The Sustainability Category

ISO 20400: What You Need to Know About the New Sustainable Procurement Standard

wind power

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.

Where to Find Sustainably and Ethically Made Apparel? Ask Project JUST

retail

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?

Sustainable Innovation: What’s Good for the World Can Be Good for Business

wind power

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.

Consumer Buying Power: A New Meaning in the Age of Trump?

retail

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.

Deriving Competitive Advantage from a Sustainable Supply Chain

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.”

The State of Sustainable Procurement: Latest EcoVadis/HEC Barometer is Released

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.

Sustainable Nutella: A New Report on Palm Oil Supply Chain Transparency

supply chain visibility

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.

Restaurants & Retailers Clean Up Supply Chains, Remove Antibiotics and Harmful Chemicals

cage-free eggs

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.

Many Companies Still Struggling with Conflict Mineral Reporting

mining

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.

Supplier Response Rates Improve in SEC Conflict Mineral Reporting

child labor

More suppliers are responding to information requests regarding conflict mineral sourcing as organizations aim to gain visibility into their supply chain and ensure no tin, tungsten or tantalum is being sourced from conflict zones in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A new analysis of more than 1,200 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings from 2015 related to conflict minerals reporting shows supplier response rates increased compared with a year earlier.

Is Cage-Free Egg Sourcing More Ethical? Report Details Troubling Findings from Cage-Free Hen Housing Systems

eggs

A large number of major grocery stores, restaurants and food companies have committed to sourcing only cage-free eggs within the next decade — a promise driven largely by consumer demand to buy more ethical or sustainable products. But results of a recent study evaluating three different hen housing systems, including cage-free aviary systems, questions how ethical cage-free egg production is.

Investors Increasingly Care About a Company’s Sustainability Practices

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Recent research has shown investors are attracted to companies that are dedicated to sustainability. A study or more than 7,000 managers and investors around the globe conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group showed investors link sustainability performance to a company’s value and use information on a company’s sustainability efforts as a key criterion for making investment decisions.