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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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 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 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 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.

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.

Infographic: 10 Years of Supply Chain CSR

Click for full infographic.From the cockle-picking disaster in the UK in 2004 to the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2013 to the recent investigation into the global Thai prawn industry in 2014, numerous high-profile events have continued to put the spotlight on global supply chains in the last 10 years.

World's Largest Retailers Take Stand Against Forced Labor in Uzbek Cotton Harvesting

With the annual International Uzbek Cotton and Textile Fair scheduled for October 14th and 15th in Tashkent, retailers and apparel brands are taking action to prevent Uzbek cotton from entering their supply chains. Markets for Uzbek cotton sourced with forced labor continue to diminish as consumers become more aware of the egregious human rights violations that occur during the Uzbek cotton harvest.

New Tools Help Companies Better Manage Supply Chains

Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group (OIA SWG) has announced the launch of two new supply chain tools to help companies proactively manage their supply chain and sourcing practices.Rapid Design Module for EquipmentModeled after the existing Higg Index Rapid Design Module Prototype for Footwear and Apparel, the RDM for Equipment ensures the inclusion of product-level environmental indicators specific to hardgoods and accessories. The RDM tool provides guidance to product designers around the potential environmental impacts of decisions during the product creation process.

MSC to Enact More Rigorous Standard for Sustainable Fisheries

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has launched an updated version of its sustainable fishing standards, to come into effect on April 1, 2015.Developed over the past two years, Version 2.0 of the MSC’s Fisheries Certification Requirements incorporates the latest knowledge and understanding of the science and management behind sustainable fisheries and aquatic environments. The year-long consulting stage of the project involved input from experts and stakeholders worldwide, including fishing industry scientists, NGOs and MSC’s partners.

Fair Trade USA Kicks Off Fair Trade Month with Expanded Product Categories

Alongside Fair Trade Month, Fair Trade USA has announced the launch of several new Fair Trade Certified™ products across new categories, including home goods, apparel and coconut.In 2014, the third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America partnered with 109 new companies (for a total of 915), and helped launch 455 new Fair Trade Certified products into the North American market. The growth and increased availability of Fair Trade products empowers shoppers to choose items that make a positive difference — from ensuring that factory workers have safe working conditions, to helping farmers and workers improve their communities and environment.

Leading Up to Fair Trade Month, Keurig Green Mountain Ramping Up Efforts to Develop Resilient Supply Chains

With Fair Trade Month beginning tomorrow, Keurig Green Mountain Inc. (KGM), formerly Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, has revealed its strategy for building a more resilient supply chain. By continuing its support of fair trade, the company is aiming to build lasting relationships with its suppliers, and help communities become more robust in tackling climate-driven issues that could impact their supplies over the coming decades.

Kellogg’s to Improve Productivity of 15,000 Smallholder Farmers Worldwide

Kellogg’s has announced a new commitment to enable improved productivity of 15,000 smallholder farmers in its agricultural supply chain, with a focus on rice, as well as support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The company made the announcement this week at the UN Climate Summit held in New York.Rice is a staple food for more than half the world's population, and is grown by a number of smallholder farmers in several parts of the world. Rice contributes to climate change because of the emissions created in current growing practices, which also impacts crop yields due to rising temperatures and sea levels.

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