Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Supply chain: the next reporting frontier

Many multinationals are struggling with sustainability issues in their supply chains. How can they be sure that the environmental and social standards that they adhere to are also being met in emerging markets where the local laws or common business practice do not have such protections built in?

Transparency about such issues in the supply chain is turning out to be a big trend lately. GRI is now working with 4 major European multinationals who have each identified 3-4 key suppliers in their chains located in emerging markets - and together we are all going through the reporing process based on the GRI Guidelines. The suppliers are learning how to identify the issues they need to report on for their own local stakeholder needs, but also to remain competitive in the international marketplace.

This photo was taken last week in China by my colleague Leontien from the GRI secretariat. She was there visiting supplier factories that are participating in this project. She said that before she left on her trip she was worried that the suppliers were feeling pressure from the top - but upon her return she had a different perspective. It seems the suppliers are finding their own voices and are seeing the value in communicating in a proactive way about their sustainability issues.

Find out more on this exciting project by clicking the title above.

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