We acknowledge your interest in deleting some documents pertaining to your previous EcoVadis assessments from our database. However, we want to caution you about the potential consequences of taking such action. The documents analyzed within your sustainability assessments constitute an audit trace for EcoVadis as a sustainability rating agency. As the consequences of document removal are substantial, this article aims to help you make an informed decision.
- How important are previously uploaded documents?
- Example case study
- How do I avoid submitting combined documents due to a document limit?
- What if I want to proceed with the deletion?
Deleting documents from previous assessments does not provide the companies with additional documents beyond the initial 55-document limit. Instead, the company is only granted a new set of documents when starting a new questionnaire. For example, deleting 20 documents from the earlier assessments does not create space for 75 new documents. The document limit is 55 for each assessment and does not include documents from earlier assessments. See Table 1 below for a visualization of the document limit.
|Assessment 1||Documents provided: 55||Total system documents: 55|
|Assessment 2||Documents provided: 55||Total documents uploaded: 110|
|Assessment 3||Documents provided: 55||Total documents uploaded: 165|
During the start of each assessment, a new set of 55 document spaces is provided to companies to upload documents. The same limit is applied to every assessment for all companies completing the EcoVadis assessment.
How important are previously uploaded documents?
The documents analyzed within each sustainability assessment constitute an audit trace for EcoVadis as a sustainability rating agency. Information from all assessments is factored into each assessment as long as they remain valid. Documents are generally suitable for up to eight years from the initial publication date. However, reporting documents expire after two years.
While it is possible to delete them, the subsequent repercussions must be considered:
- Documents deleted from the EcoVadis system will be done permanently; there is no recovery option available.
- Should deleted documents be valid and relevant to future assessments, they must be re-uploaded to the EcoVadis platform.
- As long as one or several supporting documents have been removed from the system, our Sustainability Analysts can no longer analyze options previously attached to the deleted documents. Suppose the options from deleted documents have yet to be reattached to another document (updated policy/procedure or a newly uploaded document). In that case, the options will not be factored into the scoring of your assessment.
Still, as it was created based on a set of documentation and the information extracted from it, removing that documentation will mean that we cannot perform additional verification of its content.
Example case study
If a document was chosen to be manually deleted, please ensure that all options have been reattached to another respective document containing the relevant information. For example,
Suppose you had attached policies on Energy & GHGs, Waste, and Customer Health and safety to document “2022 environmental policy” and would like to update the document with new policies. In that case, you may re-upload a “2023 environmental policy” that contains updated information.
However, you must reattach all previous options from the 2022 documents to the 2023 document if you wish to delete the 2022 document. The best practice is to keep both documents and utilize the updated 2023 document to fulfill options previously not attached to the 2022 environmental policy.
How do I avoid submitting combined documents due to a document limit?
Combined documents refer to a single supporting documentation that consists of multiple sub-documents. For example, a rated company provides a combined document containing a mix of environmental policies, risk assessment, and training materials. Documents from a robust sustainability management system should be pre-existing, well-structured, and easily accessible for stakeholder reviews. Uploading combined documents does not respect the 55-document limit and cannot truly reflect the reality and maturity of the management system. As such, we will not accept this document in the assessment process.
To help you select the most relevant documents for the assessment, we have put together a guide available from our Help Centre: Understanding supporting documents.
You can also refer to Why is there a limit to the number of documents that can be provided? Moreover, further information on combined documents and document prioritization can be found on the questionnaire platform.
What if I want to proceed with the deletion?
With this additional context on what happens after the deletion of documents, we want to ensure we have provided you with all the information necessary to make an informed decision. Please contact us if you still want to move forward with the deletion. Please ensure that other users acting as Assessment Administrators know and agree to this action. You can access the list of users from your platform by clicking on User Management in the User Menu in the top right-hand corner.
After you have confirmed that you agree to proceed, the documents will be deleted within 30 (thirty) calendar days, and you will receive a confirmation once this is done.