The CSR Category

Food and Beverage Industry Leads its Peers in Sustainability Performance, Ceres Finds

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Growing consumer demand for transparent food supply chains and responsible sourcing has pushed the food and beverage industry to embrace sustainability to a larger extent than other sectors, according to new research from Ceres, an NGO focused on sustainability. Ceres examined how more than 600 of the largest publicly traded U.S. companies are responding to environmental risks, human rights abuses and other threats falling under the umbrella of sustainability. The organization found that food and beverage companies are generally ahead of their peers.

Sourcemap and BRAC U to Launch a Digital Map of Every Garment Factory in Bangladesh

We were intrigued to learn recently about a project to create a digital factory map of Bangladesh, a joint effort from BRAC University, Sourcemap and the C&A Foundation. Officially called the Digital Ready-Made Factory Map of Bangladesh, the project is set to launch this summer. A team of data collectors from BRAC University and Sourcemap are currently visiting every garment factory in Bangladesh and gathering GPS-linked data points on workers, factory facilities, certifications, types of products manufactured at the factory, and companies that source from the factory.

IntegrityNext: Vendor Introduction, Analysis and SWOT [PRO]

For many procurement organizations, monitoring suppliers for regulatory compliance and sustainability initiatives is becoming increasingly important. This is true with both larger, tier-one suppliers and smaller vendors further down in the supply chain. From supply disruptions to infractions in the court of public opinion, even the most hidden suppliers today introduce product and operational risks that can cause irreparable harm to a business.

Monitoring suppliers to reduce risk, however, is no easy task, especially across the long tail of suppliers. Many procurement organizations still require a basic platform that can manage supplier, information, performance, relationship and lifecycle needs to drive basic automation, collection, aggregation and maintenance of this data. In order to get a grip on supplier compliance to meet these objectives, procurement organizations generally need four things: supplier self-assessments that capture details on policies and procedures; certificates of verification; third-party audit information; and up-to-the-minute insight and analysis on reported events that could be early indicators of issues that need to be investigated.

At the nexus of these areas is IntegrityNext, a new solution provider in the supplier risk and compliance sector. IntegrityNext is aiming to offer an affordable and easy way for procurement organizations to access compliance assessments, up-to-date certifications and real-time market sentiment on their supply chains.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on IntegrityNext and its capabilities. It includes an overview of IntegrityNext’s offering, a breakdown of what is comparatively good (and not so good) about the solution, a SWOT analysis and a selection requirements checklist for those that might consider the provider.

Apple Expands Supplier Audit, Publishes Results in Latest Annual Progress Report

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For 12 years, Apple has published reports on its supplier audits, and the 2018 Progress Report was released earlier this month. In 2017, Apple conducted audits of 756 suppliers in 30 countries, including 197 suppliers that were audited for the first time. The expanded audit unearthed 48 “core” violations of Apple’s supplier code of conduct, double the number from the year before. However, the good news is that the overall trend is toward greater compliance.

Adoption of Sustainable Sourcing Practices Remains Limited, First Large-Scale CSR Study Finds

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For all the corporate sustainability reports that many companies dutifully release every year, how widespread are sustainable sourcing practices really? A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that adoption of these practices remains limited, particularly when it comes to non-consumer-facing companies and lower-tier suppliers.

Aravo: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

The supplier management solution area consists of many subsegments that constitute their own individual markets. These include providers that specialize in aspects of supplier lifecylce management, the enablement of specific supplier management processes and the management of both structured — and, in certain cases, unstructured — supplier data. Few supplier management providers, however, have platforms that can tackle the majority of these areas effectively.

Aravo is one of a handful of providers that can. At the time of its founding nearly two decades ago, Aravo pioneered the supplier management technology market (specifically supplier information management), tracing its roots to Ariba-based supplier enablement and catalog support. But since then, Aravo has not rested on its legacy, despite retrenching to focus on software development and customers in recent years, especially large, complex supplier management deployments. GE, for example, manages 1.2 million suppliers and third parties using Aravo, with integrations to 24 different ERP and GRC software instances across 19 business units.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about Aravo and whether its technology is a fit for their needs. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Aravo in the supplier management and quality management areas. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

The Procurement Workplace in the Weinstein Era: Q&A with Coupa Board Member Leslie Campbell

It’s often difficult to separate the technical sides of any profession or industry from its cultural, human-oriented counterparts. After all, humans are still the driving force behind and beneficiaries of procurement technology — no matter what AI and automation have in store for us — and we must continue to learn how to better work together. With that, we continue our conversation with Leslie Campbell, member of Coupa’s Board of Directors and former procurement practitioner, on what diversity, fairness and gender equality in the procurement workplace mean in the current cultural moment.

Investigative Report Details Toxic Gas Poisoning and Other Serious Labor Violations at Key Apple Supplier

China Labor Watch released a lengthy report Tuesday detailing appalling work conditions at Catcher Technology, a supplier of computers, digital cameras and other products to Apple, Dell, HP, IBM and Sony. The factory under investigation, however, is primarily an Apple supplier, producing iPhone frames and MacBook components. Among many other labor violations, China Labor Watch found toxic gas poisoning, unsanitary food, inadequate protective gear and excessive pollution during its investigation of the Catcher factory in Suqian, China, conducted from October 2017 to January 2018.

Cobalt and the Sustainability of Electric Vehicles

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Peksa, opportunities director at Mintec.

Recently I have been reading a number of case studies based on some of the world’s leading sustainable and socially responsible firms, ranging from Unilever’s work in Brazil and Danone’s work in India to Vodafone and their mobile payment systems in Kenya. One of the other favorite firms for academic research is Tesla, with its “greener than thou” philosophy. Delving a little deeper into the mechanics of batteries, however, the word “cobalt” rang a number of alarm bells.

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Driving Sustainability and Compliance (Part 3): Managing Multi-Tier Risk and Opportunity

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This post is the last in a three-part series. Click here to read part 1 and part 2.

The process of launching IntegrityNext gave our team an amazing opportunity to connect with supply chain sustainability and compliance managers worldwide. We heard about challenges and targets as well as priorities for today and concerns about tomorrow. Regardless of industry or company size, professionals have immediately engaged, driven by their desire to improve the working and living conditions of supplier organizations and the communities they are based in. One of the questions that we heard most often was about multi-tier supplier sustainability and compliance: what does this mean and why is it important?

New Research: Supply Chain Risks Lurking Behind the Electric Vehicle Boom

Fourteen countries (including the U.S., believe it or not) have joined the Electric Vehicle Initiative, aiming for battery-powered cars, trucks and buses to reach 30% market share by 2030. According to IEA calculations, we would need 600 million electric vehicles globally by 2040 in order to reach the global warming target set by the Paris Agreement. A new report from risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft, however, shows that the electric vehicle supply chain is far from devoid of social and even environmental risks. It largely comes down to the raw materials needed for electric vehicles, such as aluminum, cobalt, mica and rubber.

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Driving Sustainability and Compliance (Part 2): The Power of Social Media Voices in the Supply Chain

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This post is the second in a three-part series. Click here to read Part 1.

Social media gives voice to anyone looking for a platform: consumers and corporates, individuals and organizations. By enabling the democratization of instant worldwide communications, services such as Facebook and Twitter have created an overwhelming volume of unstructured data in a short period of time. While the development of social media voices is dynamic and continues to evolve without pause, businesses have yet to tap into its true power. What happens to these spontaneously created bits of data? Who is listening? Is there actionable value in the voices?