Supply chain

DEFINITION: A system of product production which links together suppliers, resources and technologies within a company. Supply chain sustainability encourages good governance practices throughout the lifecycles of goods and services.

See also: Sustainable procurement

See also: Producer responsibility

See also: Traceability

More detail

edie explains: ISO 20400

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Abuses uncovered by the WRC go against both Levi's workplace code of conduct and worker rights laws in South Africa. Image: Levi Strauss

Levi Strauss takes fresh steps to eliminate gender-based violence, water misuse, in supply chains

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Iceland was criticised by Feedback for failing to stock any meat sourced through sustainable certification schemes

UK supermarkets accused of over-producing low-quality meat

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For the gold to be verified, miners have to pledge to use low-impact techniques and restore the local habitat when they are finished at their sites. Image: Apple

Apple to upscale sourcing of 'habitat-positive' gold

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82% of Ørsted's power generation was classed as 'clean' in H1 of 2019, up from 71% in H1 of 2018. Image: Orsted

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The commitment covers all shipments to and from customers, for whole devices as well as replacement parts and accessories. Image: Alphabet Inc. 

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Virgin Media targets 100% renewable electricity by 2020

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The market is expected to capture 10% of the global meat market and reach $100bn in value within 15 years. Image: Impossible Foods

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Offshore wind turbines on the Solway coast, Southerness, Dumfries

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Manufacturer 3M joins Ellen MacArthur Foundation's CE100 initiative

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Government rejects mandatory environmental targets for big-name fashion brands

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The contractually obliged suppliers represent almost 21% of O2’s supply chain emissions

O2 recertified to highest Carbon Trust standard for supply chain emissions management

Telecoms giant O2 has been recertified to the highest possible level of supply chain management to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Logistics giant HAVI sets science-based emissions targets

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The global palm oil industry generates more than $50bn annually, but traditional plantations have driven widespread destruction of tropical rainforests

Estée Lauder targets sustainable palm oil supply chain through farmer empowerment

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114 restaurants were studied across 12 countries. Annual food sales across sites ranged from $400,000 to $17.3m.

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<p>Wall's has already reached 40,000 people across 76 Madagascan villages through its programmes for vanilla farmers</p>

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<p>The first phase will focus on cotton and viscose </p>

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CDP estimates that the average company's supply chain emissions are 5.5 times that of its direct operations. Stock image of factory in China

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Water scarcity now affects more than 40% of the global population

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This year's Index is the first to award any brand a ranking of more than 60%

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The Agbogbloshie slums of Ghana (pictured) have been used as an e-waste landfill by illegal exporters

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The project's goal is to is to create an open, industry-wide network to trace and validate the sustainability of minerals. Image: IBM

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Walmart hopes the move will encourage greater disclosure and innovation from suppliers. Pictured: Solar arrays operated by Walmart China

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Over the last 12 months, Apple and its suppliers used enough generated clean energy equal to the electricity consumption of more than 600,000 homes in the US

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The bags will be available for 98 cents. Image: Walmart

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Co-op's overarching aim is 100% physically certified soy across its supply chain by 2025

Co-op targets 100% sustainably sourced soy through credits scheme

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The tool aims to help the sector overcome the challenges of

Fashion firms urged to log global supply chains on new digital open-source map

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With the world’s population widely expected to grow to more than nine billion people by 2050, demand for protein and, therefore, soy, is set to grow exponentially

Aldi targets 100% sustainably sourced soy by 2025

Supermarket chain Aldi has pledged to source 100% sustainably certified soy across its supply chain by 2025, including soy used as animal feed.

Target’s chairman and chief executive Brian Cornell first announced the firm's desire to set a science-based target in 2017

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Melendez believes that regenerative practices will provide benefits for farmers located down the supply chain

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'I certainly didn't do it for sales': Iceland boss sheds fresh light on palm oil phase-out

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The move builds on ASOS's pledge to eliminate modern slavery from the supply chains of its 87,000 own-brand lines

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The pilot scheme's approach has been described as “going beyond simply aiming to minimise impact

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UN launches global alliance to combat fast fashion's biggest sustainability challenges

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CCEP's plastic packaging contained 27.6% recycled material in 2018, up from 24.8% in 2017

Europe's largest Coca-Cola bottler reveals progress on plastic reduction

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The BCI-certified cotton sourced by fashion brands in 2018 was equivalent to 1.5 billion pairs of jeans

Fashion industry sourced record amount of sustainable cotton in 2018

Fashion brands and retailers collectively sourced more than one million metric tonnes of sustainably certified cotton through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) last year, breaking the industry standard operator's record.

Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme currently covers 28,000 farmers, with the retailer aiming for 30,000 by the start of 2022

Primark launches jeans made with 100% sustainably sourced cotton

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The forest conservation efforts of more than 120,000 farmers will be monitored under the scheme

Mondelez turns to satellite mapping in fight against deforestation

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The latest iteration of the annual report ranks 150 global companies across four key animal ethics areas. Image: Sam Frost/WSPA

Report: British firms leading animal welfare practices, but laggards remain

Some of the UK's largest food firms, including Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Cranswick, have been named as the corporate leaders on animal welfare issues in a new report which names the likes of Mars, Subway and Starbucks as laggards in this space.

The initiative also enables producers, manufacturers and retailers to better manage inventories and reduce waste while boosting transparency across the supply chain

Accenture and Mastercard launch blockchain-enabled supplier 'tip' scheme

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The commitment will cover more than 100 of Waitrose & Partners' own-brand lines

Waitrose pledges to source 100% Fairtrade cocoa by the end of 2019

Supermarket giant Waitrose & Partners has committed to sourcing only Fairtrade cocoa for its own-brand confectionary products by the end of the year, in a bid to help improve living standards for its cocoa farmers.

The government is exploring two variants of the deposit return system

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The Government estimates that an overhaul to the EPR system will raise between £800m and £1bn annually for recycling and disposal

Government unveils deposit return scheme blueprints as part of waste management revamp

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100% of the Italian-grown tomatoes Princes processed in 2018 have been sourced from farms with independent ethical accreditation

Princes turns to blockchain to minimise supply chain sustainability risks

International food and drink firm Princes has unveiled a sweeping new set of measures to make its supply chain practices more sustainable, including a pledge to use blockchain to ensure workers' rights are protected.

Stevia is a naturally sourced, low-calorie sweetener that is gaining traction as a replacement for sugar based on health benefits

Tate & Lyle to assess sustainability of stevia supply chain

Global food and beverage provider Tate & Lyle has announced a new partnership aiming to assess the stevia sweetener supply chain for any improvements that can be made to environmental, energy and social stewardship.

Lord Deben is one of the 12 policy leaders to have given his backing to Policy Connect's new report

Lord Deben: Closed-loop plastic system 'perfectly possible' with revamped policy

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SUSTAIN will aim to transform the entire supply chain of the steel sector

Zero-waste and carbon-neutral: £35m programme launched to transform UK steel sector

UK steelmakers and university experts are teaming together on a seven-year research programme aimed at boosting the productivity of the steel sector by championing carbon capture techniques and minimising industrial waste streams.

The call to action has been sent to Domino's, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Yum! Brands, Restaurant Brands International and Wendy’s

Investors press fast food giants to 'urgently' improve supply chain sustainability

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Hershey unveils plan to set approved science-based target by 2021

US-based confectionary giant Hershey has committed to set an approved science-based emissions reduction target by 2021, as part of a sweeping new range of sustainability measures.

The chemicals will be removed from more than 1,300 Kingfisher-owned stores across Europe, including B&Q and Screwfix outlets in the UK

Kingfisher to phase-out 'harmful' chemicals across supply chain

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Lord Deben believes that microplastics and other

Lord Deben: Corporate action on plastic to 'evolve' beyond packaging

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In numbers: The UK public's attitudes to supply chain practices in the fashion industry

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Under the commitment, Kahlua will pay workers a premium for using water and resource-efficient farming techniques

Kahlua pledges to source 100% of its coffee from sustainable communities

Liqueur brand Kahlua has committed to source all of its coffee from communities it certifies as sustainable by 2022, in a bid to have a net-positive environmental and social impact across its supply chains.

Fashion is believed to be the second highest-risk industry for modern slavery after technology

Adidas and Gap top sustainable fashion supply chain rankings

Companies including Adidas, Gap and Primark have been named as the corporates leading the fashion sector's drive for better human rights practices in supply chains, in a new ranking of 43 of the sector's largest brands.

Of the 24 banks surveyed by WWF and Global Canopy, none had implemented seafood-specific lending policies including sustainability clauses

WWF: Finance firms must do more to safeguard food sector from sustainability risks

Global finance firms seeking to future-proof their investments should take more ambitious action to help to food and agriculture firms they invest in become more sustainable, new WWF-led research has concluded.

New Year Honours 2019: Sustainability champions make Queen's list

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Resources and Waste Strategy: Green business community reacts

In the newly-launched Resources and Waste Strategy, Defra has pledged to make producers pay for the full costs of recycling or disposing the packaging they produce. But how has this commitment, alongside the Strategy's other key measures, been met by members of the green community?

Under the proposals, producers will be forced to pay full net-costs of disposal of packaging they place on the market – up from just 10% now

Major packaging reforms spearhead Resources and Waste Strategy

A huge overhaul of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system has been proposed today (18 December) in the Government's Resources & Waste Strategy, which also includes plans for separate household food waste collections and a nationwide deposit return scheme.

McCartney was quizzed by CNN's chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour

Stella McCartney: Policy must encourage businesses to make fashion sustainable

Designer and green activist Stella McCartney has called on policymakers to implement laws which will incentivise big-name fashion brands to shift away from cradle-to-grave models and poor supply chain practices.

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Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Christmas special with Landsec, Olam Cocoa & The Body Shop

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Around 80% of Danone UK's packaging is currently recycled, with Ecosurety looking to increase this proportion

Danone partners with Ecosurety to reduce reliance on export packaging recovery notes

Consumer goods giant Danone's UK arm has partnered with waste compliance organisation Ecosurety in a bid to improve the nation's recycling infrastructure and boost transparency around its resource and waste management efforts.

H&M recently announced that 930,000 garment workers in its supply chain are covered by its 'fair living wage' roadmap

H&M holds fair wage summit after criticism of supply chain pay policies

Fashion giant H&M has today (11 December) held a summit to determine how best to ensure all supply chain workers receive a "fair" living wage, following campaigner accusations that it had failed to pay some garment workers enough to keep them above the poverty line.