Tuesday, June 19, 2012

UN Supply Chain Sustainability Tool Introduced at Rio+20

A supply chain sustainability tool was officially introduced at the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum on June 16. The tool was launched on June 12, 2012 by the UN Global Compact, in collaboration with BSR and Maplecroft. It is known as the UN Global Compact Quick Self-Assessment and Learning Tool, which is an online platform developed to help companies evaluate their approach to supply chain sustainability and identify areas for improvement. The scale, scope and severity of global economic, political, social and environmental challenges is making supply chain sustainability a topic of growing importance to business, governments and civil society; but effective and responsible supply chain management requires a coordinated response from all sectors of society.

At Rio+20, governments and private interests will convene on 20-22 June 2012 to seek a more sustainable course for our world. It is in the best interest of the business community to follow the summit and get involved in the dialogue on sustainable development.

Sustainability pioneers like Gro Harlem Brundtland and Achim Steiner have indicated that the business community should be part of the sustainable development dialogue. There is a long list of other organizations and individuals who make the point that sustainable development offers innovative opportunities for the business community. A short list of those who are advocating the involvement of business includes, Clarissa Lins of FBDS, Jacob Scherr of NRDC, Chantal Line Carpentier at the United Nations, and Pavan Sukhdev of GIST Advisory.

The UN Global Compact Tool enables procurement, sourcing and other managers, to quickly and anonymously gauge their company’s supply chain sustainability strategy against suggested global guidance. Key features of the tool are that it both identifies existing areas of strength and sign-posts opportunities for improvement.

The tool will also benchmark a company’s approach against criteria developed by the United Nations Global Compact Advisory Group on Supply Chain Sustainability, and against peer companies according to sector, size and region. Benchmark data will be available by the end of 2012 for users to compare their company’s scores to peer companies, with the ability to filter data by sector, region and size.

Additional learning resources and partner organizations are identified to help managers mitigate and manage country, issue, sector and supplier risks. While companies play a critical role in managing the social, environmental and economic impacts of their supply chains, it is not always clear how such actions should be implemented. The Quick Self-Assessment and Learning Tool is designed to help determine the appropriate scope of corporate supply chain sustainability programmes, and to demonstrate how companies can develop and improve existing policies and practices.

Companies are encouraged to use the tool to assess their approach and build more complete benchmarking data.

Click here to go to the Quick Self-Assessment and Learning Tool.

Click here to learn more about supply chain sustainability

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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