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Source 44 Webinar on Conflict Minerals

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 18, 2012 5:00:00 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

Are you at risk?  Do you know what is lurking in your supply chain?

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With the upcoming SEC rules requiring disclosure on conflict minerals, you need to find out what is in your supply chain and how to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act. Your brands and reputation are at risk if you are using conflict minerals from the Congo, an area linked to slavery, child labor and corruption.

As Source 44 is a part of the CSRHub network, we want to offer you and your suppliers, who may be affected by the Dodd-Frank Act, an easy way to get educated on the issue. Source 44 invites you to attend a free webinar, moderated by Eve Troeh, sustainability reporter for Marketplace, that will:

  • Educate you on the situation in the Congo (Patricia Jurewicz, Responsible Sourcing Network, project of As You Sow),
  • Update you on the imminent Dodd-Frank Section 1502 SEC rule (Eve Troeh, Sustainability Reporter for Marketplace),
  • Highlight the challenges of securing your supply chain  (Wally Sanabria, SanDisk), and
  • Present solutions for the traceability challenge (Source 44).

Please join to hear from experts about the regulatory, marketing and operational aspects of conflict minerals.

To learn more, visit http://www.sourceintelligence.com/node/67.

 

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Supply Chain Leaders – Have You Discussed Sustainability?

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 26, 2012 5:00:00 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

By Michael Koploy

 

A key part of any business operation to include sustainability considerations is examining its supply chain. In some ways, this external look can be more of a challenge as transparency, evaluation and the power to re-tool a practice, resource or product are more difficult outside the doors of the company. However, to truly understand the impact of a business service or product, we must take into account the practices and consequences of what goes into the product.

 

As part of my work on transportation management systems at Software Advice, I have been able to clearly understand where we need changes in supply chain management and what questions supply chain leaders need to ask themselves in the discussion. Here are the five questions that leaders need to start with to begin the conversation about sustainability: 

 

#1 How can we make more sustainable products? Moving sustainability farther upstream will reduce costs through more efficient production and transportation. Look no further than cleaning companies to see corporations that have found a way to introduce sustainability into their product line – and use it as a marketing platform, as well. Take a walk down the aisle at the grocery store, and one will see many detergents are now 2 or 3 times (or even further) concentrated versions of the older formulas. This reduces the amount of product that needs to be processed, and reduces fuel consumption from reduced fleet shipments. 

 

# 2 How can we instill sustainability into our suppliers? Over the years, technology within logistics and the supply chain has improved. However, many suppliers that haven’t been forced to upgrade or innovate are still stuck in their “old ways” – and these weaknesses are holding back the supply chain from becoming truly sustainable. Proctor and Gamble has made it their mission to help the Earth become more sustainable and they are doing so through asking their suppliers to care more – and requiring it, as seen by its Supplier Scorecard. 

 

#3 How can we better measure sustainability? While not inherent, measuring consumption-reduction projects is imperative to accomplishing sustainability goals. Without measuring these initiatives, leaders are unable to assign a value to them, realize their true cost-reduction benefits, and learn from their current projects and reintroduce the most successful initiatives throughout the rest of the business. Transportation management systems with route optimization, scorecard programs and other measurement applications are essential to tying results back to these projects. In addition to benefiting individual companies, proper measurement, visibility and accountability can positively impact business as a whole. That's why the work of CSRHub is important – as companies increase the transparency of their CSR actions, the corporations as a whole will become more socially responsible.

 

#4 How can we dissociate with socially-negligent suppliers? The pervasive thought among many supply chain leaders is sustainability and social responsibility are “indirect” concerns – they impact PR, but not the company’s bottom line. Mattel is proof this isn’t the case. In 2007, when it was discovered that Mattel’s tier two suppliers used unsafe levels of lead paint in its toys, the company had to spend over $100 million in product recalls alone. Because supply chains today are so extended, companies need to do more and complete their due-diligence to ensure they are not associating with irresponsible partners. 

 

#5 Who can we trust to drive sustainability? Lastly, leaders need an individual to carry the sustainability torch. There has to be an individual assigned to integrating sustainability into the company’s DNA  –  from cradle-to-cradle  –  in order for sustainability to be realized throughout the supply chain the rest of the business. Practitioners have to step-up to the challenge as well  –  excited for the opportunity to make what in the past would have been viewed by many as a “horizontal move,” but as Schaffer Consulting’s Ron Ashkenas writes: these moves are necessary for both careers and corporations today. 

 


 

Michael Koploy is a guest blogger for CSRHub. He works as a ERP Analyst at Software Advice – a consultancy firm that reviews transportation management systems. You can read more on this subject at the Software Advice blog or contact Michael directly on Twitter @SCMAdvice.

 

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One More Step And We Get Supply Chain Cake

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 18, 2012 10:05:24 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

By Bahar Gidwani


2411563228_ab83a1f05fApple released details of its supply chain performance, via an extensive “Progress Report.”  Our friends at Supply Chain Matters provided a link to the report, and to a list of all of Apple’s suppliers.

Bob Ferrari of Supply Chain Matters has written a great analysis of the Apple report and I’m sure you’ll read a lot about it over the next few weeks.  Apple has been famously difficult on CSR matters, a topic that my partner, Cynthia Figge, recently wrote about.  Apple’s decision to (finally) be forthright about its supply chain issues may be the turning point we’ve hoped for, in the battle to make supply chains transparent.

There are standard reasons for keeping supply chain data secret.  Companies don’t want their competitors to steal their suppliers.  They have problems in their supply chain, but hope they can fix them before activists make the issues public.  They don’t have direct control over their suppliers or the buyers have a different culture and legal structure.  Buyers are at a distance and can’t tell for sure if they have problems with environmental pollution, employee abuse, use of child labor, etc.  As a result, suppliers don’t share their sustainability tracking data with groups such as CSRHub.

Apple probably will get a lot of praise for talking about its problems and for revealing a list of its suppliers.  I assume they will also receive appropriate criticism for using suppliers who fail to meet Apple’s own standards for social performance.  What we now need is for Apple and other major manufacturers to take a third step and reveal the details of their internal review on a supplier-by-supplier basis.

We already have some data on suppliers from their own public reports (many are in Carbon Disclosure Project, have decided to support the UN Global Compact, or have issued a CSR report).  We are also getting more data all the time from government agencies and crowd sources such as Glassdoor.  If we could add supply chain surveys and on-site audits from customers such as Apple, we would start to get a 360 degree view of a supplying company’s social performance.

A bad report from one customer would encourage other customers to do extra review and audits.  Before a customer changed to a new supplier, it could inspect the supplier’s reputation.  Suppliers could compete by matching the policies of their competitors, instead of trying to hide performance issues as long as possible.

Do I sound like someone who starts asking for seconds, before they’ve eaten their first piece of cake?  I must be excited because we are finally close to having the data we need to provide full supply chain transparency.  The Apple announcement is great cake…"please sir, may I have another piece?"

Photo courtesy of blakespot on Flickr (CC).


Bahar Gidwani is a Cofounder and CEO of CSRHub. Formerly, he was the CEO of New York-based Index Stock Imagery, Inc, from 1991 through its sale in 2006. He has built and run large technology-based businesses and has experience building a multi-million visitor Web site. Bahar holds a CFA, was a partner at Kidder, Peabody & Co., and worked at McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to both large companies such as Citibank, GE, and Acxiom and a number of smaller software and Web-based companies. He has an MBA (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School and a BS in Astronomy and Physics (magna cum laude) from Amherst College. Bahar races sailboats, plays competitive bridge, and is based in New York City.

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