8 guiding principles for building ethical global supply chains

A peek into the sourcing framework used by essential oils company doTERRA.

Sustainable Value Chains & Blockchain: Practical Applications

Blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has certainly earned its space as one of the most talked-about topics of 2017. Regardless of whether one views these new ‘currencies’ as an investment opportunity or bubble waiting to burst, the underlying technology has already demonstrated the ability to rapidly and dramatically alter markets, and many in the sustainability sector are asking — and experimenting with — what will come next. For many organisations, the question is not whether blockchain will become relevant to their business (it will), but what the impacts will be on their day-to-day

NRDC Mapping Tool Links Apparel Brands to Their Suppliers’ Environmental Performance

A new mapping tool created by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and China’s Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) is ushering in a new era for transparency in China. The IPE Green Supply Chain Map — the only of its kind in the world — openly links multinational corporations to their suppliers’ environmental performance. Based on publicly available data from the Chinese government, IPE’s database and map provide real-time data and historical trends in air

Trending: Circular Sportswear Is Next on Sustainable Fashion’s Checklist

Circular design principles continue to infiltrate the fashion industry as fast fashion giants and emerging labels alike turn their attention to sustainable activewear. Despite recent criticism over its decision to send its discarded clothing to Swedish incinerators, H&M continues to stride forward on its mission to accelerate the circular fashion movement. The fast fashion brand has expanded its Conscious Collection to include an activewear

IBM, Walmart, JD Harness Blockchain Tech to Improve Food Transparency, Safety in China

IBM has announced that it is teaming up with Walmart, JD.com and Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies to launch a Blockchain Food Safety Alliance to enhance food tracking, traceability and safety in China. The four organizations will work together to create a standards-based method of collecting data about the origin, safety and authenticity of food, using blockchain technology to provide real-time traceability throughout the supply chain. This will encourage accountability and give suppliers, regulators and

Nestlé, Danone, M&S Among Few Companies Walking the Talk on Ending Deforestation

As an issue putting nearly a trillion dollars at risk, deforestation has quickly become a front-of-mind concern for businesses dependent on forest-risk commodities, such as timber, palm oil and cacoa. However, new data released by the Forest 500 shows that the 250 companies with the greatest influence over forests are failing to adequately address deforestation risks, and will not meet 2020 goals to eliminate deforestation from their

Unilever teams with big banks on blockchain for supply chain

The year-long proof of concept also involves U.K. supermarket giant Sainsbury’s and packaging company Sappi. It will start with tea farmers in Africa.

Why You Should Care About the NRDC’s Antibiotics Scorecard

Since 2015, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been publishing its Chain Reaction report, produced in collaboration with Friends of the Earth, Consumers Union, Food Animal Concerns Trust and Center for Food Safety. Chain Reaction is basically a report card, showing how well major fast-food (and -casual) restaurants are doing at limiting their reliance on meat products raised on antibiotics. Here’s a look at 2017’s scorecard: As you can see, far more restaurants earn an “F” than an “A.” Many of them probably don’t want you to see this scorecard. The NRDC’s report looks at where restaurants are getting meat and poultry, their policies, the total amount of antibiotics in their meat products

Michael Kobori on stretching beyond the sustainability department

The best of live interviews from GreenBiz events. This episode: The Levi Strauss leader offers a glimpse at broadening the reach of sustainability.

Target Taps Tech Startup to Reinvent Inspection Process, Advance Supply Chain Transparency

Technological advancements, circular design principles and innovative raw materials are rapidly transforming the apparel industry, but lack of transparency continues to present a significant obstacle to sustainable sector-wide improvement across environmental, social and governance issues. The problem is one Target is working to address in its new partnership with Inspectorio, a graduate of the company’s Target + Techstars Retail Accelerator program. The Minneapolis-based startup is reinventing the inspection process through digitalization, replacing the standard pen and paper procedure with a

Wilmar Embraces Sustainability-Linked Finance, Unveils Child Protection Policy

Wilmar International, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, has announced major steps forward in reducing its environmental and social impacts. The company has worked out an innovative financial deal with ING to link its existing loan to its sustainability performance, and has unveiled a policy aimed at protecting children living on its palm oil plantations. But human rights campaigners say it may be little more than a band-aid. ING has converted a portion of Wilmar’s existing bilateral, committed Revolving Credit Facility of $150 million into a sustainability performance-linked loan, making Wilmar the first company in Asia and in the palm oil industry to do so. ING has worked with eight other clients in Europe on

Can McDonald’s help solve climate change?

A new project could revolutionize cattle ranching and beef production, and possibly take a big bite out of greenhouse gas emissions.

How Starbucks’ hometown is tackling plastic pollution

Going “Strawless in Seattle” and other cities worldwide.

How the food industry designed a market for turkey tails

The strange story of turkey tails speaks volumes about our globalized food system.

Startup fights food waste with travel companions for fruits and veggies

Hazel Technologies borrows from nature’s chemistry to tackle supply chain spoilage.

Mars Wrigley Launches Program to Boost Income, Climate Resiliency for Mint Farmers

An estimated 750,000 farmers in India produce 80 percent of the world’s supply of mint and the oil derived from the crop — commonly referred to as “liquid gold” — is an important source of income for farmers. Recognizing the critical role the crop plays in these communities, MARS Wrigley Confectionery (MWC) — the company behind brands such as Doublemint, Extra and Orbit — has launched a program to increase their yields and profits, while simultaneously boosting climate resilience through the use of sustainable agricultural practices. This year, we’re proud to launch AdvanceMint

Gold, Silver Flowing Through Swiss Sewers Could Provide Path to Circular Future

Wastewater that’s worth the likes of gold? What would seem like a farfetched concept is reality in Switzerland, where 95 pounds of gold find their way into Swiss sewage each year — the equivalent of US$1,947,925.60. The build up is the result of the country’s iconic watch-making trade, which sees 70 percent of the world’s gold pass through Swiss gold-refining plants each year. So what to do with all this gold? Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology believe the discovery presents a golden opportunity for the tech industry to capitalize on the circular economy. The study was commissioned

Inditex Creates Uproar, Refuses to Pay Wages to Over 150 Turkish Garment Workers

Zara’s parent company Inditex is in full-on damage control mode after tags bearing messages such as “I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it,” began turning up in garments earlier this month. The tags, which were discovered by shoppers in the retailer’s Istanbul stores, were placed inside garments by Turkish workers employed by Bravo Tekstil, one of Inditex’s local manufacturing factories, and call on shoppers to support them by pressuring the fast fashion giant into paying

Beauty Industry Leaders Partner with EcoVadis to Launch Responsible Beauty Initiative

In an effort to accelerating improvement on ethical social and environmental performance throughout the beauty supply chain, Clarins, Coty, Groupe Rocher, L’Oréal and EcoVadis have launched the Responsible Beauty Initiative (RBI). The initiative brings together the global beauty industry in a collaborative effort to strengthen sustainable practices, improve environmental footprint and social impacts and maximize shared value across its collective supply chain. The RBI aims to boost sustainability in members’ supply chains, while ensuring industry suppliers have sound ethical, social and environmental business practices in place. This will be achieved by driving a common understanding of

Gold Flowing Through Swiss Sewers Could Provide Pathway to Circular Future

Wastewater that’s worth the likes of gold? What would seem like a farfetched concept is reality in Switzerland where 95 pounds of gold find their way into Swiss sewage each year — the equivalent of $1,947,925.60. The build up is the result of the country’s iconic watch-making trade, which sees 70 percent of the world’s gold pass through Swiss gold-refining plants each year. So what to do with all this gold? Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology believe the discovery presents a golden opportunity for the tech industry to capitalize

2 Unintended Consequences of your Supply Chain Assessment, and How to Avoid Them

You regularly work to prepare a comprehensive supply chain assessment. Hours are spent building a robust questionnaire for your tier 1 suppliers. The goal is a 100 percent response rate so that you have valuable intelligence to manage and improve your supply chain. Maybe the focus of your assessment is traceability and mapping, or perhaps calculating GHG emissions. You send the questions and it takes the suppliers about two hours to complete. Two hours of work isn’t too much to ask, right? Or is it? From a supplier perspective, the reality

Seafood traceability swims into Silicon Valley

As big names like Aramark and Thai Union progress on supply chains, smaller-fry ‘seatech’ startups bring the promise of satellite and blockchain tech.

Clarins Fragrance Group Embarks on ‘Responsible Alcohol’ Mission

In an unprecedented move, Clarins Fragrance Group is blazing new transparency trails, with brands MUGLER and AZZARO committing to produce perfume alcohol in a way that meets rigorous environmental and social requirements under a groundbreaking “made in France” program. The key aim of the “responsible alcohol” project is to promote biodiversity in agricultural practices. Other benefits of the program include local production, which will create a short circuit between harvest and transformation sites. Located on the Remicourt Farm at Amifontaine near Reims in the Champagne-Ardenne region of Northeast France, the program is based