Sustainable Procurement News
Latest news, trends, ideas on Sustainable / Responsible Procurement and Green Supply Chain from EcoVadis
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Inside Samsung’s Vietnam factory for 'explosive' Galaxy Note 7

Inside Samsung’s Vietnam factory for 'explosive' Galaxy Note 7 | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Nearly 50,000 workers from some of Vietnam's poorest towns and villages work up to 12 hours a day in the vast Samsung complex built amid farmland with one of Southeast Asia's cheapest labour markets.
And while Samsung insists it will not axe jobs in Vietnam this year because of the scandal, workers in the battery factory within the complex say the company has already started temporary lay-offs.

EcoVadis's insight:

No company would want to face this type of scandal and view it's share price hit particularly badly. How are you ensuring that your supply chain is clean?

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This is where your smartphone battery begins

This is where your smartphone battery begins | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
The Post traced this cobalt pipeline and, for the first time, showed how cobalt mined in these harsh conditions ends up in popular consumer products. It moves from small-scale Congolese mines to a single Chinese company — Congo DongFang International Mining, part of one of the world’s biggest cobalt producers, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt — that for years has supplied some of the world’s largest battery makers. They, in turn, have produced the batteries found inside products such as Apple’s iPhones — a finding that calls into question corporate assertions that they are capable of monitoring their supply chains for human rights abuses or child labor.
EcoVadis's insight:

Scary to see how locals are paying the price for multinationals greediness. 

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USA: Civil society letter urges Congress to continue funding forced child labour investigations | Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), AFL-CIO, Oxfam America, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and ECPAT-USA sent a letter to Congress today, calling for sustained funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) forced child labor investigations in the FY17 final appropriations bill. ICE has received targeted funding at $15.7 million per year to investigate forced child labor.
EcoVadis's insight:

Great to see so much engagement from civil societies!

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Is your T-shirt clean of slavery? Science may soon be able to tell

An estimated 46 million people are living as slaves, according the 2016 Global Slavery Index by the Walk Free Foundation, which said Uzbekistan - the world's fifth-largest cotton exporter - Turkmenistan and Tajikistan were forcing people to work in the annual cotton harvest.
Over 264 brands have signed up to a global pledge set up by the Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN), run by the California-based charity As You Sow, vowing not to use Uzbek cotton until the government stops using forced child and adult labor.
"I think many consumers would be appalled to contemplate the notion that their garment they're wearing could be the product of human trafficking," Hayward said.

EcoVadis's insight:

There are rising concerns about the global cotton industry using child and forced labor in harvesting and during the production process. Do you face similar issues in your supply chain?

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Ferrero, prosecutors investigate Kinder egg child labor allegations

Italian confectionery group Ferrero said on Wednesday it has launched an investigation into allegations that Romanian children as young as six were making toys for its Kinder chocolate eggs.
The statement came after British newspaper, The Sun, reported this week that impoverished families in Romania were working long hours for little pay to make the toys at home.

EcoVadis's insight:

Despite the fact that Ferrero's code of conduct banned child labor and all suppliers were subject to regular independent inspections, there may still be loopholes. How are you protecting your supply chain from these type of allegations?

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Labour rights the 'next big challenge' for corporates, says M&S

Labour rights the 'next big challenge' for corporates, says M&S | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Louise Nicholls, M&S Head of Responsible Sourcing and Packaging: “The next big challenge we’ve got is that the world of labour rights is changing. It’s no longer about ethical trade which is a risk to business, but rather a risk to rights holders and we need to set up our business to understand what that looks like.
It’s about how well you understand those risks in the extended supply chain in what is a much more hyper-transparent world. We are now in a very different space and it’s much more open, to the point where you need to be talking about what you’re doing to address these issues, and how well you’re doing your due diligence.”

EcoVadis's insight:

Companies such as M&S are proactively finding solutions to fight modern slavery; how engaged are you towards eradicating it from your supply chain?

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British retailers exploit Syrian refugee children, investigation says

British retailers exploit Syrian refugee children, investigation says | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Syrian refugee children have been working in factories making clothes for British high street retailer Marks & Spencer and online store ASOS, an investigation by BBC Panorama found.
The investigation, to be broadcast Monday evening, found Syrian refugees as young as 15 working long hours for little pay, making and ironing clothes in Turkey, to be shipped off to Britain.

EcoVadis's insight:

Famous international brands are 'unconsciously' exploiting children to make the garments. They now feel an urge to clean up their supply chain. Are you exposed to this kind of threat in your business and are you prepared to face related consequences?

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Beauty companies and the struggle to source child labour-free mica

Beauty companies and the struggle to source child labour-free mica | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

More than a decade after cosmetics suppliers were alerted to its existence, child labour remains prevalent in mica mining in the two states of Jharkand and Bihar, responsible for around 25% of the world’s production. Up to 20,000 children are estimated to work in the mines, around 90% of which are illegal, according to a recent report by NGOs Terre des Hommes and SOMO.

EcoVadis's insight:

Great to see two of our clients, L'Oréal and Merck, taking actions and making commitments to help eradicate child labour in mica mines and from their supply chain.

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Supply Chain Mapping is the First Step to New Trade Act Compliance

Supply Chain Mapping is the First Step to New Trade Act Compliance | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
With the recent passage of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, which bans the U.S. from accepting imports produced by slave or child workers, companies will have to start digging further down in their supply chain to investigate whether this forced labor exists.
EcoVadis's insight:

This Act will have an important impact on worldwide procurement. Companies will have to deeply investigate their Tiers 1,2&3 suppliers in their supply chain to look for associated risks.

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Is your phone conflict free? If it's from Apple or Samsung, no, says Amnesty International

Is your phone conflict free? If it's from Apple or Samsung, no, says Amnesty International | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Conditions in the mines are rarely safe, and Amnesty International reports that most miners work without essential protective gear, such as gloves, work clothes, or face masks to protect their skin and lungs from disease. The organization says at least 80 miners died in the DRC between September 2014 and December 2015, and many more become ill from working in the poor conditions.
To make matters worse, many of the miners Amnesty International interviewed were children who said they worked for 12 hours a day to earn a mere dollar or two. UNICEF says that approximately 40,000 children worked in mines in the DRC in 2014, and that the majority of them were mining cobalt.

EcoVadis's insight:

Millions of people enjoy the benefits of new technologies but rarely ask how they are made. Are you sure that your mobile phone is free from conflict minerals?

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Apple is under fire for “excessive overtime” and illegal working conditions in another Chinese factory

Apple is under fire for “excessive overtime” and illegal working conditions in another Chinese factory | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
Assembling devices for Apple has always been a cyclical, low-margin business, albeit one that was highly desirable when the Steve Jobs-led firm could do no wrong, and its revolutionary products were sure-fire hits. Now that the rest of the world is catching up to Apple on tablets and Google’s Android platform has surpassed the iPhone, there are dangerous new uncertainties for business models with barely any room for error.
Conditions at Apple’s other major manufacturer, Foxconn, have historically been poor, with underage children making products in the factories, and multiple suicides reported. Go get more robots, Apple. Humans don’t deserve this.
EcoVadis's insight:

Companies such as Apple are going through hard times for not having a proper monitoring of their supply chain; how are you ensuring that these type of investigations don't fall on your company?

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Bangladeshi slum kids work over 60 hours a week to make clothes: research

One third of children living in the slums of Bangladesh's capital spend more than 60 hours a week making clothes for the garment sector, well beyond the legal working limit, a London-based thinktank said on Wednesday.
The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) said 32 percent of children aged between 10 and 14 living in Dhaka's slum settlements were out of school and engaged in full-time work in clothing factories - according to a survey of 2,700 children.

EcoVadis's insight:

New research survey raises issue on child labour in Bangladesh; are you creating incentives to comply with child labour laws?

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Palm Oil: Global brands profiting from child and forced labour

Palm Oil: Global brands profiting from child and forced labour | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

The world’s most popular food and household companies are selling food, cosmetics and other everyday staples containing palm oil tainted by shocking human rights abuses in Indonesia, with children as young as eight working in hazardous conditions, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.
The report, The great palm oil scandal: Labour abuses behind big brand names, investigates palm oil plantations in Indonesia run by the world’s biggest palm oil grower, Singapore-based agri-business Wilmar, tracing palm oil to nine global firms: AFAMSA, ADM, Colgate-Palmolive, Elevance, Kellogg’s, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser and Unilever.

EcoVadis's insight:

Despite efforts made by international companies to eradicate human rights abuses from their supply chain, in-depth external investigations could prove the contrary. Are you facing similar issues in your supply chain?

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Child labour is part of most of what we buy today: what can we do?

Child labour is part of most of what we buy today: what can we do? | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Child labour is not something any business wants in its supply chain. Yet with an estimated 168 million children in some form of labour globally, 98 million of them working in agriculture and 12 million in manufacturing and industry, it is an uncomfortable reality of globalised commodities that businesses cannot afford to avoid.
The US Department of Labor’s latest annual report on goods made with child labour makes for sobering reading. According to the report, child labour is still present in many of the world’s largest global commodities, from gold, coffee, tobacco and bananas to sugarcane, cotton and rubber.

EcoVadis's insight:

More than one in five children in Africa are employed against their will in quarries, farms and mines. How are you ensuring that there is no child labour used in your supply chain?

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Ranking of 200 Brands Finds Check-the-Box Reporting Insufficient to Protect Both Miners and Investors from Conflict Minerals Risk

While leading brands proactively monitor and mitigate risk, laggards provide little evidence of good faith efforts. Berkshire Hathaway faulted suppliers for weak reporting and declined to identify smelters. In contrast, Microsoft exercised leverage with its suppliers to enforce conflict-free policies and apply pressure on smelters to perform due diligence. ExxonMobil prohibited suppliers from sourcing from the DRC region, contributing to a devastating embargo that prevents the development of a legitimate minerals trade and worsens the humanitarian crisis in the DRC. In contrast, Apple helped improve risk monitoring between mines and smelters; Phillips increased its demand for conflict-free tin sourced from within the DRC; and Boeing and GE supported research on child labor in the region. Intel continued its public campaign to support conflict-free mining in the DRC.
EcoVadis's insight:

Are you enforcing conflict-free policies and measures in your supply chain? 

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Tech Giants Look the Other Way on Rights Abuses Stemming From Cobalt Mining in Congo

Tech Giants Look the Other Way on Rights Abuses Stemming From Cobalt Mining in Congo | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
The Democratic Republic of Congo is paying the price for being the world’s largest producer of raw cobalt, a vital ingredient in lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, smartphones, laptops and other rechargeable devices. As Congolese search for the valuable mineral—cobalt is the most expensive part of lithium-ion batteries—they are suffering a surge in child labor, poverty, pollution and rare birth defects.
EcoVadis's insight:

Companies may want to get away from the problem existing in their supply chain but the problem is still there. Do you have your eyes wide open on the subject and are you reacting to that in your business? 

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Two UK tobacco companies 'cannot guarantee' their cigarettes were not made by children

Two UK tobacco companies 'cannot guarantee' their cigarettes were not made by children | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

"Human Rights Watch claims that tobacco companies should do more to eliminate child labour within they supply chain through meticulous investigation as well as adequate monitoring and external audit."

EcoVadis's insight:

The impact of child labour in operations and supply chain can be negative to businesses' reputation. This concern is a vital one when elaborating sustainability and CSR strategies. 

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