New Map Shows Brands’ Commitment to Supply Chain Transparency and Environmental Management

New Map Shows Brands’ Commitment to Supply Chain Transparency and Environmental Management

Companies looking to promote their supply chain transparency should consider joining the Green Supply Chain Map to reach environmentally conscious buyers.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) created the world’s first map publicly linking multinational corporations to their suppliers’ environmental performance. This Green Supply Chain Map shows companies’ commitment to supply chain transparency and environmental management. It will allow customers to make buying choices based on commitment to environmental sustainability.

The IPE calls the map “a leadership initiative dedicated to showcasing brands’ commitment to supply chain transparency and environmental management. It openly links brands’ supplier lists to publicly available environmental data, including real-time data for air emissions and wastewater discharge.”

Supply chain transparency, mapped

Publication of the Green Supply Chain Map is a breakthrough in transparency in the supply chain.

“The map has the potential to become a true game-changer for public environmental oversight and improvement efforts for industrial manufacturing in China,” says Ma Jun, environmentalist and director at IPE. “We hope to see more brands step up their game and join the map to connect the missing dots of accountability in the vast network of global supply chains.”

Six brands have so far joined and disclosed supplier data: Esprit, Gap, Inditex, New Balance, Puma, and Target.

The map allows users to filter by brand and to view the supply chains for individual companies. It displays water, air, and weather conditions in a factory’s location, as well as the air and wastewater pollutants each factory releases.

How brands can leverage this map

Interested brands can join the map voluntarily, demonstrating their leadership in supply chain transparency and environmental sustainability. The map’s interface allows businesses to verify and advertise their environmental compliance. It’s a potential way to attract business, as more and more savvy and environmentally conscious buyers will use this tool to make purchasing decisions.

“Until now, customers have lacked effective tools to assess the environmental impact of their favorite brands’ global operations,” says Linda Greer, senior health scientist for NRDC and founder of its Clean by Design green supply chain program. “These companies that have stepped up to put their names first on the inaugural map are showing new levels of transparency on their manufacturing abroad and are demonstrating real leadership in supply chain responsibility.”

Other companies hoping to demonstrate their supply chain transparency should consider adding their brands to the map as part of a holistic strategy to attract environmentally conscious buyers.

The future

The Green Supply Chain Map may be the first of its kind. But with the increasing availability of such data, we anticipate like organizations — or even brands themselves — will soon have similar tools for illustrating supply chain transparency.

“We hope our map can serve as a reference for other countries and regions facing similar concerns about environmental impacts of rapid industrialization within their own borders,” says Kate Logan, the IPE’s green choice outreach director.

How does your organization demonstrate supply chain transparency?

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