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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Disruptive Conservation: A New Thread to Connect Multi-Sector Values

A Minnesota watershed project is using an ecocommerce framework, a fundamentally different approach to bringing shared value to natural resource management.

Listen to Your Critics: They Could Be Your Biggest Allies

It was every retailer’s worst nightmare: Days after the Rana Plaza factory collapsed in one of the worst industrial disasters in recorded history, activists began plastering the Internet with pictures of clothing labels uncovered amongst the rubble of concrete and human remains. Amongst these, some of the world’s most recognized brands, including Mango, H&M and Walmart.

Top 10 Ways Brands Used Their Power to Create a More Sustainable World in 2013

2013 was a banner year for companies using their muscle to drive transformative change, both internally and globally. Without further ado, here is just a taste of some of the progress we found most inspiring.

Stopping Global Deforestation: How to Turn Around a Giant (Part 2 of 2)

This is the fourth in a series of excerpts from Engaging Outraged Stakeholders: A How-To Guide for Uniting the Left, Right, Capitalists and Activists (Affinity Press, 2013), the new book from Future 500. Earlier this month, we posted the beginning of Chapter Two: The Power of Engagement, and learned six reasons to engage your activist stakeholders.

Brands, Palm Oil and the Ugly Face of Beauty

After the recent piece regarding palm oil and the depredations its industrial cultivation rains on the heads of one of our most wonderful simian cousins, if there is anyone in the beauty industry or from one of its agencies that read it and didn’t end up feeling anything other than a creeping, yawing shame climb up their neck I would be staggered.Sadly, whether they give enough of a flying arse to do or say anything about it has more to do with income, career, the unassailable truth of an utterly disinterested management structure and the luxury of distance.

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Hershey Ups Palm Oil Sustainability Goals, But NGOs Push for More

In addition to achieving its commitment to source 100 percent mass-balanced RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)-certified palm oil more than a year ahead of its original 2015 commitment, The Hershey Company announced last week it will also work with its suppliers to achieve 100 percent traceable and sustainably sourced palm oil by the end of 2014.

Woody Harrelson Using Equity Crowdfunding to Scale Straw Paper Enterprise

Last week, institutional crowdfunding marketplace Optimize Capital Markets released a call for accredited investors looking to profit by disrupting an environmentally destructive industry while solving a massive waste problem: Optimize’s client, Prairie Paper Ventures, co-founded by actor Woody Harrelson, makes paper from agricultural waste.

Insights from COP19: Women Play a Critical Role in Global Climate Crisis

The Rainforest Alliance’s climate team reports back from COP19, highlighting the increasingly crucial role of women in helping communities to mitigate and adapt to climate change.You’ve undoubtedly heard the old saying: “Behind every great man is a great woman.” Today, in many parts of the world, women are getting out in front and playing crucial roles in solving some of the world’s most pressing problems. Unfortunately, when it comes to one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century — combating climate change — women are too often left out of the conversation altogether.

After Years of Pressure, Wilmar International Commits to Ending Deforestation Practices

Wilmar International, the world's largest palm oil trader, today announced a No Deforestation Policy in response to pressure from Greenpeace, NGOs and consumers around the world.

Nike, Inc. Unveils ColorDry Technology and Facility That Eliminate Water, Chemicals In Dyeing

Nike, Inc. today celebrated the opening of a water-free dyeing facility featuring high-tech equipment that will eliminate the use of water and process chemicals from fabric dyeing at its Taiwanese contract manufacturer, Far Eastern New Century Corp (FENC). Nike has named the innovative process “ColorDry” to highlight the environmental benefits and unprecedented coloring achieved with the technology.

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UN Global Compact Launches Business Guide Highlighting Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The UN Global Compact (UNGC) on Monday released a new guide aimed at helping businesses understand the rights of indigenous peoples, and recommends practical actions to respect and support these rights.

CDP: Many Businesses Still Unaware of Supply Chain Risks Due to Deforestation

In a year of extreme weather events, commodity price spikes and supply chain disasters, the latest data from CDP’s forests program reveals that the business community remains largely unaware of the deforestation risks in their own supply chains, threatening shareholder value.

H&M Plans to Pay All Textile Workers ‘Living Wage’ by 2018

H&M, the world's second-largest clothing retailer, established a roadmap this week to pay a fair “living wage” to 850,000 textile workers by 2018, citing that governments were not acting fast enough. But some are arguing that H&M should move faster, as well.During the last year, H&M says it has worked on the problem of how to best address wages, both short and long term, on several levels from purchasing practices, supplier practices, workers’ rights to government responsibility.

Peruvian Stevia Farm Becomes World's First to Achieve Rainforest Alliance Certification

The Stevia One Perú SAC farm in northern Peru has earned Rainforest Alliance certification, becoming the world’s first stevia farm to earn the distinction, according to an announcement today by Rainforest Alliance. The farm met the rigorous standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), conserving natural resources, protecting wildlife and ensuring the well-being of farm families to earn the certification, which marks an important milestone in increasing the sustainability of the industry.

SAP Partners With Colombian Coffee Growers Federation to Support Rural Workers

SAP has joined forces with the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) and the Manuel Mejía Foundation to provide coffee farmers with the technology and training they need to develop more sustainable business practices.Technology continues to be scarce among rural communities in Colombia, SAP says. To help change this reality, the company supplied technical training to more than 500 coffee growers, teaching them how to effectively use mobile tablets and computers to access the “coffee portal,” which provides useful information on coffee market news, geographical farm data, coffee purchasing conditions, incentives and support programs.

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Adnams Becomes First UK Brewery to Carbon Footprint Full Range of Bottled Beers

UK brewery Adnams has become the first brewer to measure the carbon footprint of its entire range of bottled beers, estimating that one bottle is equivalent to traveling 5.3 miles by train.The Southwold-based brewer says after a “rigorous six months of data collection and analysis and a further six months for verification and auditing,” the analysis measured the carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions (CO2e) for the whole lifecycle of each beer, from the growth of the grains to the brewing and packaging, through to the distribution, retail, consumption and disposal of the bottle. Adnams performed the analysis with the help of the Adapt Low Carbon Group at the University of East Anglia.

Unilever Pledges 100% Traceable Palm Oil by End of 2014

In a major move towards sustainability for one of the world’s largest purchasers of palm oil, Unilever on Tuesday announced that all of the palm oil it buys globally will be traceable to known sources by the end of 2014.The company says it purchases roughly 1.5 million tons of palm oil and its derivatives annually, which represents about 3 percent of the world’s total production, for use in products such as margarine, ice cream, soap and shampoo.

Levi Strauss & Co. Unveils New Wellthread Design Process

Disposable, fast fashion is the antithesis of sustainability. This week, Levi Strauss & Co. debuted a remedy — the Dockers® Wellthread process for responsible sourcing — at the company’s new innovation lab in San Francisco. This approach combines sustainable design and environmental practices with an emphasis on durable materials and supporting the well-being of the workers who make the garments. Wellthread represents the company's first effort to bring these key elements together into one process.

Patagonia to Offer Fair Trade Certified Clothing

Patagonia has announced plans to offer Fair Trade Certified™ apparel, starting with nine styles in the Fall 2014 season.For every Fair Trade Certified product Patagonia sells, the company says it will pay a premium directly into a special fund for employees. The workers will then decide collectively how to spend this fund, based on what they deem to be their community’s greatest needs: from scholarships and disaster relief funds, to medical care and transportation. Workers can also vote to take the Fair Trade premium dollars as a cash bonus, which can be equivalent to an entire month’s salary or more.

The Cat's in the BAGGU: Emily Sugihara Talks Sourcing and Collaboration

Named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People this year, Emily Sugihara is the founder of BAGGU, a line of environmentally conscious bags. The eye-catching yet simple designs have caught on with J. Crew, West Elm and others. We caught up with Emily, who co-founded BAGGU with her mother, Joan, to learn more about what’s behind the bag.What is your mission and how does fulfilling it impact the designing, sourcing and manufacturing of BAGGU goods?Our mission is to make bags that fill many needs, are well-designed, are as affordable as possible and are produced in a way that’s mindful of the environment.

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