Social Compliance

Texworld USA Transparency and Traceability Panel - What we learned.

Panelists from left to right: Maggie Kervick (GCNYC Director of Strategy & Integrated Partnerships), Juliette Barre (Director of Business Development and Marketing, Sourcemap), Leslie Ferrick (Senior Manager of Fabric R&D/Sourcing Dept., Athleta), Karen Newman (United Nations Consultant), and Louise Claughton (Senior Director, PVH Corp.)

Panelists from left to right: Maggie Kervick (GCNYC Director of Strategy & Integrated Partnerships), Juliette Barre (Director of Business Development and Marketing, Sourcemap), Leslie Ferrick (Senior Manager of Fabric R&D/Sourcing Dept., Athleta), Karen Newman (United Nations Consultant), and Louise Claughton (Senior Director, PVH Corp.)

Customers and investors are looking for answers: they want brands to provide data about where products come from, how they are made, and other key sustainability facts. It sounds simple, but supply chains can be complex in the age of international trade and a single item can be made of materials from hundreds of suppliers. 

This week Sourcemap was at Texworld USA to meet and discuss with textile brands and manufacturers. Our Director of Business Development and Marketing, Juliette Barre participated in the panel: Transparency and Traceability, Challenges Facing Major Brands. Juliette joined moderator Maggie Kervick (GCNYC Director of Strategy & Integrated Partnerships) with panelists Karen Newman (United Nations Consultant), Leslie Ferrick (Senior Manager of Fabric R&D/Sourcing Dept., Athleta), and Louise Claughton (Senior Director, PVH Corp.).

Some key takeaways from the panel: 

  • Understanding your supply chain from end-to-end benefits a brand’s bottom line:

    • Companies can better anticipate and adapt to disruptions when they know who is in their supply chain

    • Marketing departments can use transparency to back up commitments and avoid greenwashing

    • Suppliers are partners; understanding where they are and opening dialogue around transparency strengthens business relationships

    • Investor increasingly care about the supply chains of their portfolio companies - after all, it’s their supply chain too

  • There’s no need to reinvent the wheel: use open-source resources to gather information on what other industry peers or goal-oriented groups are doing to tackle a specific objective. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals act as a framework, detailing what issues and targets can be achieved in specific areas.

  • If your brand isn’t doing anything about transparency, get started:

    • Don’t be afraid to communicate the good things your company is doing - if you don’t share, you won’t get the credit

    • Be transparent about where you need to improve. No one expects companies to be perfect. Acknowledging gaps and communicating on your action plan will help avoid backlash from third-party organizations. 

The discussion highlighted many ways in which sustainability and traceability can drive operating efficiency. By exploring the supply chain and problems/opportunities within, business functions can be more efficiently used to tackle important issues. But all of the panelists agreed that the journey to sustainability is not linear or clear-cut, it is full of trial, error, reflection, and action. 

The Responsible Mica Initiative Gets Serious About Supply Chain Mapping [Interview]

Source: Reuters 2016

Source: Reuters 2016

Sourcemap’s mission is to map the world’s supply chains, and as part of that mission, we engage with leading practitioners of supply chain transparency to bring attention to their issues and approaches. We start this series with Fanny Fremont, Executive Director of the Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI). RMI is a non-profit organization committed to establishing a fair, responsible and sustainable mica supply chain in the states of Jharkhand and Bihar in India that will eliminate unacceptable working conditions and eradicate child labour by 2022. RMI currently has 55 members including companies like L’Oreal, Merck, Shiseido, Coty, BASF, LVMH, PPG and many more.

Mica has rightfully earned the nickname ‘nature’s glitter’ because it’s a natural mineral used to add sparkle to everything including paints, furniture, automobiles, plastic, electronics, and cosmetics, among others. Despite the mineral’s gleaming properties, the dark side of Mica begins at the source. As much as 25%(*) of the world’s mica is extracted from informal mines in India where working conditions are harsh and systemic problems endure, including child labor. Sourcemap’s Director of Business Development Juliette Barre sat down with Fanny to shine some light on the issues facing the mica supply chain.
 

JB: Can you tell me how the Responsible Mica Initiative came about?

FF: The RMI was officially created in January 2017, building on several existing individual initiatives regarding mica mining in India, with the ambition of aligning the efforts of all the stakeholders, building common standards and programs and scaling up impact from the mines to the end-users. The RMI uses a multi-stakeholder and holistic approach that engages companies, civil society organizations, industry associations, and governments to develop and implement three integrated program pillars that will establish responsible workplace standards, empower local communities and establish a legal framework for the mica sector. That’s to us the only way to leverage a positive impact on local communities, children and their environment, and to drive a long-lasting change.

JB: Issues around Mica aren't new, but lately we’ve been hearing more about them in the news. Why do you think that is?

FF: I guess it’s a combination of growing public awareness versus issues linked to mica sourcing and request for increased transparency; of development of hard and soft regulations focusing on respect of human rights within supply chains - including of minerals supply chains; and - I hope - of our efforts as Responsible Mica Initiative to raise awareness and federate different stakeholders around our mission and activities.

JB: Based on your experience and work with your members, what do you think are the three biggest challenges regarding Mica traceability at the moment?

FF: The 3 main challenges we are facing are (i) the mapping as a pre-requisite, (ii) the lack of clear legal framework regarding mica collection in India, and (iii) the cost. For mica-using industries like automotive or electronics, components using mica can be numerous and supply chains complex. Finding out who are the exact tiers 1, 2, 3… suppliers till the mica mines is already a challenge. Then, to date, feedback from the field indicated that no single mine in Jharkhand and in Bihar (India) can be considered legal, meaning with a valid government license. Based on this, our assumption is that it would be very complicated to have very upstream actors entering identification and volume information into a shared tool. And finally, mica is a low-value mineral in comparison to gold or even other minerals. Bearing the costs of new traceability technologies could represent a barrier to some actors if the ROI is unclear.

JB: What are the frameworks and/or best practices available to the private sector at the moment?

FF: Right after its creation in January 2017, the RMI started work to develop responsible workplace standards which provide a central resource for preventing child labor and improving overall working conditions at mica processors and mines in India. Workplace standards address five dimensions of operations at mines and processors: legal requirements, social obligations, Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) provisions, economic requirements, and environmental standards. To my knowledge, there is no other equivalent standard focusing on mica.

JB: What first step(s) should any company using mica start implementing?

FF: The first step would be to map their mica uses, and right after that, take action. Risks linked to mica sourcing and processing activities have already been identified and assessed, and there is an urgent need for action. We are talking about the worst forms of child labor and globally harsh working conditions. I would, of course, encourage joining forces with the Responsible Mica Initiative through active membership.

More information about RMI can be found at their website: https://www.responsible-mica-initiative.com/

For information about tracing mica in your supply chain, find out how Sourcemap can help: https://www.sourcemap.com/traceability-1

References:

(*) https://www.responsible-mica-initiative.com/the-mica-issue.html

https://www.somo.nl/beauty-and-a-beast/ 


 

Making Sense of the New French Vigilance Law

2019 brings the most comprehensive end-to-end supply chain accountability legislation: the Droit de Vigilance , a statute requiring large companies operating in France to monitor and remediate human rights and environmental risk across their global operations, and their suppliers'. With multinational supply chains typically counting tens of thousands of facilities it's a task that can't be achieved manually - and with new technology, it doesn't even require added internal resources. It's all part of a culture shift toward transparency across supply chain industries. We've packaged our enterprise and reporting solutions into a solution that's perfect for managing the Droit de Vigilance today and as standards evolve. To find out more download our latest brochure (available in English and French!)

Evolving Tech for Supply Chain Transparency [Sustainable Brands 2019 Panel]

Vans on Sourcemap

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in Sustainable Brands 2019 as part of the panel moderated by Mia Overall of Overall Strategies, and with Pete Girard of Toxnot, Tara O'Shea of Planet, David Potere of Indigo and Jamie Tomkins of Oritain. Altogether the panel provided cutting-edge insight into the future of supply chain transparency powered by technology. Here are some of my takewaways:

  • Supply chain transparency and traceability are different things - and they're both becoming business as usual across industries including food and agriculture, apparel, electronics, beauty, and more…

  • Satellite monitoring, especially using a new generation of micro-satellites, is enabling global coverage for issues that include deforestation - on a daily basis!

  • It's now possible to monitor every chemical in every product every day to make sure there are no prohibited substances in any consumer goods

  • Farm-level data is being collected via satellite, drone, and whatever means necessary to ensure the most efficient use of farmland - and pesticides, herbicides, and other advanced inputs - in real time

  • The ultimate assurance is possible for supply chain audits through proprietary DNA tagging of agricultural commodities including cotton

Find out more on the Sustainable Brands webpage and by staying in touch through the Sourcemap Newsletter!

How To: Validate Supply Chain Sustainability Claims … And Avoid Greenwashing

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Companies regularly make sustainability claims about their supply chains, from ethical and organic to deforestation- and child labor-free. These claims were traditionally supported by audits and certifications, which only validate a sample of suppliers, but new legislation requires accountability for the full end-to-end supply chain. With companies sourcing from thousands of suppliers and new technology that enables end-to-end traceability, audits and certification are no longer best practice: it’s time for comprehensive supply chain due diligence. That’s where supply chain transparency comes in. Here’s how it works:

  1. Know your suppliers, down to the last one. That means discovering who supplies your suppliers and their suppliers, and building up an extended database of every farm, every mine, every factory and distribution center, until you can trace each product from raw material finished good.

  2. Understand your risks: benchmark your suppliers to make sure that they live up to your codes of conduct, and incentivize them to improve performance year over year. This includes collecting data on their practices and comparing that self-reported data with trusted third-party sources.

  3. Verify the authenticity of your supply chain: make sure that your suppliers are actually who they claim to be by tracing and reconciling every transaction. Anything less than traceability means you’re exposed to smuggling or adulteration, which means your supply chains isn’t what you think it is.

  4. Validate the supply chain: this is the most important part. Make sure that there is a clear, well-documented business process in place to validate the data through buy-in from internal and external stakeholders and a secure tracking repository.

At Sourcemap we empower companies to take 100% control of their extended supply chains through software that supports best-in-class business processes, all while saving time and money. Get in touch and find out how easy it can be. Your general counsel will love you for it.

Keep up with the new OECD guidance on Conflict Minerals with Sourcemap's Responsible Minerals Platform

Dodd-Frank conflict minerals disclosure ushered in supply chain transparency law, and now it's been superseded by the new EU requirements. What's changed? Transparency isn't enough: companies have to show that they perform due diligence on their extended conflict minerals supply chain, ensuring that risk is monitored and improvement plans are put in place. The best practice is to follow the OECD's guidance - something Sourcemap can do out-of-the-box. Download our free brochure and get in touch to implement best-in-class due diligence practices, for now and for the future. Click the link below:

Introducing the Responsible Cocoa Platform: One Tool To Manage Deforestation and Child Labor Across Smallholder Supply Chains

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It's only getting harder to comply with emerging compliance standards in the cocoa supply chain. The RCP builds on ten years of Sourcemap R&D to offer true Monitoring and Evaluation for deforestation and child labor across smallholder supply chains. It's the first end-to-end solution for data collection, analysis and reporting against the CFI's deforestation standard and the cocoa industry's CLMRS (Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems). The RCP takes advantage of Sourcemap's new offline mobile apps, cloud-based traceability database, real-time monitoring against high-resolution satellite imagery, and built-in reporting for traders and brands alike. All with the security and support you can expect from the pioneer in supply chain mapping technology. Learn more about how it works by downloading the Responsible Cocoa Platform pamphlet or signing up for a demo with one of our experts:

 
 

This Tech Startup Could Revolutionize The Fashion Industry With Its Latest Project [Forbes]

Sourcemap, a New York City tech start-up is building a platform, that could transform the fashion industry: a digital map of all clothing manufacturers in Bangladesh.

Read the full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/eshachhabra/2018/03/30/this-tech-startup-could-revolutionize-the-fashion-industry-with-its-latest-project/#356582bf72f2

Sourcemap travels to Dhaka to launch massive digital mapping of Bangladeshi garment factories

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The Sourcemap team travelled to Dhaka, Bangladesh last month to kick off the door-to-door census of every garment factory in the country: a Digital Ready-Made Factory Map of Bangladesh. Local data collectors equipped with mobile apps have begun to amass thousands of GPS-linked data points collected on the ground from factory owners, workers and organizations. As this data is fed into Sourcemap’s supply chain mapping and transparency platform, we will be able to provide global apparel brands and consumers with radical transparency in one of world’s largest garment producing regions.

The timing of the project is critical. April 24 will mark five years since the factory collapse at Rana Plaza outside Dhaka that took the lives of 1,135 people. North American and European apparel brands have already announced their intention to walk away from the safety tracking programs formed in response to the tragedy once they expire in May.  

Sourcemap is partnering with C&A Foundation and BRAC University (BRAC U) in Bangladesh to administer the survey. Together, we will create a new digital factory map that will democratize data collection and transparency by permanently transitioning accountability for factory improvements to Bangladeshis.  

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“A big part of our commitment to have Bangladeshis own and control this data comes down to designing the right interface,” said Rhea Rakshit, Director of Design for Sourcemap. “The goal is to make it as simple as possible to collect data from factories on the ground, and then allow apparel brands and other stakeholders to gain access to it through an easy to use mapping platform.”

While on the ground in Dhaka, our team witnessed just how critical the garment industry was to Bangladesh. The industry employs approximately four million people. Alarmingly though, most workers report to factories that are invisible on the supply chain – even to the multinational brands ultimately purchasing their products.

The BRAC U survey will put each of these factories on the map. In addition to factory and worker statistics, types of products manufactured, the names of clothing brands that each factory manufactures for will also be captured. All data will be uploaded on Sourcemap cloud servers and visible to the public. Ultimately, this transparency will increase the accountability of brands, decrease risk to workers, and add value to Bangladeshi products.

Dr. Leonardo Bonanni, CEO of Sourcemap, remarked on the project, “The crowdsourced garment factory map promises to make the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ label an asset to apparel brands and a point of consumer pride worldwide.”

What it's really going to take for sustainability to work [Sourcing Journal]

by Tara Donaldson

Posted on January 23, 2018 in Feature.

The thing about sustainability in the apparel industry is that brands and retailers are either embracing it of their own accord, finding themselves backed into a corner with little other option, or faking it until they make it.

The latter, of course, is where the problem of compliance arises.

“I’m kind of pessimistic when it comes to sustainability, compliance, traceability,” Sourcing Journal president Edward Hertzman said speaking on a Texworld USA supply chain panel Monday.

Having spent years in sourcing prior to publishing, Hertzman said he’s had brands ask him to manufacture organic product for them, and he’s gone to factories to source it, only to find that the suppliers are selling the brands goods labeled as organic when they’re in fact no such thing.

“It’s very complex to trace this. There isn’t necessarily one set of standards that everyone follows,” Hertzman said. “I think we are a long way from this being part of every single company’s culture.”

The problem, according to Dr. Leonardo Bonanni, founder and CEO of Sourcemap, a supply chain-mapping software company, is that the apparel industry has faced structural issues that haven’t exactly served to fuel transparency and traceability.

Until recently, Bonanni said, “You actually couldn’t map a supply chain for an apparel product,” largely because brands themselves couldn’t see past their Tier 1 suppliers—a problem which still remains for some companies.

Read the rest of the article at Sourcing Journal.

SOURCEMAP, XEROX WIN THE 2017 GEC CATALYST AWARDS

For too long companies have wanted to know more about their supply chains, only to be discouraged by the time and the resources needed to go it alone. That’s why we’re introducing a new kind of social network for brands and manufacturers within an industry to map their shared supply chains and collect data every step of the way – data essential to establishing benchmarks for social and environmental impact. We’re thrilled that the Green Electronics Council selected our Supply Chain Communities for this year’s Catalyzing Disruptive Innovation award at CES Asia, and look forward to working with the industry to advance visibility and sustainability throughout the global electronics supply chain.

From the Green Electronics Council's press release:

SHANGHAI, CHINA – June 8, 2017 – The Green Electronics Council (GEC) announced at CES Asia today that Xerox Corporation, a global document solutions, technologies and services corporation, and Sourcemap, Inc., the supply chain transparency company, won its 2017 GEC Catalyst Awards. GEC’s annual Catalyst Awards seek to inspire innovation in the design, manufacture and use of electronics to advance global sustainability.
GEC’s Catalyst Awards honor sustainability achievements in two categories. The “Catalyzing Impact at Scale” award recognizes the large-scale impact leading corporations can have when changing the design, manufacture and intended use of their products. GEC’s “Catalyzing Disruptive Innovation” award recognizes cutting-edge technologies that raise sustainability to a whole new level.
Xerox won the Catalyzing Impact at Scale Award for a global reverse supply-chain initiative that methodically analyzes ROI for remanufacture, refurbish, parts reuse, recycle, and broker sales. Sourcemap won the Catalyzing Disruptive Innovation Award for its supply-chain transparency community that ensures the sustainability of supply chains down to the raw material.
“The negative environmental and social impacts resulting from complex global supply chains are among the greatest challenges currently facing the IT industry,” said Nancy Gillis, CEO of the Green Electronics Council. “We congratulate this year’s Winners, Honorees, and Finalists for demonstrating ways to address this challenge and exhibiting sustainable supply chain leadership and innovation.”
An independent, expert Judging Committee selected the top Catalyst Award Winners and, for the first time, recognized three special Honorees. LG Electronics and Cisco Systems were each named “Catalyzing Impact at Scale” Honorees. A collaboration between Vodafone and Good World Solutions was selected as a “Catalyzing Disruptive Innovation” Honoree.
Xerox has long been recognized as an industry leader in end-of-life management, and over the past few years Xerox has optimized the global reverse logistics system to further enable a sustainable supply chain. The optimization utilizes a centralized control system, which calculates the value associated with sending a product through one of five potential processes, then selects the process that will create the greatest value. Through this optimized system and process improvements, Xerox has realized millions of dollars in cost benefit, achieved significant greenhouse gas savings and enabled numerous social sustainability benefits.
Sourcemap’s Supply Chain Transparency Community is a powerful new approach to providing industry-wide assurance of sustainability and compliance across the extended supply chain. It works through a shared repository of pre-competitive information on suppliers’ social and environmental performance fed by real-time data from a supplier social network, independently verified by machine learning algorithms and independent auditors. For the first time brands can achieve continuous supply chain assurance at low cost, while suppliers benefit from visibility and actionable benchmarks to help achieve best-in-class performance.
The five Finalists for the 2017 GEC Catalyst Awards were the Chinese Environmental United Certification CenterKaiser PermanentePacific Gas and Electric Companytoxnot PBC, and Umicore.
The Judging Committee for the 2017 Catalyst Awards included Walter Alcorn, Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Industry Sustainability at the Consumer Technology Association; Michael Massetti, Executive Partner, Supply Chain at Gartner; Karen Pollard, Environmental Protection Specialist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Steve Rochlin, Americas Co-Manager at the Global E-Sustainability Initiative; Joel Sutherland, President of Envoy Inc.; and Matthew Swibel, Director, Corporate Sustainability at Lockheed Martin Corporation.
GEC announced the winners at CES Asia in Shanghai, China as an official program partner of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Past GEC Catalyst Awards winners include PuzzlePhone, AMD, and Dell, Inc.
The 2018 Catalyst Awards theme will be announced later this year.

Want to learn more about Sourcemap's Industry Communities? Get in touch