Do Your Suppliers Rely On Slave Labor? How Can You Know?

From Forbes, May 1, 2016

Leading social compliance organizations are asking participating companies to report on their efforts to make sure that they are not procuring goods produced by slave labor in their corporate social responsibility reports. And 2015 saw “an unparalleled spike in legislative and enforcement efforts.” More recently, President Obama signed into law a bill containing a provision that officially bans imports of goods made by forced labor.

What can companies do about this? Well some big companies are throwing people at the problem. In a Wall Street Journal article, Jackie Sturm, vice president of global supply chain management at Intel, explained that educating and training suppliers requires a significant commitment in time, resources and patience. Intel has two dozen people dedicated to the task plus dozens more who assist in the effort.

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Monsanto’s 2011 Sustainability Report: Cognitive Dissonance?

From the article:

If we were to look at the 12 leverage points described by Donella Meadows as the places to intervene in a system to try and change it, I believe we would find Monsanto at #12, the first step in the journey. Item 12 is Numbers. It is concerned with measuring and setting targets. Monsanto’s CSR report is full of numbers and targets, primarily aimed at increasing agricultural yield, which is the part of the problem they have been working on. But most experts who have studied world hunger as a system problem, say that poverty, inequality and distribution are the root causes. There is enough food being produced right now, to feed everyone, if we could just get it distributed. In fact, we produce 17% more calories per person today than we did 30 years ago, despite the increase in population. Why then, do we need to double production when the population is only growing by somewhere around 28%?

Researchers Compare the Carbon Pricetags of In-Store and Online Purchases

Interesting article, but more data might be needed before a conclusion can be drawn. Read the article here.
Excerpt:

From a carbon emissions point-of-view, is it better to buy products online or in a store? You probably guessed the former. And if so, you’re right, according to a study conducted by MindClick GSM, a sustainability consulting firm and released today by GigaOM Pro, a subscription based research and analysis service covering green IT (among other topics).
[…]
The researchers took these numbers and ran with them, calculating that the negative environmental impact of an in-store purchase made on Black Friday is 50 times that of an online purchase made on Cyber Monday. And in more general terms, it found that carbon emissions related to purchasing an item inside a store represents an increase of more than 15 times that of an online purchase.

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