Green Electronics Council Partners with Sourcemap on Next-Gen IT Ecolabel

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The Green Electronics Council (GEC) has selected Sourcemap to modernize its flagship program, the EPEAT Registry.

The EPEAT Registry is a website used by large-scale purchasers globally to identify credible, cost-effective and innovative IT products. Sourcemap will redesign the site from the ground-up, improving purchasers’ ability to identify sustainable IT products by specific environmental and social criteria. The major IT brands whose products are featured on the EPEAT Registry will experience a more intuitive interface, making it easier for them to register and market their products that meet EPEAT criteria.

National governments, including the United States, and thousands of private and public institutional purchasers use EPEAT’s independent verification of manufacturers’ claims to inform their sustainable procurement decisions. Through its partnership with Sourcemap, GEC hopes to one-day allow EPEAT to verify entire supply chains, including suppliers and sub-components.

Redesigning the EPEAT Registry continues Sourcemap’s work in tracking and verifying sustainability in industry supply chains. Sourcemap built the current Higg Index platform for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which is used by more than 200 fashion brands to benchmark social and environmental performance across more than 6,000 supplier factories worldwide.

GEC expects to launch the revised EPEAT Registry in January 2019.

Read the full press release on Supply Chain Dive

Cocoa in the cloud: Traceability goes paperless in digital evolution [Confectionery News]

Cocoa traceability is entering the digital era with companies aiming to collect far more than the weight of a bag via a paper receipt.

HTTPS://WWW.CONFECTIONERYNEWS.COM/ARTICLE/2018/05/15/COCOA-IN-THE-CLOUD-TRACEABILITY-GOES-PAPERLESS-IN-DIGITAL-EVOLUTION

Is Your Supply Chain Blockchain-Ready?

It’s been called “transformative,” “revolutionary,” and “likely to change the world,” but is Blockchain the right technology for your supply chain? 

The ultimate goals of supply chain management are Traceability (the ability to track a product from raw material to consumer) and Transparency (continuous visibility from end-to-end, including real-time data on performance, quality, risk, and other key performance indicators). Conscious consumers, emerging regulations, and operational best practices are all pushing for this change. 

Blockchain can help brands achieve both Traceability and Transparency – but some important steps need to be taken before the technology can be adopted supply chain-wide.  To begin with, you can't make your suppliers adopt a groundbreaking technology unless you know who they are - both direct (Tier-1) and indirect (Tier-2, 3, down to raw materials). Then you need to align with your suppliers on transparency and traceability - that is, assuming they're ready to jump on board. That's why we've put together this simple questionnaire to determine if your supply chain is blockchain-ready.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have you mapped your supply chain, including names, contact information and locations of all suppliers from raw materials to finished goods?
  2. Have you identified risks and opportunities across the end-to-end supply chain where traceability and transparency could bring important ROI?
  3. Have you assessed your suppliers' supply chain technology maturity, for example, whether their ERP/PLM is cloud-enabled?
  4. Have you defined and communicated your supply chain transparency expectations with every stakeholder in your supply chain?

If you answered "yes" to all of these, then your supply chain is blockchain-ready, and will likely benefit from the enhanced security, authenticity, and the distributed costs of distributed ledger technology. But if you’re one of many who didn’t get beyond question 1 or 2, then you need to enhance your supply chain visibility and communications before you and your suppliers can take advantage of blockchain.

Blockchain might very well be “the next internet.” But like the internet in its early days, the killer applications of blockchain have not been well-defined. Before you implement blockchain, consider whether your supply chain is blockchain-ready – and if you’re not sure, ask an expert if it’s the right solution for you.

Any questions? Get in touch.

Sourcemap CEO, “Manufacturers have no excuses for lack of transparency in cobalt mining.”

Cobalt prices have quadrupled since hitting an all-time low just two years ago. The material’s use in the rechargeable batteries of electric cars and smartphones triggered a spike in the market and demand isn’t expected to slow.

Unfortunately, most corporations lack visibility of their cobalt supply chain beyond the smelters that purchase the ore from mines, or intermediaries. According to Amnesty International, the lack of accountability has led to insidious mining conditions, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which produces 60 percent of the world’s cobalt. Nearly 150,000 people work in “artisanal” mines plagued with collapsing shafts and harsh work environments. An estimated 40,000 child laborers are cheated out of pay, vulnerable to harm, and often handle the toxic material without gloves or masks.

In this piece published in Eco-Business, Sourcemap CEO Dr. Leo Bonanni argues that there is no excuse for companies not maintaining 100% traceability in their cobalt supply chains. The type of end-to-end traceability software that Sourcemap has used to map some of the world’s most complex supply chains can help rid high-risk and inhumane activities from cobalt sourcing.

Article: http://www.eco-business.com/opinion/no-excuses-for-lack-of-transparency-in-cobalt-mining/

 

This Tech Startup Could Revolutionize The Fashion Industry With Its Latest Project [Forbes]

Sourcemap, a New York City tech start-up is building a platform, that could transform the fashion industry: a digital map of all clothing manufacturers in Bangladesh.

Read the full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/eshachhabra/2018/03/30/this-tech-startup-could-revolutionize-the-fashion-industry-with-its-latest-project/#356582bf72f2

Sourcemap and Bluenumber now offer 100% Palm Oil Traceability

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Sourcemap and Bluenumber are teaming up to deliver the first solution to trace both where palm oil comes from and who produced it. The leaders in supply chain mapping and unique smallholder identification have co-developed a service to present verified and visualized data cheaper, faster and with greater assurance than traditional certification or sample-based fieldwork. 

Sourcemap, the global leader in supply chain mapping and transparency, and Bluenumber, developer and host for an independent registry of unique digital farmer and worker identities have jointly developed two groundbreaking offerings for palm oil transparency and traceability. The new services plug current data gaps in industry standard sustainable palm oil sourcing practices by creating end-to-end visibility. Users can now prove with precision that their palm oil supply chain is deforestation-free and socially responsible.

The basic 'Supply Map’ offering is designed to help buyers show their consumers and stakeholders from where and whom they source palm oil. The more advanced service, ‘Trace & Track,’ gives buyers highly detailed information on the origin, route and handling of every specific Palm Oil shipment received, including every smallholder and every mill involved in each specific delivery.

The new solution uses a proprietary technology suite including GPS enabled data collection apps for fieldwork. Bluenumber issues unique identifiers to verify every smallholder, estate worker and facility at every stage in the supply chain. The Sourcemap platform organizes and visualizes all data necessary to understand and present verified smallholders, mills and other actors. The integrated systems establish the relationships and transactions between people and places. The resulting visualization and data analysis reveals time-calibrated activity of smallholders and estates. Risk data associated with each actor or entity allow buyers at multiple levels in the supply chain to make more informed procurement decisions on where and whom to source from.

The solution works with palm oil supply chains that are certified under traditional programs, and with sources that are not certified.  To learn more, please get in touch.    

Sourcemap travels to Dhaka to launch massive digital mapping of Bangladeshi garment factories

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The Sourcemap team travelled to Dhaka, Bangladesh last month to kick off the door-to-door census of every garment factory in the country: a Digital Ready-Made Factory Map of Bangladesh. Local data collectors equipped with mobile apps have begun to amass thousands of GPS-linked data points collected on the ground from factory owners, workers and organizations. As this data is fed into Sourcemap’s supply chain mapping and transparency platform, we will be able to provide global apparel brands and consumers with radical transparency in one of world’s largest garment producing regions.

The timing of the project is critical. April 24 will mark five years since the factory collapse at Rana Plaza outside Dhaka that took the lives of 1,135 people. North American and European apparel brands have already announced their intention to walk away from the safety tracking programs formed in response to the tragedy once they expire in May.  

Sourcemap is partnering with C&A Foundation and BRAC University (BRAC U) in Bangladesh to administer the survey. Together, we will create a new digital factory map that will democratize data collection and transparency by permanently transitioning accountability for factory improvements to Bangladeshis.  

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“A big part of our commitment to have Bangladeshis own and control this data comes down to designing the right interface,” said Rhea Rakshit, Director of Design for Sourcemap. “The goal is to make it as simple as possible to collect data from factories on the ground, and then allow apparel brands and other stakeholders to gain access to it through an easy to use mapping platform.”

While on the ground in Dhaka, our team witnessed just how critical the garment industry was to Bangladesh. The industry employs approximately four million people. Alarmingly though, most workers report to factories that are invisible on the supply chain – even to the multinational brands ultimately purchasing their products.

The BRAC U survey will put each of these factories on the map. In addition to factory and worker statistics, types of products manufactured, the names of clothing brands that each factory manufactures for will also be captured. All data will be uploaded on Sourcemap cloud servers and visible to the public. Ultimately, this transparency will increase the accountability of brands, decrease risk to workers, and add value to Bangladeshi products.

Dr. Leonardo Bonanni, CEO of Sourcemap, remarked on the project, “The crowdsourced garment factory map promises to make the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ label an asset to apparel brands and a point of consumer pride worldwide.”

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 AssociationApparel Mag