Green Matters
Green Matters

Ceres Launches Supply Chain Sustainability Tool

October 10, 2012
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The rise of globalization and the resulting long and complicated supply chains make it difficult to track and meet sustainability goals, especially when coupled with the risks and uncertainties of climate change, economic volatility and political turmoil.

With that in mind, Ceres, a sustainability advocacy group, has released a free online tool to help companies assess their supply chain sustainability.

The “Supplier Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ): Building the Foundation for Sustainable Supply Chains” was designed for the industrial goods sector, but is applicable to all companies seeking to strengthen supply chain engagement, according to Ceres. It’s intended to be the first step in developing dialogues between a company and its suppliers to identify, assess, manage and disclose supply chain sustainability risks.

“Building resilient supply chains is essential in an era when increasing extreme weather events around the world are frequently disrupting commerce, and human rights concerns can damage even the glossiest reputation,” writes Amy Augustine, Director, Corporate Programs for Ceres, in a blog post. “Recent flooding in Thailand that shuttered auto parts factories for months and a rash of suicides among unhappy workers at the Foxconn electronics assembly company in China are just two examples of supply chain disruptions causing negative ripples for leading global companies.”

That’s where the SAQ will be useful for all companies seeking to strengthen that supply chain engagement. It’s also useful for companies that are beginning to address sustainability issues in their supply chains.

Ceres was founded by a small group of investors in 1989 in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Since then it has worked to “weave sustainable strategies and practices into the fabric and decision-making of companies, investors and other key economic players.”

Ceres says it will work with a group of companies and industry coalitions to promote the use of the tool either as a stand-alone or a complement to other tools companies may already have in place. wt

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