It’s spring, and ‘tis the season for sustainability and corporate social responsibility reports. As there’s been a glut of them out lately, with the majority running dangerously close to novella-length, Spend Matters read them so that you don’t have to. Here’s a roundup of the latest reports, plus the best, fanciest chart they had to offer.
The CSR Category
Nowadays one doesn’t have to be a coffee snob to appreciate a single-origin brew, not when even Starbucks is bandying around words like terroir. The same goes for so-called bean-to-bar chocolate. For years now, businesses and consumers have pored over the provenances of foodstuffs with a fervor that used to be limited to wine. Seafood may be getting there, too, albeit slowly. Imagine ordering from a menu where each seafood dish comes with a note on where it came from.
Last Friday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it is scaling back the more costly parts of its conflict minerals rule. As indicated in Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, companies are required to disclose whether their products contain tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (3TG) sourced from the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where large shares of mining profits go to various armed rebel groups.
People have pointed fingers at United for pulling passengers off after they have boarded; at the security officers who didn’t think it inappropriate to drag a 69-year-old man by his hands; at the passenger himself for not complying with airline policy — but who reads those policies when booking tickets, anyway? But our question is this: How much of the blame also goes to Republic Airline, the regional partner that operated the flight?
Apple’s responsible sourcing efforts now include tracking cobalt as well as conflict minerals, according to the company’s 11th annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report released Monday. Last year, Apple announced it had achieved 100% third-party auditing of conflict mineral suppliers. This year, Apple was able to publish a complete list of its cobalt smelters, all of which have participated in third-party auditing. In another milestone, Apple’s suppliers have also achieved 100% UL 2799 Zero Waste to Fill validation for all final assembly sites in China.
Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Edmund Zagorin, a bid manager at Electronic Auction Services Inc.
On April 15, 2017, the International Standards Organization (ISO) will release a new standard focused on sustainable procurement: ISO 20400. Here are the three things you need to know.
Last month, I came across an article on Medium about Ivanka Trump’s fashion line and a group of six researchers’ attempt to unravel the supply chain behind the apparel. Sure, the fact that she is the daughter of President Donald Trump may have given the matter its newsworthiness — after all, plenty of celebrities lend their names to clothing lines — but I was curious whether Ivanka’s “women who work” platform extended to employees farther down the supply chain. Do women’s rights to, say, maternity leave, apply to the female factory worker sewing dresses in China or Indonesia — or just to the women buying those dresses?
Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Jean Sweeny, chief sustainability officer at 3M.
Imagine a world where every life is improved – where natural resources are readily available, people have access to education and opportunity and communities are safe, healthy, connected and thriving. This utopia isn’t just positive for the people of the world, but it’s these types of environments that also drive business by fostering innovation.
A report by Trade Extensions titled “Consumers’ Attitudes Toward Manufacturers, Retailers and Suppliers” has implications for many facets of the CSR trend — from brand reputation, to ethical sourcing, to the classic “what does it mean for the bottom line?” One finding from the report indicates that the retailer is the most important entity (above manufacturers and suppliers) that U.S. and U.K. consumers think about when buying something — which is perhaps related to why the recent Nordstrom firestorm was more about Nordstrom, not who makes Ivanka Trump's clothing line or how it sells. But the survey’s more interesting findings touch on fair treatment of suppliers.
EcoVadis released its seventh and latest Sustainable Procurement Barometer on Tuesday, a joint study with HEC on supply chain sustainability that was first carried out over a decade ago. These studies measured sustainable procurement practices in global procurement organizations and aimed to provide a landscape view, including “sector and geographical differences, industry strengths, improvement areas [and] new frontiers for innovation.” In short, companies worldwide are now investing in sustainability practices across the supply chain, and sustainable procurement has become vital for revenue and costs, risk mitigation, brand reputation, and innovation and growth.
After President Donald Trump signed an executive order last Friday afternoon banning entry visas to citizens of the predominantly Muslim countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, the response was immediate and loud. Many praised Trump for keeping his campaign promises, and many others criticized the ban as xenophobic and illegal. And for businesses, the fallout has created some unintended consequences, both good and bad.
It’s been a difficult few years for Nutella, that delicious chocolate hazelnut spread made by Ferrero. First, it was linked to the loss of critical natural habitat for orangutans, due to one controversial ingredient: palm oil. Then, more recently, dramatic headlines claimed Nutella consumption have bigger health implications than ingesting all that sugar. “Could Nutella give you CANCER?” screamed the Daily Mail. And that was also due to one controversial ingredient: palm oil.