A brief released Friday by Sedex Global and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) finds that the majority of environmental non-compliances in global supply chains originate from a lack of understanding of relevant laws and regulations, despite the fact that the majority of self-assessors believe they meet all relevant requirements. The brief concludes that although positive efforts are being made to manage and set targets around water risks, improved, more collaborative systems are needed to help suppliers ensure environmental legal requirements are met.
On top of the fact that palm oil production — the biggest driver of deforestation in Southeast Asia and parts of Africa and South America — is responsible for the rampant release of carbon emissions, the destruction of vital habitats for endangered species such as orangutans and the Sumatran tiger, and the production of methane-rich wastewater, a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) links unsustainable palm oil production practices with significant air pollution in Southeast Asia in the form of devastating haze.
Just in time for Easter, Nestlé USA has announced an expansion of its commitment to sourcing sustainable cocoa through its global Nestlé Cocoa Plan. This year Nestlé, in partnership with UTZ Certified, has purchased enough certified cocoa to produce its entire Easter chocolate collection, marking a first for a major U.S. candy manufacturer.According to the National Confectioners Association, Easter is the second-largest candy-buying holiday behind Halloween. Additionally, in a recent survey1, nearly 80 percent of consumers said that they would prefer to purchase chocolate products made with sustainable cocoa if they were easy to find and didn’t cost more.
Fairtrade International — a coalition of 28 organizations working to make trade fairer throughout the world — is welcoming comments from throughout the garment and textile supply chains on the new Fairtrade Textile Standard, now under development.
We’ve heard a lot recently about 2015 promising to be the year of sustainability — with global conferences on sustainable development and climate change, new UK legislation fighting modern day slavery, and the forthcoming UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set to shape the global remit for social, economic and environmental development.One of the key goals of the SDGs is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls around the world. With this in mind, the post-2015 development agenda offers a great opportunity to drive lasting change for women’s rights and equality.
Heineken last week announced plans to team up with The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as part of a new sustainability initiative to support environmental and social growth movements in the developing world.
Mars Chocolate UK and Fairtrade Foundation have extended their partnership to source Fairtrade-certified cocoa for MARS® Bars in the United Kingdom and Ireland by October 2015.Mars is the first UK company to announce a commitment under the new Fairtrade Cocoa Sourcing Programme, which aims to deliver more opportunities for cocoa farmers to sell on Fairtrade terms and connect them with businesses that actively support efforts to improve farmer livelihoods.In 2009, Mars committed to certifying its entire cocoa supply as being produced in a sustainable manner by 2020.
Last week, Safeway and Fair Trade USA announced a partnership to launch Fair Trade Certified™ seafood into the North American market. The program addresses both social and environmental responsibility in fishing communities across the globe. In March, Safeway will debut the world’s first Fair Trade fish – wild-capture tuna from small-scale fishermen in Indonesia – in its Northern California, Portland and Seattle Division stores.
Only six major companies and one investor — Danone, Unilever, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Kao Corp., Reckitt Benckiser Group, and financial services giant HSBC — have comprehensive policies in place to protect tropical forests, according to a new ranking by Global Canopy Programme (GCP).
Companies are under increasing pressure to improve transparency across their supply chains and introduce more stringent procurement policies covering issues including human rights, corruption, and social and environmental impacts.
The availability of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish is better than ever with a million tons of MSC certified cod caught last year, but there is a growing gap between supermarkets that offer their customers ecolabelled sustainable seafood choices and protecting ocean environments, according to new figures released by MSC.Since 2010, Sainsbury’s has led the pack in terms of numbers of products stocked, with 163 MSC-certified seafood products for the last financial year, MSC says. The retailer’s product numbers are almost twice its closest competitor, Waitrose, which is in second place with 79 certified seafood products and more than three times the number of products stocked by M&S.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.