Responsible Supply Chains
Responsible Supply Chains
Movement of ecofriendly products in the markets is a continuous match making process of sellers’ (manufacturers’) marketing and customer demand. Marketing & promotion happens by communicating with ecolabels & eco-indicators, which is termed as ‘Green Marketing’. Consumers & other stakeholders’ demand for ecofriendly products, drives the businesses to turn to sustainable manufacturing processes of which use of sustainable materials is the key component.
When ecolabels are self claimed, there are good chances that ‘Green Washing‘ disguises as ‘Green Marketing’. We currently have very few standards & regulations to check this. There is a need for more such standards that help in developing trust & transparency towards products and sellers. These standards also by default ensure social sustainability and preserve human rights. ‘Traceability’ is the core characteristic of a ‘Responsible Supply Chain’.
Below information is a glimpse into few of the presently available standards & tech for ‘Traceability’ & ‘Responsible Supply Chains’.
As an insight provided in the video, Markus Mutz of OpenSC assures possibilities through technology with a fishing case study. OpenSC uses data science & machine learning assisted by sensors; a unique serial id is assigned for each product which contains all the characteristic information of the source and tags are used to trace those products throughout the supply chain until it reaches consumer end. This information is also recorded and stored in a central database for future references.
- Such traceable information is validated and those fishing products are being assessed & certified by standards like MSC (Marine Stewardship Council).
- Forest produces like Timber, Coffee, Tea, Flowers, Fruits, Juice, Palm & Coconut Oil and Herbs & Spices Products are certified by Rainforest Alliance Certification.
- FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certfication is being widely used for timber, forest based raw materials like wood pulp for paper industry, etc.
- Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil Certification works towards ensuring good palm oil sources.
- Sustainable Fashion is assisted by FairTrade, Better Cotton Inititative, Global Organic Textile Standard, etc.
- Precious stones (diamonds & alike) are certified for by organizations like Responsible Jewellery Council, Kimberly Process, etc.
- Rare Earth Metals & Conflict Minerals are tracked by initiatives like IRMA – Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, Responsible Minerals Initiative, etc.
Many self assessment tools, questionnaires , databases like Sedex are available. Sourcemap provides mapping solutions. IoT, Satellite Imagery, Data Science and Block Chain technologies are being leveraged for tacking the complex challenge of ensuring traceability in sustainable supply chains, which is need of the hour.