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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Tiffany & Co. Sourcing 100% of Diamonds from Known Mines

Tiffany & Co. now sources 100 percent of its diamonds from known mines or suppliers with multiple known mines and traces 98 percent of its raw precious metals directly to a mine or recycler, according to the company’s new corporate responsibility report.The report provides an overview of the jewelry company’s most important environmental and social challenges, with a focus on responsible mining and sourcing of its raw materials, ranging from diamonds and gold to the paper in its signature Blue Boxes and bags. It aligns with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 “In Accordance – Core” and United Nations Global Compact reporting frameworks.

P&G Studying Smallholder Practices to Ensure Deforestation-Free Palm Oil

Separating sustainable sources from non-sustainable sources in the production of palm oil and palm kernel oil is highly complicated, but Procter & Gamble is attempting to address the problem as part of its recently upgraded commitment to a zero-deforestation palm oil supply chain. The Company announced Thursday it is conducting an in-field study to understand the practices of smallholder farmers — and how they can be improved to protect local forests.

UCS: 'Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto' Falls Short of a Revolution

The word “manifesto” rarely conjures up positive connotations. That word brings to my mind Karl Marx’s famous tome, at best, and, at worst, images of a bearded man in a remote cabin. Regardless, it’s a word most often associated with people or groups with strongly held convictions trying to shake up the status quo. It is odd then that a group of major palm oil producers and traders should use that term for a recent effort to redefine “sustainable” palm oil.

Industry Associations Launch New Conflict Mineral Guide

Seven of the world's largest industry associations have collaborated with Source Intelligence and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP to launch a web-based training module within the Conflict Minerals Resource Center (CMRC).The organizations say the goal of the joint initiative is to deploy an easy-to-use conflict minerals training tool for suppliers in their seven industries. The training module is based on the best practices developed by leaders in these industries and their suppliers during the 2013 conflict minerals reporting period.

2 Birds, 1 Stone: How Palm Oil Can Improve Livelihoods and Reduce Global Pressure on Forests

With a number of NGO campaigns demanding that companies pledge to use zero-deforestation palm oil — and industry groups such as the Consumer Goods Forum pledging zero-net deforestation by 2020 for soy, palm oil, livestock and timber — companies are scrambling to find sustainable supplies of palm oil.

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New Research Shows Coffee-Farming Communities Experiencing Fewer 'Thin Months'

Keurig Green Mountain has announced the results of a 2013 scientific study, Thin Months Revisited. Conducted in partnership with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods Group (ARLG) of the University of Vermont, the study reexamines the livelihoods of smallholder coffee-growing families in Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua to understand how farmer welfare has changed, compared with a 2007 baseline study in the same countries. The 2013 results show marked improvements in food security since 2007, which may be partially attributed to initiatives from companies such as Keurig over the last few years.

Whitepaper: Don’t Leave Smallholders Out of the Palm Oil Debate

The public debate on palm oil centers on large corporate entities driving the industry, while ignoring smallholders that make up 40 percent of planted hectares, according to a new whitepaper by CSR Asia.In emerging palm-growing markets, such as Thailand, smallholders make up almost 80 percent of production area, the paper says.The new paper looks at the experience of smallholders in the case of palm oil – primarily through the work of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) set up in 2003 to define and implement standards for sustainable palm oil. The paper examines the certification process and the opportunities that this can provide for smallholders.

IKEA Expands Program to Prevent Child Labor in India’s Cotton Fields

IKEA Foundation and Save the Children have announced plans to expand a child rights program aimed at protecting children living in cotton communities in India.So far, the initiative has helped to protect more than 600,000 children, IKEA says. The $9.4 million expansion will extend the program’s reach to keep an additional 790,000 children out of cotton fields and in classrooms where they can learn, play, grow and develop. There are an estimated 12.6 million child laborers in India.

80 Orgs Call on Apple to Eliminate Dangerous Chemicals From Chinese Supply Chain

80 environmental and human rights organizations, socially responsible investment firms, and occupational health professionals from 27 countries sent a letter today to Apple's VP of Environmental Affairs Lisa Jackson, the former head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging her to address worker safety in its supplier factories in China.

AB InBev: Lessons Learned from Scaling Up a Sustainable Logistics Operation

Moving goods from raw ingredients to finished products is complex and requires a significant amount of energy. A bottle of Budweiser, for example, starts with transporting barley and other materials to the brewery and then shipping our finished product to millions of sales points around the world. This flow is what we call transportation logistics, and the sector contributes to 5.5 percent of all global carbon emissions, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

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#SB14sd Sound Bytes, Vol. 2: McDonald's, Caesars and Dell on Sustainable Purchasing

With such a flurry of activity going on this week at SB ’14 San Diego, we wanted to share some of it as it happens.Here, McDonald’s Bob Langert, Caesars Entertainment’s Jessica Rosman and Dell’s Michael Murphy about the need for collaboration and consistent criteria in sustainable purchasing.Jessica RosmanBob Langert

McDonald's Restaurants to Abide by Region-Specifics Standards for Sourcing Sustainable Beef

McDonald's will soon allow its restaurants in different international markets to follow region-specific guidelines for achieving its recent pledge to purchase sustainable beef.In January, the fast food company — one of the largest buyers of beef in the US — pledged to begin purchasing verified sustainable beef in 2016, with the goal of eventually buying all of its beef from sustainable sources.

Palm Oil, Deforestation and the Fast Food Industry: Would You Like a Side of Forests with That?

I travel a lot for my job and after long days on the road the one thing that gets me through is constancy. I pack basically the same clothes for every trip and try to keep up the same workout routine, but the one place it’s hard to keep things constant is in what I eat. While trying new foods is part of the adventure of travel, sometimes when I’m hot and tired from a few days or weeks in a country thousands of miles from home, all I want is something familiar. At times like that, I turn to American fast food and take comfort in McDonald’s golden arches, the cooling taste of a Coke ICEE from Burger King, or the morning rush of a frosted doughnut and sugar-spiked iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts.

NGOs: PepsiCo's New Palm Oil Commitment Is Major Improvement, But Other Companies Are Doing More

Last week, PepsiCo became the latest in a recent string of consumer packaged goods (CPG) giants — including Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills, Kellogg and Procter & Gamble — to announce a new “zero deforestation” palm oil sourcing commitment.

PwC Study: Effective Metrics, Training, Leadership Keys to Supply Chain Sustainability

According to a new report by PwC US and the APICS Foundation, new sources of value can emerge when companies broaden their perspectives on sustainability and adopt clear strategies to tap ethical, economic, social — and environmental — levers across their extended supply chains.

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Avery Dennison, Rainforest Alliance Partner to Promote Sustainable Forestry in Honduras

The Avery Dennison Foundation announced today it has awarded a $200,000 grant to the Rainforest Alliance to foster best practices in forestry management, create jobs and increase access to sustainably managed forest products.“As a leader in labeling and packaging, we’re in a unique position to move our industry toward sustainably sourced materials, and that includes investing in the communities that manage natural resources,” said Dean Scarborough, chairman, president and CEO of Avery Dennison. “By working with the Rainforest Alliance, we can improve the livelihoods of farmers and their families while creating economic dividends for the entire value chain.”

Fair Trade USA Certifies 1 Billionth Pound of Sustainable Coffee

Fair Trade USA recently announced that it has certified one billion pounds of Fair Trade coffee since its founding in 1998.The organization says this milestone was made possible by the sustainable sourcing practices of nearly 500 coffee companies, which helped Fair Trade coffee farmers and farm workers earn almost $124 million in Community Development Premiums to date, with $30.8 million in 2013 alone.

adidas Details Progress on Supplier Audits, Sustainable Materials Use in 2013

In 2013, adidas issued 66 warning letters to suppliers across 14 countries, and terminated nine manufacturing agreements for social and environmental non-compliance, according to the footwear company’s 2013 Sustainability Progress Report, Fair Play, an annual overview of achievements and challenges as well as a progress update on its 2015 sustainability targets.

H&M, Solidaridad Expand Partnership to Tackle Host of Challenges in Textile Supply Chain

H&M has formed a strategic alliance with Solidaridad, an international organization dedicated to creating responsible agricultural supply chains, to achieve more sustainable textile production. According to a post on Solidaridad’s blog, the parties have previously collaborated in sustainability projects and are now expanding their collaboration into a multiannual partnership.

Global Auto Industry Accelerates Action on Conflict Minerals

At a corporate responsibility summit for global automakers and suppliers near Detroit last week, the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) announced an initiative to accelerate action on conflict minerals, which was identified in a new survey as the most significant issue facing the industry this year.

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