UL, a US-based safety consulting and certification company, has unveiled two new initiatives aimed at driving environmental and social responsibility throughout the global supply chain.
The company’s Environment division has announced it will begin collecting data to identify products made by manufacturers with policies and procedures in place to protect against human rights abuses throughout their supply chain. The information will be displayed as search criteria in the company’s product sustainability database, SPOT.
Developed in response to growing demand for supply chain and product transparency, SPOT provides public and private procurement officials, architects, designers and other users an outlet to find credible information on the health and environmental impacts of a given product. The new information will provide an additional level of transparency, shedding light on the overall societal impacts of manufacturing a given product — information that has largely been missing from sustainable product software tools and search engines.
The data will be collected on a voluntary basis and will enable manufacturers in the UL SPOT database to indicate that they have practices in place to prevent and address corporate social responsibility concerns in their organizations and throughout the supply chain. They will also be able to include a link in SPOT to publicly available information that supports this claim so that it can be easily accessed by SPOT users.
“UL is excited to leverage the SPOT platform to collect this information, which has really never been done before,” said Alberto Uggetti, VP and General Manager of UL Environment. “Through SPOT, we are enabling companies to demonstrate their strong corporate social responsibility policies on a public platform accessible to professional purchasers.”
Earlier this week, UL also revealed it has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and will use the group’s sustainability measurement tool, the Higg Index, to help improve supply chain sustainability in the apparel, footwear and textile industry.
UL provides support to companies with every aspect of sustainability and supply chain management, helping them gain better visibility into supply chain issues and mitigate risk and implement customized and comprehensive environmental management systems. It also helps companies demonstrate willingness to invest sustainable supply chain practices and assists them in gaining a competitive advantage through sustainability initiatives and implementation of best practice procedures.
In its relationship with the SAC, UL will contribute both data and resources to support the Higg Index, a tool that allows suppliers, manufacturers, brands and retailers to evaluate materials, products, facilities and processes based on environmental and product design choices.
“We welcome the addition of UL to the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and look forward to their participation in this industry-wide effort in sustainability,” said Jason Kibbey, CEO of SAC. “Having UL as part of the Coalition widens the scope of our impact within the industry and accelerates the change we’re making towards responsible industry actions.”