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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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.

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:

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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.

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.

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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.

Trending: This Week in Sustainable Textiles — Featuring Archroma, I:CO and Zero Waste Scotland

On Monday, Archroma, a global producer of textile dyes and specialty chemicals, launched a new range of products created from agricultural waste. In addition, the company is utilizing the latest in communications technology to enable transparency of the supply chain to consumers.

Bunge Jumps into Deforestation-Free Palm Oil with a Splash

On Monday, Bunge — an agribusiness and food ingredient company based out of White Plains, New York — indicated its intention to ensure the palm oil that it sources will be deforestation- and peat-free. Coming from one of the largest traders of palm oil in the world, Bunge’s announcement is significant for what it means for both the world climate and for ecosystems at risk due to palm oil production. But to me it also signifies that the status quo — palm oil that is linked with deforestation and peatland destruction — is a sinking ship that is increasingly risky to stay aboard.

New Patagonia Video Highlights Painful Truth Behind Conventional Down

Call it the veal-calf concern of this decade: The down in many winter coats and other apparel is obtained through oppressive animal-welfare practices, and Patagonia has taken the lead in trying to right that wrong with the introduction of its Traceable Down Standard — and an explanatory video to boot.

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The North Face, H&M, Eddie Bauer Commit to More Responsible Down

The North Face, H&M, Eddie Bauer and several other leading international fashion, bedding and outdoor brands have adopted a third-party certification standard that can be applied to any waterfowl-based supply chain to help ensure humane treatment of animals from gosling to end product.

Marks & Spencer Uses Mobile Tech to Poll Over 60,000 Workers in Five Countries

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has scaled up its use of Labor Link mobile technology in the supply chain to poll 64,230 workers across 46 manufacturing locations in 5 countries (China, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the UK) — exceeding its target of 22,500 workers in 30 factories by more than double.

Report: Sub-Saharan Africa Farm Yields 70-90% Below Potential

Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s largest gap in farm yields — 70 to 90 percent below their potential — according to a new research tool unveiled Monday.The outcome of a 6-year international collaborative research effort led by the Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska and Wageningen University in the Netherlands, the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas is the first transparent, interactive and map-based web platform to estimate exploitable gaps in yield and water productivity for major food crops worldwide.

H&M CEO Calls for Annual Wage Reviews in Bangladesh

H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson recently called for the need for annual wage revisions in Bangladesh in line with local price inflation.The comments came during an October 14 meeting with the country's Minister of Commerce, Tofail Ahmed."We see that costs in society are negating many of the positive effects of increased wages. This is due to the absence of efficient systems of control leaving both workers and business owners in a difficult situation," Persson said.For several years, the retailer has worked towards establishing a fair living wage in Bangladesh — a key supplier country. H&M sources products from around 300 factories in the country, employing over 600,000 workers.

EcoPlanet Bamboo Working with Canopy to Offer Sustainable Alternative to Forest-Fiber Textiles

Canadian forest conservation nonprofit Canopy announced Wednesday that EcoPlanet Bamboo, the largest global developer of certified bamboo plantations on degraded lands, has committed to a sourcing policy designed to offer a more sustainable option for clothing brands seeking alternatives to ancient and endangered forest fibers.

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