Sustainable Procurement News
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Sustainable Procurement News
Latest news, trends, ideas on Sustainable / Responsible Procurement and Green Supply Chain from EcoVadis
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Global garment workers exploited as big brands pressure suppliers 

Global garment workers exploited as big brands pressure suppliers  | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Pressure by big brands on suppliers to deliver more quickly and cheaply contributes to labour abuses in factories that manufacture garments, footwear and textiles, according to a report published on Wednesday. More than half the suppliers surveyed were affected by cost negotiation strategies that cut into their profits, according to the report by Better Buying, a Delaware-based group that rates purchasing practices of brands and retailers.

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Most big companies failing U.N. human rights test, ranking shows

Most big companies failing U.N. human rights test, ranking shows | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Most big companies operating in sectors at high risk of labour abuses are failing to meet human rights standards set by the United Nations, according to an analysis of 100 major companies published on Monday. From tackling child labour to ensuring equal treatment for women, U.N. principles require all businesses prove they are committed to human rights and treat workers fairly. But an analysis of more than 100 major apparel, agricultural and extraction firms by the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB), a British charity, found many had little to show for.

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Conflict gold reaching US company supply chains, says NGO report

Conflict gold reaching US company supply chains, says NGO report | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Gold mined from conflict areas in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is reaching the supply chains of major US companies and finding its way into consumer products, according to an NGO report. The report by The Sentry – an initiative of NGO Enough Project and human rights charity Not On Our Watch (NOOW) – says that the African Gold Refinery (AGR), located in Uganda, is sourcing illegally smuggled gold from eastern Congo and then exporting it to a Belgian affiliated refinery. The gold, it says, may find its way into the supply chains of major western corporations, including "Amazon, Sony, General Electric, and 280 other US publicly traded companies". All of these companies, it continues, listed the Belgian refinery as an entity that may be in their supply chains, according to 2018 SEC filings. This is despite it failing an international conflict minerals audit, the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) – formerly the Conflict-Free Smelter Programme. It was subsequently removed from RMI's active refiner/smelter list in November last year.

EcoVadis's insight:

Aligning overall business strategy with the company’s sustainable mission creates a holistic sustainability philosophy that touches all company activities and operations.  Buyers must map out supplier risks and see how much spend is invested in each of their suppliers, which will help them identify the suppliers carrying the biggest risks and determine which improvement efforts should be prioritized.

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LME reforms must meet international standards, Global Witness warns

LME reforms must meet international standards, Global Witness warns | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

While Global Witness welcomes the London Metal Exchange (LME) commitment to introduce OECD-standard responsible sourcing requirements for its metal brands, it warns that the LME must ensure its members go beyond paper-based compliance activities to meaningfully change and improve supply chains and their impacts. "Disrupting global trading patterns that link minerals and metals to conflict financing, human rights abuses, environmental degradation and corruption demands change to business behaviours right along the trading chain”, said Global Witness’s campaign leader Sophia Pickles in a statement. EU and US supply chain laws consistent with the internationally recognized OECD due diligence guidance for responsible gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten supply chains are already in place, while  Chinese developments towards greener, more transparent mineral supply chains are now on the table.

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Nestle Says Proposed Mandatory Reporting Rules For Slavery Could Cost Too Much

Nestle Says Proposed Mandatory Reporting Rules For Slavery Could Cost Too Much | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Nestle, owner of more than 2000 brands in 189 countries, has told a senate committee that Australia's proposed mandatory reporting requirements could add "cost and time" to businesses and suppliers "which will need to be borne somewhere". Nestle has addressed its own issues with slavery among its suppliers after hiring the nonprofit Verite to investigate its sites in Thailand, the Herald noted. Verite found vulnerable workers from Cambodia and Mynamar had been lured to Thailand, often under false pretences, and forced to work in dangerous and violent conditions. Nestle has also acknowledged issues with child labour in its cocoa supply chain and spoken strongly against the practice. On July 1 it implemented a new responsible sourcing standard with mandatory requirements of suppliers relating to pay rates, working hours and workers' ages.

EcoVadis's insight:

Bravo Nestle for taking such considerable sustainable initiative. Businesses are in a unique position to help eradicate human rights violations, improve millions of lives globally and protect their operations by implementing sustainability collaborative platforms.

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U.S. blocks slave-made goods to 'safeguard American jobs'

U.S. blocks slave-made goods to 'safeguard American jobs' | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

The United States said on Thursday it was boosting its fight against slave-made goods "to safeguard American jobs", signaling that the Trump administration regards forced labor as a trade, rather than a human rights issue. The new approach was revealed in the Department of Labor's biennial list of goods that it "has reason to believe" are produced by child or forced labor, which became a crime to import in 2016 under a law introduced by President Barack Obama. "American workers cannot compete with producers abroad who use child labor or forced labor" U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta said in a foreword to the list of 148 goods produced in 76 countries. If "a trading partner" engages in child or forced labor, "the U.S. will do what it takes to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation, safeguard American jobs, and create a fair playing field for countries that play by the rules", he added.

EcoVadis's insight:

Agriculture, food and beverage processing, manufacturing and construction are sectors that are especially prone to violations and corruption. To illustrate the scale and reach of human rights abuses, the U.S. Department of Labor has identified 139 goods from 75 countries most likely made by forced and child labour.

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Change the way you do business to tackle labour abuses, big companies told

Change the way you do business to tackle labour abuses, big companies told | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Big companies too often offload responsibility for tackling labour abuses onto suppliers, while pushing them to cut corners and demanding a quick turnaround, experts said on Friday, calling for a re-think of global business practices. Businesses face growing regulatory and consumer pressure to ensure workers in their supply chains are paid fair wages as campaigners estimate some 25 million people globally are trapped in forced labour in 2016.

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Reporting human and labor rights in palm oil: Nestlé and Sime Darby Plantation launch worker helpline

Nestlé and the Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) are joining forces to pilot a project that will help eliminate human and labor rights abuses in their shared palm oil supply chain in Malaysia. The collaboration will see a new helpline developed which allows workers to report on working conditions, recruitment, safety and other labor issues.
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SDG 16: A Matter of Interest to the Financial Sector

SDG 16: A Matter of Interest to the Financial Sector | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
The Financial Services sector is not one many would immediately imagine having significant environmental or social risks within its supply chain. Yet, with its global presence now firmly established, its supply chain impact is quite considerable. According to the BSR report, Supply Chain Sustainability in the Financial Sector, IT, employment and professional services are the top spend categories for the Financial Services sector. These spend categories can be translated into two main supply chain risks related to SDG 16: conflict and human rights issues, and institution issues.
EcoVadis's insight:

To establish supply chain transparency, Financial Services companies have to be willing to go to great lengths to map their supply chains beyond first-tier suppliers. Also being certified is one way for companies to show they are taking full responsibility for sustainability. 

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PepsiCo and Nestlé sever ties with Indonesia’s largest palm oil supplier in wake of alleged human rights abuses

PepsiCo and Nestlé sever ties with Indonesia’s largest palm oil supplier in wake of alleged human rights abuses | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Nestlé announced it closed its joint venture with the Indofood Group last month, while PepsiCo reiterated its stance to not source palm oil – either directly or indirectly – from the company and its subsidiaries, purportedly linked to deforestation and human rights abuses. In January 2017, PepsiCo announced its Indonesian joint venture (JV) with Indofood – IndoFood Fritolay Makamur – was suspending the procurement of palm oil from Singapore-listed IndoAgri, a subsidiary of Indofood. The company updated its “PepsiCo sourcing of palm oil from Indonesia” document in September 2018, reiterating the suspension. It did, however, note it will continue its JV with Indofood, which is the sole producer of PepsiCo products in Indonesia.

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H&M accused of failing to ensure living wage for supply chain workers

H&M has been accused by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) – an alliance of labour unions and NGOs aimed at championing ethical garment production - of paying its factory workers across Bulgaria, Turkey, India and Cambodia wages below the poverty line. In some facilities in Bulgaria, the CCC claims, workers are paid less than 10% of what they would need to be kept above the poverty line. The claims, which H&M has denied, come just days after the retailer announced that more than 930,000 garment workers located in its supply chain are now covered by its "fair living wage" approach, with 84% of the company's product volume now produced in factories that are improving wage standards and human rights approaches. The CCC claims that H&M previously pledged to cover 100% of garment workers located in its supply chain with the scheme by 2018 and has accused the company of “moving the goalposts” to make its actions seem more impactful.

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