SUPPLY CHAIN RESOURCE COOPERATIVE

Category Archives: Procurement Sustainability

  1. I’m writing to share an exciting new report released today entitled “An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry: 2016 Update.” This new report shows how the U.S. biobased industry continues to grow and generate substantial economic activity and American jobs. A full copy of the report can be downloaded here. Key takeaways […]

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  2. A new post discussed the development of a sustainable procurement standard developed by the International Standards Organization.  ISO 20400, Sustainable procurement – Guidance, has just reached a second draft international standard stage, meaning interested parties can submit feedback via their ISO member on the draft before final publication in 2017. It’s about time that the concept […]

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  3. When Coca Cola set about thinking about how to drive sustainability into their supply chain, they recognized from the outset that the entire end to end life cycle of a bottle of Coke needed to be considered. Most people don’t think about this relationships – but the fact is that recycling and renewable feedstock go […]

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  4. I had the opportunity to sit in on a number of academic presentations today, as part of the Environmentally Sustainable Supply Chain Management Workshop for Early-Career Faculty.  During the morning, we heard from a number of individuals in a session on “Inspections, disclosures and social responsibility”.  In this session, researchers from UVA and MIT explored […]

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  5. I was recently involved in a survey of best practices in establishing a diverse supply base.  The most important and common method for driving diversity objectives in the survey (in 73% of firms)  involves explicitly building in diversity as an objective into sourcing processes. It is not uncommon to find that sourcing managers do not […]

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  6. Globalization has created the emergence of sophisticated supplier networks, creating management challenges as exposure to volatility and complexity of global sourcing has emerged.  While Western organizations have met short-term cost reduction and flexibility goals through outsourcing, it has been at the expense of lower transparency into suppliers’ operational processes within these far-flung areas of the […]

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  7. I have been working with Jay Golden at Duke University on the biobased forecasting project for the USDA, seeking to understand the current scope of the biobased product market ( focused on non-fuel, non-food products).  I had the opportunity to speak today with an educated economist who works  for the OmniTech International.  He has been working […]

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  8. “Luxury is a necessity that begins when necessity ends.”   – Coco Chanel In this blog, I review the new book “Sustainable Luxury” by Gardetti and Torres. Most people who buy a luxury product, whether it is a Gucci purse, an Armani suit, a Dolce & Gabana dress, or a pair of Ferragamo loafers, rarely stop […]

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  9. The USDA released a new study that I worked on with Jay Golden from Duke University this past summer.  We spent a good deal of time collecting research from a variety of different sources, to put together a picture of what the biobased economy looks like. Agrilculture Secretary notes that “This new report presents the opportunities […]

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  10. I was interviewed by Forrest Burnson from Software Advice — a company providing SCM software research and reviews — earlier this month on insights related to sustainable supply chains. This is an area that is proving to be a challenge for marketers and supply chain types alike.  Forrest captured my thoughts and a number of other […]

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  11. Jay Golden from Duke University and I have been working on a study of the biobased economy…. Throughout human history agriculture been used for non-food purposes including energy, clothing, shelter, medicines and every day human needs. With the industrial revolution, man was able to achieve great scientific and technological advances were available through the utilization […]

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  12. Professor Gary Bullen and SCRC Research Scholar Jessica Newsome spoke in my Local Seafood class this afternoon.  Both pointed out some critical points that are indeed challenges for the seafood supply chain in North Carolina, as well as some avenues to explore that may drive solutions. First, Gary pointed out that 91% of the seafood […]

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  13. As we go into our 2013 fall semester, the SCRC team is pulling together the list of project summaries from our 15 corporate partners.  This is indeed a busy time for everyone as we go into full project planning mode… Prior to the beginning of each semester, we work with a SCRC project liaison from […]

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  14. In a recent dialogue with Barbara Grey, the author of new research on social capital today, we discovered an interesting anomaly.   It seems that companies who seek to identify problems and issues in their supply chain, and who intend to do the right thing, are not always rewarded by the markets for doing so. […]

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  15. In our ongoing discussion of labor and human rights violations in the supply chain, we’ve discussed in prior posts the problems that occurred in Bangladesh resulting in over 700 dead.  Companies like Nike and Disney have publicly stated that they are not going to Bangladesh for apparel sourcing in the future.  But that leaves these […]

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  16. News of the increasing death toll in Bangladesh continues to pour in, with the latest at 600 found dead in the rubble of the Rama factory complex.  Demonstrators are protesting apparel offices (such as Gap’s offices in San Francisco) to demand better working conditions in Bangladesh factories.  But how easy is it for companies to […]

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  17. A lot of people are emphasizing the need to drive sustainable supply chains.  “If we have a more sustainable supply base”, we hear from advocates, “…it will cost less, and we will be better corporate citizens.” I’m not sure I buy this line of thought, although I would certainly put myself squarely in the camp […]

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  18. The recent press in the Wall Street Journal and other papers on Walmart’s fire in Bangladesh is raising the ire of corporate responsibility groups and human rights groups alike.   How can retailers like Walmart support buying clothing in factories that are treating workers with such disregard, not to mention exposing them to working conditions […]

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  19. Jenny Sebley, former supplier sustainability manager at Burt’s Bees, spoke in my sustainable supply chain class today.  Sustainable supply chains was a key issue at Burt’s Bees, and continues to play an important role. There were several business drivers behind this.  The first focus was on reducing waste and leaning the supply chain.  The brand […]

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  20. I attended a conference today in Washington DC hosted by Duke University and Yale University on Biobased Feedstocks. The discussion led to some interesting observations about the tradeoffs and opportunities between biobased and fossil based feedstocks. The bioeconomy is a large and rapidly growing segment that allows everyone to live longer, healthier lives, reduce dependence […]

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  21. As organizations seek to become more sustainable, they are recognizing the limitations they face with current data systems that collect and consolidate technical information on your suppliers and their process inputs and outputs in the supply chain.  Such systems ideally need to be able to construct value stream maps, life cycle analysis, carbon footprints, and […]

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  22. The SCRC research team has recently been conducting a series of studies, whereby we try to link improvements in share price performance, with higher scores on sustainable supply chain performance.  In a series of research studies conducted by MB students, we set about developing a set of Sustainable and Labor/Human Rights Scores, to identify companies […]

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  23. Unilever’s Corporate Sustainability Report came out in the last month, and was received with great fanfare.  Some of the highlights identified in the first year of its Sustainable Living Plan released to  media and partners at events in the UK, Netherlands, India, US and Brazil include: 24% of agricultural raw materials are now being sourced sustainably, […]

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  24. Every other year, a team of MBA students from the Poole College of Management take a one credit class I teach on supply chain sustainability.  As part of this class, students are assigned to teams to study a group of companies within a particular industry, and by applying the Supply Chain Sustainability index developed through […]

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  25. In today’s cost-cutting environment, many procurement and category management teams are sharpening their pencils and looking at ways to reduce indirect spend in areas such as printing, document management, and paper.  In addition, the push to become more sustainable is also driving people to think about printing less, and saving trees.  These two distinct elements […]

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