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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Cross-Posted from Marketing and Comms.
It’s been a busy fall for Patagonia — the outdoor apparel company kicked off October with the launch of its “Responsible Economy” campaign, which challenges consumers and businesses to think more consciously about disposability and resource allocation, and ended the month by announcing its plans to offer Fair Trade Certified™ apparel, beginning in Fall 2014.
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.
Cross-Posted from Collaboration.
Fashion and forests don’t likely go hand-in-hand in most people’s minds, but a new partnership announced today is aimed at increasing the sustainability of both.Socially conscious fashion brand Eileen Fisher and Canadian environmental NGO Canopy — with the help of Quiksilver, prAna, Patagonia and lululemon athletica and 14 progressive designers — have announced a joint campaign designed to bolster protection of ancient forest ecosystems and raise awareness about the fashion industry’s role in endangering them.
Cross-Posted from Collaboration.
Leading organisations and industry bodies within UK food production, retail and horticulture have joined forces to tackle the issue of modern-day slavery, human trafficking, forced labor and other hidden migrant worker exploitation, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
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.
Last week, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced the launch of what it’s calling the world’s most comprehensive toolkit for designing and implementing management systems that can restore the resiliency, sustainability and profitability of fisheries around the world.“Global overfishing is a 21st century problem that people have been trying to fix with 20th century solutions,” said Kate Bonzon, Director of EDF’s Catch Share Design Center. “Our toolkit provides low-cost, cutting-edge and highly replicable solutions to help fishermen and fishery managers achieve economic and ecological recovery, even in fisheries lacking adequate data.”
Greenpeace International tonight launched a report calling out a host of consumer products companies — including Colgate Palmolive, Mondelez International (formerly Kraft), Nestlé Oil, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser and a host of other companies — as guilty by association for rainforest destruction in Indonesia, a crucial habitat region for the endangered Sumatran tiger.A License to Kill: How Deforestation for Palm Oil Is Driving Sumatran Tigers Toward Extinction links the companies to Singapore-based Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil processor, which accounts for over one-third of the global palm oil processing market and has a distribution network covering over 50 countries.
Marriott International has awarded LG Electronics its 2013 Supplier Sustainability Award. The annual award recognizes the Marriott supplier that has made a significant impact on its guests and properties through innovative ideas toward helping Marriott meet its sustainability goals.Through improving television product development, manufacturing and usage, Marriott says LG supports the hotel chain’s sustainability objectives in 20 countries across a number of areas — including energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste, and using more sustainable materials to reduce the impact on the environment.
In the lead up to Uzbekistan’s annual cotton fair, a mounting number of international brands and retailers have declared their refusal to source from the country until it ceases the forced labor of children and adults in the cotton fields. Representing an estimated $1.024 trillion USD in revenue, 136 brands and companies have now signed the "Company Pledge Against Forced Child and Adult Labor in Uzbek Cotton," according to the Responsible Sourcing Network.
Fair Trade USA has partnered with nonprofit Kiva to help small-scale coffee farmers access financing, improve crop quality and invest in the future of their families and communities.The partnership resulted from a successful collaboration last year between Fair Trade USA, Kiva and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to pilot Kiva’s first agricultural lending program with a Fair Trade coffee cooperative in Mexico. Kiva says its lenders around the world fully funded nearly all of the loans, which benefited hundreds of small farmers working to prepare their fields for harvest.
Fair trade and organic fashion company INDIGENOUS has launched an Indiegogo campaign to crowdsource funds to increase access to The Fair Trace Tool and fund social impact research with artisans and farmers to bring the story of fair trade and supply chain transparency to the consumer at the point of purchase.
The fashion industry has gone through dramatic changes in the last 20-30 years. Indeed it finds itself in the present at a crossroad: Resource scarcity is triggering shifts in business models and supply chains; waste is the new resource; customers are the sales channel of the future; and legislation is becoming ever more stringent.Yet few businesses venture to think about how their industry may look in five, 15, or 30 years’ time. Radical changes are bound to happen in our world, and its consumer and sourcing markets, over the course of the next few decades, and we will encounter serious challenges of running businesses if we continue as we have in the last few.
Indirect procurement is an area we hope to highlight in this Issue in Focus series on sustainable supply chains. While sourcing raw materials, components and goods-for-resale (GFR) has gotten the lion’s share of sustainable supply chain attention in the corporate world to date, an increasing number of companies are focusing on opportunities to advance their enterprise’s financial, social and environmental sustainability through the purchases they make for their own operations. One driver for this new sustainability focus is the economic aspect of sustainability.
HP recently announced that it has set a goal of driving a 20 percent decrease in its first-tier manufacturing and product transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 2020, compared to 2010, a first for the information technology industry.Developed in consultation with the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Climate Savers Program, HP says the GHG emissions-reduction goal will be pursued through a variety of HP-led activities, including:· Business incentives for suppliers to set and achieve tangible GHG emissions-reduction goals.· By 2020, direct prevention of 2 million metric tons of GHG emissions across HP’s multitier supply chain, cumulatively, through specific supplier environmental improvement projects, including: