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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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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.

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Paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) has withdrawn from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which Greenpeace, the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and WWF claim is an attempt to dodge an independent inquiry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.

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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.

Listen Up: How One Brand Learned That Greenwashing Is Never an 'Ethical Choice'

Cross-Posted from Marketing and Comms. Behaviour change starts with listening. Here in New Zealand, a major global brand may have started listening for the first time in recent weeks: Dole have both made a U-turn and reached out to critics in an apparent desire to understand where they went wrong in this market and how they might set things right.

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.

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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.

New Generation of Companies Emerging to Sate Demand of Conscious Consumerism

Cross-Posted from Behavior Change. In the past two months, the garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, the second-floor failure of the shoe factory in Cambodia, and most recently, the fire in the Chinese poultry plant have resulted in the deaths of some 1,500 workers in the developing world.In China alone, more than 100,000 people die annually in factories. These numbers are raising difficult questions among European and American consumers who have become accustomed to goods being manufactured abroad.

Asia Pulp and Paper Reports Latest on No Deforestation Policy in Third 'Vision 2020' Update

Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which ended natural forest clearance in its supply chain after pressure from nearly 100 of its customers earlier this year, has released the latest update in its "Vision 2020" plan that provides further insight into its new Forest Conservation Policy (FCP). Through the new policy, natural forest will be identified through High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments currently underway across all APP land concessions in Indonesia.

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Cutting Out the Middlemen: A Solution to the Dangers of Low-Cost Production

Sadly, for the second time in months, the world has turned its attention to one of the biggest low-cost producing countries for apparel, Bangladesh. In November, a raging fire in a garment factory in Bangladesh claimed more than 100 people’s lives and led to a countless number of injuries. And the collapse of the eight-story Rana Plaza factory in April, in which 1,127 people died, is the country's worst industrial accident to date.

Canadians Rethinking Brand Choices Following Bangladesh Factory Collapse

Following the Rana Plaza collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh in April that claimed the lives of 1,127 workers, DIG360 Consulting Ltd. commissioned a survey, powered by Asking Canadians, to ask Canadians about their awareness of the incident, their perceptions around Canadian retailers sourcing overseas and, specifically, their attitudes about Canadian fashion brand Joe Fresh.

Nike, Levi Strauss Publish Updated Hazardous Chemical Plan

Cross-Posted from Chemistry, Materials & Packaging. Nike, Levi Strauss, H&M and several other members of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group have committed to publishing a list of chemicals targeted for phase out or research by 2015 as part of a plan to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their supply chains by 2020.

RSN Releases Guide to Help Textile Buyers Trace Their Supply Chains 'To the Spinner'

The Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN) is quickly becoming the go-to place for informative and useful white papers and reports on supply chain management.

Investors Continue to Express Support for Conflict Minerals Disclosure Rule

Cross-Posted from Marketing and Comms. Investors representing more than $450 billion of the world’s assets released a statement today expressing their support for the "Conflict Minerals" final rule, Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, according to the Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN). The statement comes exactly a year before companies will have to send the U.S.

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