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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.

More Than Half of Global Suppliers Commit to 100% Sustainable Palm Oil

Suppliers of more than 55 percent of the world’s palm oil have committed to produce or trade 100 percent deforestation-free palm oil in response to demands by global brands, who in turn were responding to investor pressure, according to Ceres.General Mills, Kellogg and Safeway are among the several food and beverage firms, supermarket companies and grocery store chains to commit to responsibly source 100 percent of their palm oil in response to shareholder resolutions.

Monsanto Loses Permit to Genetically Modify Soybeans in Mexico

Biotech giant Monsanto's permit to plant genetically modified soybeans that resist the company's pesticide 'Roundup' was overturned by a district judge in the state of Yucatán in Mexico last month, reports the Guardian. This marks a big victory for the group of Mayan beekeepers and farmers who along with Greenpeace, the Mexican National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas and the National Institute of Ecology have been protesting against the permit.

Pepsi to Begin Using Cashew Juice in Products Next Spring

PepsiCo has announced it will begin incorporating cashew juice into its blended juice products next spring as part of partnership with the Clinton Foundation, which aims to encourage sustainable agriculture and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Maharashtra, India.Through the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership model, founded by President Bill Clinton and philanthropist Frank Giustra, this initiative will apply modern agricultural techniques to improve cashew farming practices, boost yield and productivity, and increase income for local smallholder farmers. It will also scale up and strengthen India’s cashew supply chain to build the future potential of a domestic and export market.

Kellogg Announces New Goals Around Conservation, Responsible Sourcing

This morning, Kellogg announced a new set of commitments aimed at protecting its supply chain and increasing the efficiency of its operations. Specifically, the company has pledged to responsibly source its top 10 ingredients and materials by 2020 (as rival General Mills did last fall); boost its agricultural sustainability by supporting smallholder farmers; and meet more aggressive goals around increased energy efficiency and reduced water use, waste and packaging.

Bacardi, Nonprofit Working Towards 100% Sugarcane Supply Chain Sustainability

Bacardi is working with global nonprofit Bonsucro to foster sustainability in the sugarcane sector as part of its effort to make good on its promise of obtaining 40 percent of the sugarcane-derived products used to make its rums from certified, sustainable sources by 2017 and 100 percent by 2022.Bacardi says this means acquiring all raw materials and packaging from sustainably sourced, renewable or recycled materials, while maintaining or enhancing the economic status of growers and suppliers.

Nestlé, Tata Setting the Bar for 100% Sustainable Sourcing

Nestlé UK & Ireland and Tata Global Beverages have both announced they are committed to achieving 100 percent sustainable sourcing for their products as part of their overall sustainability strategies.For Nestlé, which has aimed to achieve 100 percent sustainable sourcing of its cocoa by the end of 2015, this would be a milestone event — making it the first major confectionery company to do so in the UK and Ireland.The confectioner works with both UTZ Certified and the Fairtrade Foundation as part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, where currently 60 percent of the chocolate purchased in the UK and Ireland is sourced from certified farms.

Coke to Invest Additional $5 Billion in Africa Over Six Years

The Coca-Cola Company and its African bottling partners announced a new investment of $5 billion during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit held earlier this week. To be made over the next six years, this increases the company’s total announced investment in Africa to $17 billion from 2010 to 2020.The companies anticipate that the investment will fund new manufacturing lines, cooling and distribution equipment and production; create additional jobs and opportunities across Coke’s African supply chain; and support key sustainability initiatives and programs focused on safe water access, sustainable sourcing, women’s economic empowerment, community well-being and operational efficiency improvements.

How The North Face Is Changing the Down Industry

Cross-Posted from Leadership. Since the release of the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) in January, we have been working diligently to get it rolled out to the industry and implemented across our own supply chain. Doing this has been a complex and challenging project for The North Face and our partners, but we believe the RDS will make some critical changes to the down supply chain to improve traceability and ethical treatment of animals.

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.

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.

West Elm's Artisan Partnerships Supporting Thousands in Developing Communities

Cross-Posted from Product, Service & Design Innovation. In 2013, West Elm committed to invest $35M in artisan partnerships around the world through 2015. These partnerships create a number of benefits for both West Elm and the artisans they collaborate with.

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).

#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