaustive. 

How do I get started with THESIS on SupplyShift?

It’s simple! Click here to sign up, select your assessments, and get started.

This Help Center Video Covers “Tips for New THESIS Users” Contact help@sustainabilityconsortium.org for the password  

Want to watch a recording from a recent THESIS Live discussing that exact question? View Recording 

What kind of sustainability impacts, activities, and issues does THESIS address?

THESIS addresses a wide range of environmental impacts such as pollution, climate change, water quality, and resource depletion as well as social impacts such as worker health and safety, labor issues, and community rights.  

Evidence and research inform identification of hotspots, which are activities in the product life cycle that cause social or environmental impacts and improvement opportunities that can address those hotspots. Key Performance Indicators are then designed to allow measurement of progress against the hotspots. Learn more on our Methodology and Research Background

Where can I download a copy of my assessments on SupplyShift?

You can download a copy of the assessment in PDF and Excel from the cover page of your assessment or from within your assessment at the bottom of the KPI menu.  

You can also go to THESIS from the left side menu of your SupplyShift account, click on Documents, and search for the desired product assessment. Click on the name of the assessment that appears and a zipped folder, containing all of the assessment documents, is downloaded to the desktop.  

Where can I view and add THESIS assessments on SupplyShift?

To view an assessment but not to add it to your profile, go to THESIS from the left side menu of your SupplyShift account. Click on Documents and search for the desired product assessment. Click on the name of the assessment that appears and a zipped folder, containing all of the assessment documents, is downloaded to the desktop.  

To add a product assessment to your profile, click on THESIS from the left side menu of your SupplyShift account, navigate to the THESIS tab, then click the “+” icon on the right side of the screen. Search for the desired assessment. Follow the prompts to add it to your account (note: Walmart and Sam’s Club suppliers will need their Reference ID to complete this process. See other FAQ regarding the Reference ID for more information).  

How do I add another recipient (buyer) to an assessment?

Refer to this SupplyShift Support article for instructions on sharing results with additional retailers to your assessment: https://supplyshift.helpscoutdocs.com/article/288-tsc-update-retailers   

How do I remove an assessment I no longer want to complete?

Contact SupplyShift Support at support@supplyshift.net if you need any assessments removed from your profile. 

My company has multiple brands and subsidiaries. How many accounts should I create?

THESIS accounts should be created at the company level. You should create as many THESIS company profiles as necessary to complete product assessments at the level of granularity your customers expects. An active THESIS license is required for each THESIS company profile. If you are a Walmart or Sam’s Club supplier, your assigned Reference ID can be used on multiple THESIS company profiles to verify your relationship with Walmart or Sam’s Club. Each THESIS company profile will need to have a unique account owner – one person cannot manage more than one company profile.  

Where can I access THESIS content and tools?

You can access TSC KPI sets and their supporting documents by purchasing or renewing your license on SupplyShift, which is necessary if sharing an assessment requested by a retailer.  If you are not interested in sharing but want to use THESIS as a reference, then you can purchase directly from TSC. TSC members can access THESIS tools, free of charge, on the Member Portal. 

Who at my company should purchase a THESIS license?

It is recommended that an employee central to your operations (e.g., corporate social responsibility, compliance, supply chain management) or one that has visibility across all your retail customers (e.g., Director of Sales or Procurement) purchase your THESIS license.  The purchasing user will be able to easily onboard colleagues throughout the organization to help with THESIS responses. There is no limit to the number of users that a company profile can have.

Can I request a deadline extension?

Deadlines for THESIS assessment submissions are set by your retail customers.  

Please contact your retail customer(s) if you have any questions or concerns about your deadline.  

If you are a Walmart or Sam’s Club supplier, the Walmart Sustainability Support team can help you at corpsu@wal-mart.com.  

Support Services and Technical Support

What does TSC offer to support THESIS Users?

TSC wants THESIS users to be successful and provides a lot of resources to support you.  

These resources include, but are not limited to:  

This “Where Can I Find Help” video in our Help Center provides an overview of resources. Contact help@sustainabilityconsortium.org for password.  

Guidance and Resources:  

Available in THESIS are Guidance and Resources for every assessment and KPI. These helpful resources include: the Calculation and Scope for each individual KPI, the General Guidance document, and the KPI Calculation Tools.  

Download Our Free THESIS Guide (here) 

THESIS Help Center​ 

Library of self-guided videos categorized by sector​ 

Instructions for THESIS on SupplyShift​ 

In-depth KPI tutorials​ 

Contact help@sustainabilityconsortium.org for password 


Trained Service Providers (TSPs) are TSC partners who are specially trained on THESIS and prepared to provide hands-on assistance. ​  

TSPs provide specialized support for each stage of THESIS campaigns​.  

Learn more here 

THESIS Live and Supplier Support Q&A Office Hours 

Want answers to your questions in real time? TSC offers several live webinars session in English, including multiple THESIS Overview and Q&A sessions. Register here.  


Want to watch a recording from a recent THESIS Live? View Recording 

THESIS Help Desk​ 

With any additional questions, please email help@sustainabilityconsortium.org  to receive a reply within 12 business hours 

How do I access THESIS Help Center?

THESIS Help Center is a library of short support videos available at vimeo.com/thesishelpcenter. Here, you can find videos explaining THESIS KPIs, methodology, scoring, and general information about sustainability impacts and challenges in supply chains. THESIS Help Center is available to all THESIS license holders.   

All videos are password protected. Contact help@sustainabilityconsortium.org for the password. 

Who can I contact if I have questions?

For questions related to the content of THESIS, contact help@sustainabilityconsortium.org   

For questions related to THESIS account creation or management, contact support@supplyshift.net   

Does TSC provide consulting services?

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) provides 1:1 support as a benefit for members and offers trainings and other targeted support to retailers and suppliers using THESIS and to its members.  

For more information visit our Membership site 

TSC does not provide a consulting service itself. Our TSC Trained Service Providers (TSP) are experienced consultant service providers specially trained on THESIS who can provide hands on support.  

Visit our TSC Trained Service Providers webpage to learn more.  

What if I haven’t received my verification email after signing up?

Immediately after creating your account you will receive a verification email from SupplyShift. If you have not received an email within 15 minutes, check your spam folders and please contact support@suppplyshift.net. SupplyShift will provide a verification link so you can get started.

What if someone from my organization has already paid for our license?

Once someone from your company has purchased a license and created their account, they will be able to add additional users to the company profile on SupplyShift. It is recommended that you reach out to this person and request they onboard you in order to allow you to collaborate on a single profile. Each company should have only one profile they use to communicate with all of their customers. Company profiles on SupplyShift can have an unlimited number of accounts. There is no need to pay for another license if your organization has already purchased one for this year.

What if I already use SupplyShift to respond to information requests from other customers?

You will be able to access your assessments from other customers and your THESIS assessments through the same account. When it is time to select your THESIS assessments, the starting page will have an option to create a new account, or enter using your current SupplyShift account. Please enter using your current SupplyShift account credentials. You will need to purchase a license to access THESIS assessments even if you are an existing SupplyShift user.

What is a Reference ID and why do I need it to share my THESIS assessments with Walmart and Sam’s Club?

Your Reference ID is a unique identification code used on THESIS to verify your relationship with Walmart and/or Sam’s Club and must be entered before you can share your assessments with these retailers. Your Reference ID is different from your Vendor ID or your Retail Link ID. Obtain your Reference ID through your Walmart Sustainability Portal account. For further detail, see instructions provided below. 


Obtain your Reference ID by following these steps: 

  1. Navigate to the Walmart Sustainability Hub and select “ACCOUNT SIGN IN” from the left side menu.
    2. Use your Retail Link credentials to log in. Then, you will be directed to your Walmart Sustainability Portal account. (Having trouble? Contact Walmart Sustainability Support at corpsu@wal-mart.com)
    3. On the dashboard page, you will see information about Project Gigaton, The Sustainability Index and other initiatives within Walmart. 
    4. Under the Sustainability Index, select “Get Started”.
What if I already know my category assessments from previous reporting years?

Use the search feature located in the top right corner of the onboarding series to search for your assessments. Note that some titles and KPI sets have undergone changes from prior years. If you are unable to find the appropriate assessment, please contact TSC at help@sustainabilityconsortium.org. 

Why do I need executive approval to submit an assessment?

The highest ranking sustainability executive in your organization must sign off on your organization’s completed assessment prior to submitting.  

This step is required for verifying that all information presented in the assessment is accurate.  

You will not be able to edit your responses once the assessment has been submitted. 

What type of payment is accepted?

All major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, JCB, UnionPay) are accepted.  

Wire Transfers and Invoicing are also available as alternative forms of payment. Users can contact SupplyShift Support at support@supplyshift.net to request either of those options.  

What if my payment is rejected?

If your payment has been rejected, please check if the type of payment you are using aligns with the accepted forms of payment.  

If you have questions about your payment or are experiencing processing issues, please contact SupplyShift Support at support@supplyshift.net. 

What is the refund policy?

Refunds are available on a case-by-case basis, under special circumstances. Please contact SupplyShift Support at support@supplyshift.net.  Note that no refunds are available once use of the platform has commenced.

What currencies are accepted?

Prices are listed in USD and will be processed in USD.

Will I be charged tax?

Tax is calculated automatically when you are paying for your license. Tax will be calculated based on the address provided and the associated tax code for the service we provide.

Where can I find a receipt for my license?

You can download a receipt of the license purchase via the THESIS menu option by clicking RECEIPTS, clicking the desired receipt and clicking Download. A PDF file will be downloaded to your machine. 

I forgot my account information, how do I log in?

You can recover your credentials from the login page.  

If you are experiencing difficulties logging in that have not been resolved by recovering your credentials, please contact SupplyShift Support at support@supplyshift.net. 

How do I onboard a colleague?

When logged in to your account, click the menu icon in the top left of the screen.  

Select Profile from the menu, then select Manage Accounts.  

Select the Add Account button to add contact information for the new user in the Add Account dialog.  

Choose the Admin or User role to allow your colleague to collaborate on assessment responses.  

For more information about SupplyShift account roles, please see SupplyShift’s support center article on account roles and permissions. 

How do I add assessments?

To add a new assessment, click THESIS in the left side menu.  

Use the + symbol to search for additional assessments.  

The system will authorize you to add additional assessments without further payment while you have a valid license for your organization.  

How do I add retailers to share my assessment responses with?

There are a few ways to add retailers and choose which assessments to send to each retailer.  

Each assessment will have a cover page where you can edit the retailers who should be recipients of your data. This list will be populated with the retailers you selected as customers in the selection process.  

Retailers can be added or removed prior to submitting your assessment, however once you have submitted data to a retailer you cannot rescind access for that retailer.  

To add new retailers, click THESIS in the left side menu. Then, click RETAILERS. Select the new participating retailers to add to the assessments.  

To add selected retailers to an assessment, click THESIS in the left side menu. Then, click an assessment to select additional retailers.  

How do I export my answers?

Once you have submitted your assessment, navigate to the Scorecard tab of the assessment. Select the overflow menu to download the KPI set and action and recommendations for that assessment.

What if I submitted my assessment, but need to make updates or changes to my answers?

Once you have submitted your assessment the KPI responses and scorecard will be sent to TSC and the retailers you selected as recipients.  

You will no longer be able to edit your assessment once it is submitted. Confirm all answers are accurate prior to submitting. 


Completing THESIS KPIs

What if I can answer more than one response option, which one should I answer?

Answer the highest applicable answer, e.g., if both (B) and (C) are applicable, you can choose answer (C).

How should I answer the question if I can’t find a response option that matches what our organization is doing?

Choose (B) if the first response option is labeled “Not applicable”, otherwise choose (A), which will typically contain the phrase “We are unable to determine at this time.”

Does anyone check or verify our responses?

TSC does not conduct audits of the assessment results.  

Retailers may choose to implement their own verification system. Since THESIS KPIs are designed to measure and encourage year-over-year improvement, we recommend you create or enhance an internal system of regularly tracking your performance on all KPIs. You will then be ready to show documentation of responses if a retail customer implements a verification system. 

How should I complete a KPI if I only have data for a portion of my business?

Your calculation should cover your entire global business, not just the portion for which you have data.  

For some KPIs, your denominator in your calculations should represent your entire business and the numerator should represent the data for the portion you can account for.   

For KPIs that have a “% of supply” response option, you will report the numeric value for the portion of business that you have data for and then indicate the % of your supply that the numeric value represents. 

Do questions regarding supply chains apply to my company since our organization is vertically integrated?

Yes, a vertically integrated organization still needs to understand the impacts of the different divisions that interact to create a product.

Some questions ask for percentages. How do I calculate these?

The guidance associated with the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) question provides a “Calculation and Scope” section that describes how the percentage should be calculated. The KPI Guidance may be viewed in the THESIS KPI document and is also in a pop-up box linked to each KPI when completing an assessment on SupplyShift.

Should calculations for product or material mass include the mass of the packaging?

No. Exclude packaging from any calculations involving the mass of product or material produced or purchased. Separate packaging KPIs are included where relevant.

Do we share a separate assessment for each factory?

No. The KPIs are global in scope. You will aggregate any relevant data according to the products within the assessment scope.

We collected data from our factories or suppliers within the last twelve months, but the data reported actually reflects an earlier window of time outside of the twelve-month window. Can we still answer the KPI legitimately?

The guidance for each KPI will specify the acceptable data reporting period.  

Typically, the data needs to have been reported to you within the last twelve months for a prior twelve-month period that itself did not end more than twelve months ago (i.e., any twelve-month period wholly contained within the last two years). 

I’m not familiar with some of the KPI terms. Where can I find those definitions?

Every KPI has an associated guidance with four sections, one being “Definitions” where you can review key terms within the KPI that may need clarity.  

The KPI guidance may be viewed in the THESIS KPI document available for download within each THESIS assessment and is also in a pop-up box linked to each KPI while completing an assessment on SupplyShift. 

How do I enter my data if it is too small for the response field?

Check your calculations to ensure that you have used the correct units. If you are sure that you have performed the calculation correctly and the number is still too small to be accepted by the response field, you may enter zero as your response. 

Do I provide responses only for the facilities my company owns?

You provide response for all facilities that perform the activities described in the KPI, regardless of ownership.  

For example, if you use contract manufacturing and the KPIs concerns greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing, you need to calculate your response for both your facilities and those that you contract. Data from contracted facilities may be more difficult to obtain and this should be reflected in the percent completeness response options. 

How would a new company that may not have the data/history respond to this assessment?

Not all companies have the systems in place to collect the data necessary to respond to the KPIs.  Addressing sustainability requires measurement and monitoring and this is reflected in the design of the KPIs.  

Putting data collection systems in place will allow you to respond to the KPIs in the future. Until then, you may have to select “Unable to determine at this time.” for any KPIs that you truly cannot complete. 

What if a KPI is only applicable for certain geographies or only pertains to part of our supply chain?

Even if a KPI does not apply to your entire supply chain, you should still answer the KPI related to the portion that is relevant. KPIs will include a “Not Applicable” response to handle situations when it is not applicable to any geography or production stage of your product’s supply chain. 

Do we share a separate assessment for each factory?

No. The KPIs are global in scope and assess global production of a product. You will aggregate relevant data according to the products within the assessment scope. 

Should the quantitative data being collected (e.g., GHG emissions, water use, accident data) be used to compare suppliers’ performance?

TSC scores these KPIs based on the completeness of data collected rather than the value of the outcome metric itself. However, the quantitative outcome data can be used to evaluate year-over-year performance for a single supplier or identify outliers across common suppliers. 

How do I aggregate data from multiple facilities for an assessment?

Read our supplier guide: Optimizing Your Sustainability Performance Assessment Process for tips on gathering and organizing data from multiple facilities or suppliers.  

Also, download the Excel-based KPI Calculation Tools TSC built for a selection of KPIs, which can help you calculate your KPI responses. These are accessible from the Cover Page and KPI Menu of each assessment where you can also download your assessment in Excel to ease data collection across multiple facilities and suppliers.   

What are the THESIS Start and THESIS Wrap-up questionnaires?

THESIS Start and THESIS Wrap-up are unscored questionnaires. These are optional, but highly encouraged to complete because TSC is working to use this information to provide additional value to user analytics (e.g., buyers can further divide their supplier results by company revenue size). Your responses also help TSC improve THESIS and other services we provide. 

THESIS Methodology

Will TSC KPIs change?

TSC updates THESIS content, including KPIs, annually, based on new research, feedback from stakeholders, and analysis of reporting results.  

The Release Notes section at the end of the PDF version of the KPI set outlines all changes. 

What is the process for producing a THESIS assessment?

First, TSC research staff and stakeholders define the boundaries of the product category and review published research for evidence of social and environmental impacts and improvement opportunities.  

In an established process, the quality and quantity of evidence is evaluated for inclusion in THESIS as a hotspot or improvement opportunity.  

Based on this analysis, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are developed that link hotspots and improvement opportunities to specific metrics.  

From there, Sustainability Snapshots are developed by mapping hotspots to business objectives and sustainability issues to create a one-page summary of the THESIS KPI document.  

Supply Chain Diagrams are in the process of being developed for all product categories. 

This THESIS Help Center video provides more information. Email help@sustainabilityconsortium.org for password 


Learn more here 

How and when is it decided what product categories will be included in THESIS?

TSC chooses product categories based on their estimated impacts, which is related to their impacts per product and the volume of products sold.  

Members also make requests that are reviewed by all stakeholders.  

TSC develops THESIS content for new products every year.  

A list of completed product categories can be found using our ProductFinder. 

How are stakeholders involved in the process of developing THESIS?

The Sustainability Consortium engages corporate, academic, government, and non-governmental organizations as stakeholders.  

Stakeholders bring expertise and industry insight to the development of THESIS assessments throughout the entire process. In addition to attending workshops, stakeholders submit written feedback and input to the drafts of documents that are created. 

Who can participate in the review of THESIS?

TSC members and other invited stakeholders provide input to TSC to help identify possible hotspots and improvement opportunities associated with a product category. They also review and provide feedback on THESIS content and tools to help make them accurate and actionable. 

How can experts who are not part of TSC membership engage?

TSC researchers and members reach out to external stakeholders when we start work on a new product category, and experts can provide input to the research process.

Will TSC assessment scopes change?

TSC completes a yearly revision on THESIS content based on new research and feedback from stakeholders. This might introduce new assessments or revisions to current KPIs. Any changes stemming from this process will be provided to TSC Stakeholders and logged at the bottom of the PDF version of the KPI Guidance.  

You may notice new, simpler names or more specific options than were available in past years, but the underlying KPIs for each assessment have generally not changed. 


Why are there questions about issues that are already well-regulated or managed?

THESIS KPIs are developed based on research and stakeholder participant input for global applicability. Issues that may not seem differentiating for one organization or region may be differentiating in other markets. 

Why is a certain issue or hotspot missing from my assessment?

TSC only includes issues and opportunities that are materially significant and actionable, as is defined by the quality and quantity of supporting (or conflicting) scientific evidence.  

TSC uses a structured research process to identify published research studies and then checks the interpretation of that evidence through a multi-stakeholder review.  

Learn more on our Methodology and Research Background. 

Service Provider Training

Do TSC Trained Service Providers work for TSC?

No. TSC Trained Service Providers are independent. Some work for large service providers and consultancies or some may run their own business.  

TSC Trained Service Providers pay TSC to complete the training and maintain their badge annually. They are not obligated to complete any work for nor are they paid by TSC. 

What is the rate to hire a TSC Trained Service Provider?

Rates vary by service provider. Please inquire directly with a TSC Trained Service Provider or fill out the intake form if you are interested in their services.  

Email addresses for all Trained Service Providers are provided on our TSC Trained Service Providers webpage. 

Will TSC Trained Service Provider be able to consult on non-THESIS work?

 Scope of work is determined between trained service providers and individual organizations.   

TSC is not involved in these discussions. 

What level of exposure will I receive as a TSC Trained Service Provider?

More than 1,500 companies across all consumer goods and food sectors use THESIS. They represent more than $1 trillion in sales globally.  

THESIS users are directed to our Trained Service Providers webpage and you will be featured through email marketing, webinars, resources and support emails and calls. 

How selective is the Service Provider Training?

We look for service providers with at least three years of experience in the consumer goods industry focused on supplier engagement, supply chain, or sustainability experience.  

Ideally, persons interested in becoming a TSC Trained Service Provider show an interest in TSC’s work and mission and have some degree of familiarity with THESIS.  

There are no formal admittance requirements, so we encourage you to contact us to learn more and/or apply. You can also email help@sustainabilityconsortium.org 

What does the Service Provider Training cost?

There is a one-time startup fee of $1199 for non-TSC members and $449 for TSC members.  

Annual badge renewal is $999 for non-TSC members and complimentary for TSC members

If I become a TSC Trained Service Provider, what is my relationship with other Trained Service Providers?

We foster an informal professional network among our Trained Service Providers. We strive to give you plenty of opportunity to build relationships with fellow Trained Service Providers.  

You are not obligated to participate in our events or work with other Trained Service Providers. 

Will becoming a TSC Trained Service Provider lead me to new clients?

The Sustainability Consortium markets our Trained Service Providers in many locations to drive potential clients your way.  

TSC does not guarantee you any new or increased business because of your Trained Service Provider badge. 

What is included in my annual Trained Service Provider renewal fee?
  • Specialized online and self-paced training to enhance your services to THESIS Users 
  • Turn-key access to THESIS assessments and resources ($699 value) 
  • Access to a network of peer service providers 
  • Speaking opportunities at TSC events and webinars