Latest Supply chain articles

Horse burgers and fake fish: What does this mean for CSR?

1 March 2013 -

You’d have to have been living in a vegetarian paradise to have missed the horse meat scandal that’s been spreading across Europe and beyond. It seems that if you’ve eaten any “budget” processed beef within memory, you’ve probably unwittingly eaten some horse as well. Coming hot on the heels of the pony burgers is a new study from Oceana that reveals a whopping one third of all seafood in the United States is mislabeled, either out of malice or pure ignorance. Tilapia masquerades as pricey red snapper, and escolar – a fish that can cause oily, explosive gastric distress – is labeled as tuna.

The food safety issues might not be as apocalyptically horrifying as the ones revealed in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, but it’s evident that our food system is far from perfect. Convoluted, international supply chains mean that it’s easy for fraudsters to game the system. Consumers can’t tell the difference; the deceit is so subtle that it takes DNA testing to tell fact from fiction.

Could there be a silver lining to these scandals? Clearly small, artisanal farmers, fishers and butchers stand to gain from increased public mistrust in Big Food. Yorkshire Meats in the UK and Niman Ranch in the US are examples of humane farmers who have an almost fanatical devotion to traceability. But what about bigger companies? Corporations need to take these scandals as the opportunity to get serious about traceability in their supply chain. Restoring confidence should not be a mere matter of more stringent DNA testing. Proving to consumers that they know their meat and their producers is vital to restoring public confidence. In this regard, companies with strong commitments to sustainability are well positioned to come out on top. Time for Lidl, Tesco and Albert Heijn to get serious about CSR!

The story of change

23 July 2012 -

(Annie Leonard)

Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world.

Read the full article here.

Why water matters

23 July 2012 -

(Mike Hercek)

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), water is “a fast-unfolding environmental crisis… and analysis suggests that the world will face a 40% global shortfall between forecast demand and available supply by 2030.”

Read the full article here.

Lidl: On their way to sustainability

11 June 2012 -


The struggle for sustainable chocolate has been, and still is, a bitter fight. After ten years of unmet commitments in the cocoa sector the 10 campaign was launched on 22nd September 2011. 

Read the full article here.

Heineken boosts supply chain sustainability monitoring

8 May 2012 -

(Supply management) By Adam Leach

Dutch brewer Heineken has launched a new monitoring system to enable it to monitor risks and sustainability within its global supply chain.

Read the full article here

China promises to strengthen environmental standards with new rare earth body

20 April 2012 -

(Business Green) By James Murray

New industry association to beef up environmental protection and tackle ongoing trade disputes for crucial clean tech raw materials.

Read the full article here

North Face jackets ‘using feathers taken from force-fed geese’

5 March 2012 -

(Daily Mail) Deborah Arthurs

A major outdoor clothing brand has been using down from force-fed geese to fill its quilted winter jackets, it has emerged.

Read the full article here

ANALYSIS: Retailers fall short in tackling supply chain waste

13 February 2012 -


Retailers are still finding their supply chains a challenge when it comes to reducing waste, despite making good progress within their own internal operations.

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ANALYSIS: Zero waste presents drinks packaging dilemma

13 February 2012 -


Soft drink manufacturers are on track to reach zero waste to landfill by 2015 – however, maintaining product quality remains a key challenge.

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Apple Lists Its Suppliers for 1st Time

20 January 2012 -

(New York Times) By Nich Wingfield and Charles Duhigg

Apple released a list of its major suppliers for the first time on Friday, bringing the company up to par with other big American corporations, including Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Nike, which have released similar lists.

Read the full story here

Sprint to Require Green Certification for All Cell Phones

20 January 2012 -

(Greenbiz) By Tilde Herrera

Sprint will now require that all phones go through a certification process to meet stringent environmental standards set by the company and UL Environment.

Read te full article here

HP, Apple Show Strong Leadership on Supply Chain Transparency

15 November 2011 -

(GreenBiz) By Matthew Wheeland

As 2011 rapidly shapes up to become The Year of Supply Chain Sustainability, few industries better illustrate the challenges and opportunities presented by the issue than IT.

Read the full article here

Blood in the Mobile – the world’s most graphic CSR report?

29 October 2011 -

(businessGreen) By Jessica Shankleman

Frank Poulsen’s documentary sends a clear message that businesses need to wake up to the environmental and ethical importance of supply chain management

Read full article here

Mattel Unveils Sustainable Procurement Principles

7 October 2011 -

(Environmental Leader) Mattel Inc. has launched new sustainable sourcing principles to guide the company’s procurement of paper and wood fiber used in its packaging and products.

The toy company says that it’s new principles focus on three steps: Maximizing post-consumer recycled content; avoiding virgin fiber from controversial sources and seeking to increase the percentage of fiber that is certified by a credible third party.

Read full article here

Half of Multinationals to Choose Suppliers Based on CO2 Emissions

27 September 2011 -

(Environmental Leader) A full half of multinational companies plan to select suppliers based on carbon performance, according to a study by Carbon Trust Advisory.

The research says that 29% of suppliers are likely to lose their places on green supply chains if they do not have adequate performance records on carbon. The research also finds that 58% of multinationals will in the future pay a premium for low carbon suppliers to reduce their overall corporate carbon footprints.

Read full article here

H&M plans to unveil collection of greener suppliers

25 September 2011 -

(BusinessGreen) September 23, 2011
H&M has become the latest high-street clothing brand to promise to ‘detox’ its supply chain, following a Greenpeace campaign that has already prompted Nike, Puma and Adidas to commit to the phasing out of hazardous chemicals by 2020.

Read full article here

Apple Takes a Hit for Pollution in Its Supply Chain

13 September 2011 -

(GreenBiz) By Matthew Wheeland – September 1, 2011
Apple may have won all kinds of kudos for removing toxics from its products, and it has publicly committed to removing conflict minerals from its African supply chain, but the company still finds itself in trouble this week over apparently widespread pollution in China.

Read full article here

Animated Animals And Appliances Advocate For An Economy Based On A Natural Cycle Of Reuse

12 September 2011 -

(FastCompany) By Morgan Clendaniel – August 29, 2011
Instead of constantly buying and discarding new products, what if everything was specifically designed to be recycled or broken down, mimicking the circular process of (non-human) life on earth?

Read full article here

Why UPS Takes Its Role as a Green Supply Chain Seriously

12 August 2011 -

(GreenBiz) By Matthew Wheeland – August 01, 2011
Late last week, United Parcel Service published its ninth annual sustainability report. As has been the case with UPS for some time, each successive report finds the company digging in deeper and broader in terms of measuring its impacts.

read full article here

Dow Sugarcane Venture to Make Competitively-Priced Bioplastic

8 August 2011 -

(GreenBiz) By Jonathan Bardelline – August 04, 2011
Dow Chemical Company aims to make biomass a larger part of its raw material mix with plans for the world’s biggest bioplastic production facility.
Building off of current operations in Brazil, Dow will operate the plant as a joint venture with Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co. to make plastic from sugarcane.

read full article here

M&S commits to full supply chain traceability on non-food products

8 August 2011 -

(GreenWise) As part of its plan to become the most sustainable major retailer, Marks and Spencer today committed to tracing where and how every product in its clothing and home range is made.

M&S said it had signed a deal with supply chain traceability specialist Historic Futures that will enable the company to identify “every raw material source, spinner and fabric mill” on every single clothing and home product it sells. The agreement is the latest in a line of commitments made by the retailer under its Plan A sustainability programme and positions M&S as the first major retailer to commit to full traceability for non-food products.

read full article here

Pharma Sets Few Supply Chain Goals, Report Finds

8 August 2011 -

(Environmental Leader) August 4, 2011 – Pharmaceutical companies are “all over the map” in terms of their environmental goals and transparency, but largely don’t set targets for their supply chains, according to a new report.

Green Research found that major pharmaceutical companies have between five and six public environmental sustainability goals, each on average. AstraZeneca leads with 12, while Merck brings up the rear with one.

read full article here

WWF Allows Companies to Destroy Forests, Report Charges

27 July 2011 -

(Environmental Leader) A World Wildlife Fund industry partnership to protect forests is failing in its duties, according to a human rights group.

In Pandering to the Loggers (pdf) a report out yesterday, Global Witness charged that companies are destroying forests and trading in illegally sourced timber while basking in the glow of the WWF’s iconic panda brand. The group said that WWF’s Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN), which was created to eliminate illegal timber trading, has suffered from systemic failures.

Read full article here

Nike, Puma, Other Giants Accused of Importing from Chinese Polluter

20 July 2011 -

(Environmental Leader) Adidas, Nike, Puma and Calvin Klein are among some of the brands importing materials from a Chinese conglomerate responsible for the pollution of rivers, according to a report released by environmental group Greenpeace.

Dirty Laundry focuses on the Youngor Group, China’s biggest integrated textile firm, which Greenpeace says was found to be discharging a range of hazardous and persistent chemicals with hormone-disrupting properties.

read full article here

Cargill Sets Sights on Worldwide Sustainable Palm Oil by 2020

19 July 2011 -

(Green Biz) By Jonathan Bardelline
Agribusiness giant Cargill plans to only offer palm oil — an ingredient in Girl Scout cookies and numerous other foods — that is certified sustainable in select countries by 2015 and worldwide by 2020.

read full article here

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