WHAT IT’S REALLY GOING TO TAKE FOR SUSTAINABILITY TO WORK [Sourcing Journal]

by Tara Donaldson

Posted on January 23, 2018 in Feature

The thing about sustainability in the apparel industry is that brands and retailers are either embracing it of their own accord, finding themselves backed into a corner with little other option, or faking it until they make it.

The latter, of course, is where the problem of compliance arises.

“I’m kind of pessimistic when it comes to sustainability, compliance, traceability,” Sourcing Journal president Edward Hertzman said speaking on a Texworld USA supply chain panel Monday.

Having spent years in sourcing prior to publishing, Hertzman said he’s had brands ask him to manufacture organic product for them, and he’s gone to factories to source it, only to find that the suppliers are selling the brands goods labeled as organic when they’re in fact no such thing.

“It’s very complex to trace this. There isn’t necessarily one set of standards that everyone follows,” Hertzman said. “I think we are a long way from this being part of every single company’s culture.”

The problem, according to Dr. Leonardo Bonanni, founder and CEO of Sourcemap, a supply chain-mapping software company, is that the apparel industry has faced structural issues that haven’t exactly served to fuel transparency and traceability.

Until recently, Bonanni said, “You actually couldn’t map a supply chain for an apparel product,” largely because brands themselves couldn’t see past their Tier 1 suppliers—a problem which still remains for some companies.

Read the rest of the article at Sourcing Journal

More than 2,000 factories have already registered for the new, Sourcemap-powered #HiggIndex platform!

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We're proud to announce that more than 2,000 facilities have already registered for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition's brand new Facility Environmental Module (FEM). It's only been two months since Sourcemap launched a completely re-engineered Higg.org. From the SAC:

The Higg FEM, optimized for use at an industrial scale, enables factories of any size, anywhere in the world, to assess sustainability performance and easily share results with supply chain partners.

The new Higg.org is a powerful, scalable platform built on Sourcemap Enterprise software. It features a powerful, incredible fast user interface on elastic Amazon Web Services hosting with a slew of features to ensure universal access including with support for multiple languages and intelligent questionnaires that adapt to the needs of suppliers based on their industry and performance. We are well on our way to supporting the SAC's goal of targeting 20,000 facilities in 2018! 

Public registration is available at Higg.org and a full guide is posted at HowtoHigg.org

Sources:

Outdoor Industry Association

Apparel Mag 

Mapping the World's Smallholder Farms [White Paper]

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In 2013 Mars Chocolate chose Sourcemap to map the Vision for Change cocoa sustainability program in Côte d'Ivoire. Since then Sourcemap has emerged as the pre-eminent software platform to monitor and engage with smallholder farmers in Indonesia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Brazil and dozens of other countries. How does it work? Simply put: we work with users from every tier in the supply chain to make certain the software provides value, every step of the way. Want to know more? Download our white paper on smallholder transparency and traceability here:

Meet Eileen Fisher's Head of Supply Chain Mapping [Video Interview]

Meet Megan Meiklejohn, Eileen Fisher's Sustainable Materials and Transparency Manager. She is responsible for ensuring that the company's ambitious Vision 2020 sustainability goals are met, and she uses Sourcemap to do it. How? Megan sends out quarterly questionnaires to every supplier for every garment, every collection. The questionnaires cover commercial, compliance, sustainability and social impact data every step of the way. Find out more by watching her exclusive video interview above.

What is the cost of climate change to smallholder farmers? Sourcemap joins forces with CIAT to find out

Adaptation zones in the Ghanaian cocoa sector overlaid with Cost of Inaction estimates

Adaptation zones in the Ghanaian cocoa sector overlaid with Cost of Inaction estimates

Smallholder farmers are going to save the world. Today, over 80 percent of the food in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa is grown by 500 million small-scale farms. Despite the great volume of food produced by smallholder famers, they generally have low access to technology, resources, and global markets. Given that smallholders comprise over 30 percent of the world’s population and the majority of the world’s poor, smallholder sourcing programs provide a unique opportunity to make large-scale livelihood investments and support global poverty alleviation. And with the global population expected to exceed nine billion people by the year 2050, we are going to need to produce a lot more food—a lot more sustainably.

Global food companies are betting big on smallholders as the key to feeding the world and fighting climate change. Just two weeks ago, Mars committed to invest $1 billion in its value chain, promoting sustainable farming as a means to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and reversing the impacts of climate change. In a written statement, Mars CEO Grant Reid said that "the engine of global business — its supply chain — is broken and requires transformational, cross-industry collaboration to fix it."

Although brands and governments are working to account for climate change’s projected impacts on global food production, the complexity of current models makes it difficult to drive actionable decisions. In order to spur the kind of transformational, cross-industry collaboration that Reid called for, Sourcemap and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) are working to create a Cost of Inaction Calculator—an easy-to-use modeling platform that translates future agricultural climate change risk into potential lost revenue to smallholders; helping identify smallholder producers’ climate adaptation needs and ensure sustainable supply chains.

By allowing users to easily model agricultural supply chains and climate risk exposure, in terms of lost revenue to smallholders, the COI Calculator will streamline decision-making and increase the resilience of agricultural value chains to climate change. Leveraging Sourcemap’s supply chain mapping technology and data, such as commodity volumes and prices, along with CIAT’s climate risk projections, the COI Calculator will measure the cost of doing business-as-usual for each farmer in a given supply chain; helping users identify the producers and crops for which investments will be most impactful for the coming decades. The COI Calculator democratizes long-term and strategic climate change planning for a wide range of stakeholders, bridging the gap between emerging climate science and the tactics of climate adaptation.

Update: the COI Calculator has been named as a finalist in the CGIAR Inspire Big Data Challenge! Join us at the CGIAR Big Data in Agriculture Conference to find out more.

Introducing U.S. Census Data Maps - Now in Sourcemap enterprise

Supply chain data overlaid on the USDA's Food Access Research Atlas

Supply chain data overlaid on the USDA's Food Access Research Atlas

You might know the demographics of your customers, but do you know how close they are to a grocery store? Or a school? How about the shifting demographics of the US communities where your company manufactures and distributes goods?  When people think of supply chains, they often think of global issues. But there are pressing issues to be faced right here in the US - and the baseline data is now available in Sourcemap. We've integrated the extensive US Census data layers so that you can discover detailed statistics about every point in your US supply chain, from producers to consumers. The resulting scores can be used to ensure that you are making the right investments in sales and distribution, and that you select the vendors that can make the biggest impact. Take the example above: it's a retail supply chain overlaid on a map on low-income / low-access to fresh food counties in the continental US. You can use it to automatically measure your presence in areas that need more nutritious food, and position yourself to deliver it! To learn more, click below and request a demo:

Supply chain mapping meets blockchain tracking: Provenance partners with Sourcemap to power end-to-end, robust traceability for consumer goods

Sourcemap, New York, and Provenance, London, link their digital platforms for supply chain transparency, enabling businesses in the food and fashion industries to map their supply chain, gather data and track verified claims with the movement of product.

Combining Sourcemap’s upstream mapping, macro risk analysis, and data capture with Provenance-verified business and product claims, as well as downstream batch-level tracking for automatic supply chain traceability.

Combining Sourcemap’s upstream mapping, macro risk analysis, and data capture with Provenance-verified business and product claims, as well as downstream batch-level tracking for automatic supply chain traceability.

Sourcemap, New York, and Provenance, London, link their digital platforms for supply chain transparency, enabling businesses in the food and fashion industries to map their supply chain, gather data and track verified claims with the movement of product.

In 2016 alone, reports of food fraud in cheese, olive oil, beef and seafood highlighted the business risks of opaque supply chains, and the growing consumer demand for knowledge. In May of 2017, 36 million pounds of imported non-organic soybeans were reported to have obtained “organic” labels for domestic sale in the US. Across industries, robust systems for understanding these risks, and ensuring integrity in supply chains is needed more than ever.

Companies are clamoring for ways to trace their products, whether to protect their reputation, to inform their customers, or to ensure the quality and authenticity of goods. But today's supply chain software can't scale up to the complexity of modern supply chains.

Enter Sourcemap and Provenance. Sourcemap's supply chain social network connects all of the suppliers and sub-suppliers in a global network, ensuring that they are who they say they are. Provenance blockchain technology tracks every transaction between the suppliers in real-time, to verify that every product is sourced through the authorized chain of custody. Together, these two technologies are the first to have been conceived from the ground up, to track and trace even the most complex supply chains in real-time.

Combining Sourcemap’s upstream mapping, macro risk analysis, and data capture with Provenance-verified business and product claims, as well as downstream batch-level tracking for automatic supply chain traceability.

What does this mean? Provenance and Sourcemap are currently piloting their joint technology platform with major food businesses so that one day soon, you'll be able to scan a product on a store shelf and know exactly who made it, when and where. And that's just the beginning. You'll also be able to verify the quality, the social practices, the environmental footprint of everything you buy.

Integrated tools for the smart, sustainable supply chain.

Integrated tools for the smart, sustainable supply chain.


“Buyers and shoppers all over the world make daily moral and health compromises without knowing it. Tackling this problem involves several systems to unite and create joined-up solutions for change at scale,” says CEO of Provenance Jessi Baker. “We are excited to partner with Sourcemap to create the bulletproof traceability system industry needs”.

 

"Our enterprise customers are looking for every assurance that their supply chains are best-in-class, and we're thrilled to provide continuous verification through Provenance's blockchain technology," says Sourcemap CEO Leonardo Bonanni.

Interested? We’re working together with great businesses big and small all along the supply chain across food, beverage and fashion industries. Contact us to find out how we can help your organization.