Concerns about weaknesses in social auditing are not new but calls for changes in how supply chain auditing is undertaken within the garment sector are growing ever louder. There is a need to elevate the strategic importance of supply chain issues as a business risk and take action accordingly, and not fall into the trap of box-ticking compliance.
The current responsible sourcing focus in battery supply chains is cobalt. It’s not going to stay that way for long. Like cobalt, the rush is on to secure strategic sourcing positions in both the lithium and nickel supply chains and, just as with cobalt, companies must conduct robust supply chain due diligence and mitigate identified risks.
A new global standard has been published by the OECD that can legitimately claim to represent consensus on how companies should assess and respond to the risks of social and environmental impacts in agricultural supply chains. Investors, producers and consumers of agricultural commodities should take note.
Sustainability certification schemes for commodities such as tea, cotton or palm oil can add value as a recognised means of managing social and environmental risks in companies' supply chains. But is this enough? As a recent BBC investigation has highlighted, companies need to ensure they also understand the limitations to such schemes.