Supply chains are now a significant factor in risk managing business activities, with suppliers being held accountable for factors such as their carbon emissions, their labour practices, their human rights record and impacts on the environment. That is, corporations are increasingly scrutinised by a range of stakeholders who seek assurance that a company’s supply chain is ethical and that suppliers have systems and policies in place which protect both people and the planet from potential harm, neglect, low pay and so on.
Initiatives such as the Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative have helped by introducing reporting frameworks calling on corporations to become more transparent about their practices and those of their suppliers.
One of the best known case studies for sustainable enterprise and supply chains is the Nike story which began around 1992. This 11 minute video from The Guardian Sustainable Business interviews the Vice President of Sustainable Business and Innovation at Nike about the company’s long sustainability journey.
In time, this page will include further useful resources for organisations, policy-makers and students interested in supply chains.
In the meantime, you can check out:
- the Supply Chain page at Ethical Corporation; and
- an article in Forbes Magazine (September 2012), ‘Building Sustainable and Ethical Supply Chains’.
In Australia, scrutiny of corporations has increased following the collapse of a textiles/fashion factory in Bangladesh where around 1000 people died. On 29 May 2013, ABC Television’s program, In the Business, screened a 4 minute story entitled, ‘Australian shoppers are picking up bargains but with a hidden cost’.
Here is an 8 minute interview with Dr Peter Baker and Mike Bernon of the Cranfield School of Management. They debate what the future of supply chains might be and whether supply chains need to be more local and less globalised.