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 Sustainability 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.
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.
Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Suhas Apte and Jagdish Sheth, authors of The Sustainability Edge: How To Drive Top-Line Growth With Triple-Bottom-Line Thinking.
The focus of supply chain management has historically been cost reduction and risk management. Therefore, much time tended to be spent on maintaining transactional supplier/buyer relationships that entail dictating supplier policies and mandating supplier compliance auditing. Doing so has only ensured that businesses become incrementally “less bad.”
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.
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.
McDonald’s has officially removed chickens raised with antibiotics from its U.S. supply chain, joining a list of restaurants, food companies and retailers that have banned specific drugs or other potentially harmful ingredients in their products. Companies have taken steps this year to rid supply chains of potentially harmful additives or ingredients, as consumer demand for cleaner and more natural products grows.
Nearly two-thirds of the companies that filed conflict mineral reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this year did not disclose the country of origin for the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG) in their supply chains. According to a new analysis of the 1,216 conflict mineral reports filed for 2015, just 33% of companies identified whether these minerals were sourced from conflict zones in Africa.