Working Conditions in Global Supply Chains: What and How to Measure

Despite decades of intense media and business attention, poor working conditions persist in global supply chains. Even Apple, recently announced yet again as the world’s most admired company by Fortune magazine, has struggled to address this issue. Do any companies want to have poor working conditions in their supply chains? Probably not. It is unethical to subject workers to unsafe conditions, inhumane treatment or excessive overtime. Moreover, the business case for improving working conditions is strong: Poor conditions can result in reputational damage; good conditions can help improve quality and productivity. Want to learn moreaboutTacklingForced LaborinSupply Chains?Check out ourSB’18 Vancouver program! The first

3 tips to win over the corporate procurement team

Corporate sustainability and procurement pros can reach common goals through projects such as digitizing supplier sustainability assessments.

Coke, Dow, Kimberly-Clark Join Forces to Tackle Ocean Plastics in SE Asia

Corporate action to tackle the mounting problem of ocean plastics is on the rise with new commitments and cross-industry initiatives cropping up regularly. Kimberly-Clark, The Coca-Cola Company and The Dow Chemical Company are the latest to double down on their efforts to drive impact, joining Closed Loop Partners’ Closed Loop Ocean initiative, which seeks to develop a new funding mechanism to prevent plastic from leaking into the world’s oceans. Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) has also

Ceres, WWF Expand AgWater Challenge to Drive Water Stewardship in Ag Supply Chains

Cape Town, South Africa could run out of water in a few months, literally turning off the spigot for some four million residents. If a solution to the crisis is not found, social unrest is feared. Beyond the human rights concerns, the region’s vegetable, citrus, grape and nut growers may face

Garment Worker Diaries Reveal Working Conditions, Wages in Bangladesh, India, Cambodia

A first-of-its-kind research project led by Microfinance Opportunities (MFO) in partnership with Fashion Revolution and C&A Foundation gives the most comprehensive picture yet of the living and working conditions faced by female garment workers in Bangladesh, Cambodia and India. The reports coincide with the presentation of Fashion Focus: The Fundamental Right to a Living Wage in the European Parliament, with comments from MFO’s Executive Director, Guy Stuart: “The Diaries provide a dynamic picture of the daily lives of women garment workers: their regular earning and spending habits, as well as how they cope with the ups and downs of

Episode 113: Mars, GM, BT cultivate supply chains; plus, an (electric) ferry tale

In this week’s episode, we consider the role of corporate giants in encouraging their suppliers to become more environmentally sustainable and discuss plant sourcing strategies with egg-free mayonnaise maker JUST.

Blockchain Will Revolutionize Marketing — Are You Prepared?

“We want to create “radical impact”, as we like to call it: create access to better quality coffee than the one sold by the leading multinationals and make sure that the people growing our coffee make a better living by bringing value-adding activities back to their countries. But how do we measure and show what we actually do with Moyee?” said Guido van Staveren van Dijk, CEO of Moyee Coffee, describing one of the key challenges his company is facing. The project Moyee has been working on together with the Fairchain Foundation and bext360 since November 2017 will be an example for

Leaders from Mars to McDonald’s give voice to the power of partnerships

Big companies and NGOs share how they pooled resources and tackled ambitious goals to go ‘far and fast’.

Primark Sheds Light on Supply Chain with Global Sourcing Map Tool

Primark, a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, has developed a new online tool that is helping usher in a new era of transparency for the retailer. The Global Sourcing Map allows consumers to access information about the 1071 factories and suppliers that make up the company’s supply chain. “For a number of years, we’ve been working closely with industry partners sharing information about where Primark products are made. This has included, for example, details of our suppliers, their factories, as well as our supply chain practices,” said a spokesperson for Primark. “Partners have extended from bodies such as the Ethical Trading Initiative to organizations monitoring industry standards, notably the International Labor Organization’s Better Work program.

Walmart: Joining Project Gigaton doesn’t have to be a heavy lift

Scale will come in the form of many small commitments, at least to start.

New Venture Fund Aims to Rapidly Scale Ethical Supply Chain Technologies

On January 30th, Humanity United, a California-based foundation and leader in supply chain advocacy, announced the launch of a $23 million venture fund to invest in ethical supply chain innovations. The Working Capital Fund is unique in that it will not issue grants, but rather make real investments in companies with the goal of accelerating the process of building scalable solutions to

Slavery in seafood: An old problem gets a new tool

As a new Human Rights Watch report highlights continuing abuses, companies can learn more about supply chain risk.

Unbelts Is Creating a Better Way to Do ‘Made in China’

A garment’s country of origin isn’t that garment’s full story. Canadian belt manufacturer Unbelts is looking to prove that the fashion industry and consumers have a responsibility and an existing means to provide high-quality clothing-production jobs around the world. Plus, this 2017 Best for the World honoree is out to make women feel awesome in their pants — a goal that is also worthy of global adoption. Unbelts founder Claire Theaker-Brown is used to the questioning looks that often come with shoppers looking

Episode 110: Whirlpool spins cleanup plans; NRG’s city leadership

In this week’s episode, how to get suppliers to act on climate, educating consumers about the circular economy and clean power for circular cities.

Trending: New Tools, Rules, Partnerships Take Food Waste, Hunger Head On

Around 52 million tons of food are wasted each year in the United States despite 1 in 7 US citizens lacking reliable access to sufficient, affordable and nutritious food. While raising consumer awareness is an important food waste reduction strategy, interventions at the corporate level have a crucial role to play in addressing the issue on a large scale. A new action guide from ReFED, a partnership between DoorDash and Feeding America, and commercial legislation in New York are among the latest efforts to simultaneously tackle food waste and hunger. ReFED, a multi-stakeholder nonprofit committed to reducing

Supply chain traceability steps up a level, with Gap, Target, others on the map

Updates to the Higg Index, other mapping tools herald an era of “radical transparency.”

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.