38 global businesses ranked on forced labour in their supply chains: transparency roundup

With the release today of the IPCC report on climate change, the need for action has never been greater. Although governments can drive decision-making, businesses play a key role too. This week we look at 3 issues affecting them:


Business for Social Responsibility says sustainable businesses need to move beyond certifications

(Source: BSR)

With more businesses now putting sustainability on their agendas, many have prioritised certifications and ecolabels as a means of communicating this. The Ecolabel index lists 463 labels across 25 sectors – there’s enough to choose from. However the proliferation of these risks creating a system geared towards achieving certifications rather than deeper change. As BSR discusses in this post, this change will only come about by actors within a supply chain being open to one another, by closely linking high level policy to initiatives on the ground and by using new technology to achieve transparency.

Why we find this interesting:

“With consumers increasingly sceptical of ‘green’ claims, there is a need to understand the whole picture of how a business operates and makes its products. Businesses who communicate this effectively will stay ahead of the curve and effect true change.”

Ian Kynnersley, CTO, Provenance


How 38 of the world’s biggest food & beverage companies compare on forced labour

(Source: Know the Chain)

Last week Know the Chain released a comparison tool and report on how companies like Unilever and Coca Cola are performing on addressing forced labour in their supply chains. Their benchmark looked at the levels of traceability in their supply chains (amongst 6 other themes), and found an average traceability score of 28/100 across all 38 companies surveyed. Of those, 9 businesses disclosed no information about their traceability. However there is encouraging news and some businesses like Tesco & Nestlé have made strides to rank in the top 5.

Why we find this interesting:

“Getting full view of a global supply chain can be difficult, but is crucial for businesses when it comes to the conditions of people who work in them. Not only to ensure that there isn’t forced labour but also to use positive stories as a way to communicate business values.”

– David Pepper, Project Trado lead, Provenance


Why the concept of an environmental footprint doesn’t work for water

(Source: The Conversation)

With a regular focus on emissions, fossil fuels and a renewable energy future there has been a lot of focus on measuring carbon footprint, including our work. However water footprint is another important for metric for businesses to be able to measure. The problem is, according to Judith Thornton of the BEACON project, “the concept of footprints cannot be used for water in a way that is environmentally meaningful”. Her post discusses issues like water being renewable i.e. it can’t be created or destroyed, and how its value is dependent on location and the characteristics of local geography.

Why we find this interesting:

“Being able to communicate an array of environmental impacts is going to become a differentiating factor for businesses. Each will have their own set of challenges but providing understandable, trustworthy information will be core to their effectiveness.”

– – Harini Manivannan, Project Carbon Chain lead, Provenance


Interested in how transparency can help grow your business?

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– why brand trust can be achieved through being transparent
– how to be transparent about your business
– how to communicate this to your customers and drive loyalty

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About Provenance’s transparency roundup

From the UK’s Modern Slavery Act to the rise of startup brands with open price breakdowns, transparency is an important movement affecting marketing, branding, supply chain and core business strategy for consumer goods brands all over the world. As the market leaders in tech-powered transparency, each week the Provenance team selects our picks of the most impactful and insightful news stories.