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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IKEA and Kingfisher Pledge Ambitious 'Net Positive' Agendas, But Can They Work?

Today an ever-increasing number of companies and brands are likely to have a corporate social responsibility agenda because customers and other stakeholders demand they hold themselves accountable for their environmental and social performance. Now more companies are pushing the boundaries, or in reality, talking about going further than merely just becoming more “sustainable” or “responsible.” Zero-waste has become a mantra at some of the world’s most iconiccompanies, including Procter & Gamble and Unilever.

How Sustainable Is Your Supply Chain?

Beginning this month, Sustainable Brands will launch a new Issues in Focus editorial channel examining sustainable supply chain management.The SB editorial team — with the help of guest editors Dave Meyer of EORM, Tara Norton of BSR and Sam Hummel of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council — are seeking articles, interviews and case studies for publication throughout the year.

LG Electronics, Nokia Tackle Illegal Tin Mining in Indonesia

LG Electronics, Nokia, Sony, Blackberry and Motorola have released statements reaffirming their commitments to tackling illegal tin mining in Indonesia.The move came after British environmental NGO Friends of the Earth released information from an investigation into the devastation caused by mining for tin on Bangka. According to the charity, tin is used as solder in all phones and electronic gadgets, and around a third of the world's mined tin comes from Bangka and neighboring island Belitung.The Friends of the Earth investigation in Bangka found:· Dangerous and unregulated tin mining

Consumer Activists Urging Kellogg's to Take Stand Against Deforestation

Environmental activists (and former Girl Scouts) Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, along with over 100,000 people in the U.S. and around the world, are calling on Kellogg Company CEO John Bryant to end the food company’s partnership with Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader, unless it agrees to stop relying on deforestation.

Bayer CropScience Launches e3 Sustainable Cotton Program

Bayer CropScience has launched its new e3 sustainable cotton program, which the company says provides stringent guidelines for farmers in the United States who grow Certified FiberMax or authentic Stoneville cotton.Bayer’s Certified FiberMax and Stoneville programs make it possible for buyers to identify where their cotton was grown using a certification database maintained by the company.Bayer says the e3 program will benefit mills and brands in three key ways:

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Marriott International Reaches Key Milestone in Greening Its Global Supply Chain

MindClick Global, a leader in supply chain sustainability performance and sourcing solutions, announced Thursday that Marriott International is ahead of its sustainable sourcing goals for 2013. In 2012, Marriott committed to spend 75 percent of its 2013 furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) budget with suppliers who are part of the MindClick Hospitality Index for Sustainable Sourcing (HSP Index). As of June 15, 2013, Marriott has reached 60 percent of its goal.

Ecodesk Launches Monitor to Help Businesses Track Conflict Mineral Use

Global supply chain sustainability site Ecodesk has launched a monitoring tool for businesses to track conflict mineral use in supply chains.The company says the aim of the monitor is to help businesses track the materials using a standard EICC declaration form and the Ecodesk digital supply chain dashboard.As each supplier completes a declaration on their Ecodesk sustainability profile, data is automatically connected to a customer dashboard, which enables businesses to analyze in one simple view, conflict mineral use by geography, industry and by individual smelters.

Study Shows Farmers Working with Rainforest Alliance and Nespresso Earn 87% More

A recent independent study by the Colombian organization CRECE, which assessed the social, environmental and economic impacts among 1,000 farmers has found that farmers in the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program have a net income 87.4 percent higher than those not involved with the program.The AAA program, which was co-developed over the last ten years by the Rainforest Alliance and Nespresso, encourages farmers to adopt best practices such as protecting water sources and preventing soil erosion from their land.

Walmart-Backed Alliance Vows to Fix Bangladesh, But Critics Fear Lack of Liability

An alliance of 17 North American brands led by Walmart, Gap and Target has unveiled the details of its independent Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative — a five-year pact that aims to improve conditions at Bangladesh garment factories and establish more viable worker communications.

Unilever's 'Green Express' Train Is Latest Way to Cut Its Supply Chain Footprint

Unilever has launched a new rail service in Italy called Green Express, as part of a wider eco-efficiency programme within its supply chain to support the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.The service delivers Unilever’s Algida brand ice cream from its factory near Naples, 700km to the logistics hub in Parma.The direct connection, linking three lines, means that 3,500 trucks will be taken off the road each year, saving 40 million mega-joules of energy per year.

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Sustain Condoms: How a Father-Daughter Duo Plan to Transform a Toxic Industry

Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder of Seventh Generation, and his daughter Meika are extending the ethos and ethics of the pioneering sustainable care products brand to the world’s first sustainable condom, carrying the slogan, "Do what's natural." Toxin-free, fair trade Sustain condoms are made in India and are set to be in stores by January 2014 — the first product from the father-daughter team behind Hollender Sustainable Brands.

Paper Company Rejects FSC to Dodge Inquiry About Indonesian Deforestation Practices

Paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) has withdrawn from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which Greenpeace, the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and WWF claim is an attempt to dodge an independent inquiry into the paper company’s deforestation practices in Indonesia.Prior to APRIL’s withdrawal, the three environmental organizations lodged a complaint that the company was in violation of FSC’s Policy for Association through its continued large-scale conversion of natural forests in Indonesia to plantations, including the destruction of high conservation value (HCV) forests. The organizations also claim the company has persistent social conflicts in its operations.

Mondelez International Helping 1,500 Vietnamese Coffee Farmers Become Sustainable Entrepreneurs

Global food and beverage giant Mondelez International has unveiled a new training facility for coffee farmers to promote sustainability and entrepreneurship in Vietnam. The company says this is a major step toward implementing its "Coffee Made Happy" sustainability program, which commits to investing at least $200 million to help one million coffee farming entrepreneurs by 2020.

Adidas Implements New Strategies to Lead in Supply Chain Transparency

Adidas recently released its 2012 sustainability report, which outlines the many successes, as well as the challenges and shortcomings, the athletic wear manufacturer has experienced in the past year. The company has improved transparency within its supply chain, introduced more sustainable manufacturing processes — such as its waterless DryDye t-shirt line — and improved energy efficiency in many of its stores.

Nike Unveils New App to Help Designers Create More Sustainable Apparel

As part of its commitment to helping design a better, more sustainable future, Nike this week launched a new app called MAKING, to help designers and product creators make informed decisions about the environmental impacts of the materials they choose.

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Coca-Cola, Britvic Sign on to Soft Drink Sustainability Roadmap

Coca-Cola and Britvic, along with half of the United Kingdom’s foremost soft drink producers and suppliers, have joined the Soft Drinks Sustainability Roadmap, a supply chain study designed to reduce the environmental footprint of soft drink products.The roadmap claims to be the first to outline the £1.3 billion (nearly $2 billion) UK soft drinks sector’s effect on the environment and offer recommendations on how the impact can be reduced. The report offers infographics that summarize this information across the entire soft drinks supply chain, from raw material production to end of life.

KPMG Says Investing in Working Conditions in China Good For Business

Manufacturers that invest in working conditions can improve their profit margins and increase their competitive advantage, according to recent research by KPMG.Business Case Analysis for Responsible Electronics Manufacturing was commissioned as part of the IDH Electronics program, which focuses on establishing worker-management dialogue as a means to improving working conditions and facilitating operational efficiency.

Woody Harrelson Continues to Chip Away at Deforestation with New Straw-Based Paper

True to his name, Oscar-nominated actor Woody Harrelson, best known for his time on the TV show Cheers and movies such as Zombieland and No Country for Old Men, also likes chipping away at environmental issues.With a history of lobbying the government to restrict logging, Harrelson is now turning his attention to more efficient ways of producing paper. “Ever since I was pulled into the environmental world, protecting trees and stopping deforestation has really been a calling for me,” Harrelson stated in an interview with TIME. “The thing to do is change the supply. We need to change the way that paper is made.”

US Suspends Trade Privileges with Bangladesh, Pressuring Factories, Brands to Comply with Safety Standards

On Thursday, the Obama Administration announced that it would be suspending trade privileges extended to Bangladesh as a result of the country's neglect of workers' rights. "I have determined that it is appropriate to suspend Bangladesh's designation … because it is not taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights to workers in the country," President Obama wrote in a message to Congress. The decision, regarded widely as a stern warning to the nation, will effectively end special tax breaks on exports to the US that are meant to help developing economies.

New Multi-Stakeholder Council To Accelerate Sustainable Purchasing Launching in July

A group of leaders from government, industry, academia, standards organizations and NGOs are joining forces to solve the biggest obstacle to sustainable institutional purchasing: a lack of standardization in how sustainable purchasing is defined, guided, measured and rewarded.The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council will launch with a free, live webcast from Washington, DC on July 23 at 1pm EST.

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