Supply Chain

How leading companies, NGOs and solution providers are working to address the myriad issues that can arise in any supply chain.

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Unilever Ice Cream Brands Now a Guilt-Free Indulgence Thanks to New Commitment to Sustainable Ingredients

Unilever has announced that its Breyers, Fruttare, Magnum and Lipton brand products have all made significant commitments to responsible sourcing.Beginning this month, Breyers will only use real vanilla from Rainforest Alliance-certified vanilla beans from Madagascar. The company will now also only source milk and cream from farmers who don’t treat their cows with artificial growth hormones, making Breyers the largest packaged U.S. ice cream brand to do so.

80 Organizations with $100 Billion in Purchasing Power to Pilot Sustainable Purchasing Program

Eighty organizations with more than $100 billion in purchasing power have signed up to pilot a multi-sector program designed to help organizations reduce their risks and contribute to a more sustainable future.The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council’s (SPLC) Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing v1.0 offers purchasers detailed advice for promoting market innovation and optimizing the environmental, social and economic performance of their supply chains.

Walmart, Target Advance Joint Supply Chain Initiative

Walmart, Target and Forum for the Future (FFTF) have established three working groups to take forward actions agreed at last year’s beauty and personal care (BPC) product sustainability summit, according to ChemicalWatch. The groups will focus on aspects of chemicals in products.Working Group 1 — Supply Chain Information Sharing

Valentines Can Now Show Their Love Sustainably with Locally Grown ‘Slow Flowers’

US nationwide floral directory Slow Flowers is encouraging its customers to show their love in a more thoughtful way this Valentine’s day by sourcing local American-grown bouquets.The US cut flower retail market is flourishing, with sales topping US$7-8 billion annually. However, apparently only 2 percent of the 224 million roses sold in 2012 were American-grown. The US flower market has been dominated for decades by 1-800 teleflorists who import their bouquets from overseas. In an attempt to change this trend and support local farmers, Slow Flowers now has a directory of roughly 500 florists committed to sourcing their flowers from the US for Valentine’s Day this year.

REI, adidas, Timberland and More Commit to Sourcing Down Responsibly

Six more global brands have committed to the Textile Exchange’s Responsible Down Standard (RDS). The adidas Group, Black Diamond, Kathmandu, NAU, REI and Timberland have agreed to bring certified, responsible down to the marketplace.

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No Carnitas for a Third of Chipotle Diners After Pork Supplier Violates Animal-Welfare Standards

Chipotle is walking its “Food with Integrity” talk with the decision this week to eliminate carnitas from the menu at about a third of its 1,800 U.S. locations, after discovering that one of its pork suppliers violated the company’s animal-welfare policies.“Without this pork, we cannot get enough pork that meets our Responsibly Raised standard for all our restaurants, and we will not be able to serve carnitas in some locations,” Chipotle said in a statement, though the company declined to name the supplier in question.

Hershey Exceeds Sustainable Cocoa Goals in 2014, Sets New Targets

The Hershey Company has announced that 30 percent of its globally sourced cocoa was independently certified and verified in 2014—this reflects an accelerated pace for achieving its goal of sourcing 100 percent of its cocoa supply from certified and sustainable cocoa farms by 2020.The announcement follows the company’s 2013 achievement of sourcing 18 percent certified cocoa globally, nearly double its original goal of 10 percent for the first year of its 2020 commitment.Following this accelerated progress, Hershey also announced a new target to source at least 50 percent certified cocoa by the end of 2015, reaching its 2016 goal of 40 and 50 percent one year ahead of schedule.

BMW, Nestlé, Rio Tinto Alcan Develop New Standard for Sustainable Aluminum Sourcing

BMW Group, Hydro, Nestlé Nespresso SA and Rio Tinto Alcan and other members of the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI) have generated a new Standard to help improve environmental and social standards for sourcing the material, as well as government performance to improve the sector’s conditions throughout its value chain. The new Standard also aims to reduce the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, which are historically high.

Electronics Industry Will Conduct Shadow Audits to Root Out Forced Labor in Malaysia

The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), a nonprofit coalition of electronics companies dedicated to supply chain responsibility, has announced that it will conduct shadow audits and increase its industry and government engagement in Malaysia to further combat forced labor.The EICC says it has been working for more than a decade to support the rights and wellbeing of workers and communities worldwide affected by the global electronics supply chain. Although the EICC Code of Conduct bans trafficked and forced labor, completely eradicating it in the global electronics industry supply chain remains a challenge for everyone—including EICC members.

FDF Launches Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Guide for Food & Beverage Industry

A new guide has been launched to guide food and drink manufacturers on sustainable use of the world’s most contentious and widely used vegetable oil.The Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry — the UK's largest manufacturing sector — has launched a new sourcing guide to help manufacturers to sustainably source palm oil. The guide should be particularly helpful in light of the EU's new Food Information for Consumers regulation that went into effect earlier this month, which requires all food business operators in the UK to identify products containing palm oil.

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McDonald's Taps Local Partners to Pilot Sustainable Beef Program in New Zealand

McDonald's has initiated two sustainable beef integration programs with Beef + Lamb New Zealand, ANZCO Foods and Silver Fern Farms as part of its aspiration to source verified sustainable beef around the world.The program will highlight a range of best practices, from the farm all the way to the McDonald's customer. It will work with farmers and processors to identify and develop good management practices that support sustainable beef production. This means sustainable production systems, lower inputs, use of new technologies and a focus on animal welfare.An important component of the initiative is using real farm businesses to model the principles and demonstrate success to the wider farming community through workshops, field days and social media.

Diageo Sets New Responsible Drinking, Social and Environmental Goals for 2020

Global alcoholic beverage company Diageo—maker of such iconic brands as Guinness, Bailey's, Tanqueray and Johnnie Walker—has announced 20 new sustainability and responsibility targets in three core areas to be achieved by 2020: leadership in alcohol in society, building thriving communities and reducing environmental impact.The targets draw on the company’s achievements to date and are aligned with the emerging United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Diageo says the targets focus on the areas of greatest material impact to its business and represent an evolution of its approach to better measure and evaluate the tangible difference its programs make to people’s lives.

Sedex, NGOs Call for Global Response to Corruption

Sedex Global has partnered with anti-corruption NGO Transparency International UK, and training, consulting and research NGO, Verité, to publish a new briefing which explores the impact of corruption risks on global supply chains and highlights opportunities to address these.The Sedex Business Ethics Briefing explores some of the most commonly-occurring corruption risks in global supply chains and makes the link between corruption and other supply chain challenges. The briefing identifies opportunities for businesses and their investors to improve performance on business ethics, and to tackle corruption risk in global supply chains. These include:

VF Corporation Helping Fund Safety Improvements in Bangladeshi Factories

VF Corporation — parent company of The North Face, Timberland, Vans,Wrangler, Lee and Nautica — and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, this week announced they have provided loans to three Bangladeshi garment factories under a new program for funding fire and building safety improvements.

COP20: SABMiller Makes Case for Tackling Effects of Water Scarcity, Climate Change in Latin America

There is an immediate need for more businesses to recognize the risks water scarcity poses to their company’s bottom line and the communities in which they operate in Latin America, according to SABMiller Peru Managing Director Fernando Zavala.Speaking at the Sustainable Innovation Forum, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Zavala stressed the increasing risks water scarcity poses to business and society, while also talking about the economic, social and environmental benefits of tackling climate change and investing in water security in the region.

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Sustainable Supply Chains: Can Retailers Be the Rising Tide That Lifts All Boats?

A whopping 97 percent of environmental impacts in the retail sector come from the product itself — from raw materials, transportation and product manufacturing. With impacts so heavily weighted in the supply chain, retailers are increasingly and creatively wading upstream to partner with their suppliers on their greatest impacts. The key to success lies in selecting the appropriate supplier engagement method and then using that approach as a vehicle to deeper collaboration. But can successful retailer approaches truly motivate meaningful supply chain improvements?The benefits of engagement

New Greenpeace Report Calls Out Best Buy for Destroying Ancient Forest

On Wednesday, Greenpeace released a report exposing Best Buy for fuelling destruction in Canada’s Boreal Forest, one of the world’s last remaining ancient forests. The report reveals the electronics retail giant – which has been heralded for its leadership in e-waste collection and recycling — is apparently buying more than 100 million pounds of paper every year to produce throw-away flyers, from Resolute Forest Products — a company that sources almost exclusively from the Boreal.

The North Face Introduces Locally Grown, Designed, Sewn 'Backyard Hoodie'

Outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear maker The North Face today unveiled the Backyard Hoodie, the newest addition to its portfolio of environmentally conscious products. In collaboration with Fibershed (which supports the creation of local textile cultures that enhance ecological balance), Sally Fox at Foxfibre®, and the Sustainable Cotton Project, The North Face designed The Backyard Hoodie with the goal of sourcing and manufacturing a product within 150 miles of its headquarters in Alameda, California.

Tesco Developing Online Sustainability Community for 5,000 Suppliers

Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, has appointed Anthesis Group to develop and manage a single online sustainability community spanning the retailer’s supply base.

Trending: This Week in Sustainable Palm Oil — Featuring PepsiCo, IKEA & Unilever

On Wednesday, PepsiCo’s newly launched Pepsi True was pulled from Amazon.com after being overwhelmed by negative reviews from rainforest activists calling out Pepsi for its failure to adopt more responsible palm oil policies that will help end deforestation and modern slavery in South East Asia.The campaign, which comes one month after the celebrated launch of Pepsi True for exclusive sale on Amazon, involved thousands of activists and consumers from corporate watchdog SumOfUs.org and the Rainforest Action Network, who overwhelmed the product’s page with bad reviews urging the company to adopt better palm oil policies. Within a few hours of the campaign, Pepsi True was removed from the Amazon.com marketplace.

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