A blog focused on sustainable business issues and challenges

Hershey Expands Responsible Cocoa Community Programs in West Africa

February 13, 2012 | No Comments →

For a decade now, consumers have been calling on chocolate companies to take more responsibility for transparency in the cocoa bean supply chain.  Late last month, the Hershey Company announced that it is doing just that, as it assumes a leadership role in this area and extends its commitment to drive the long-term change that’s needed.

As previously pledged, Hershey has begun to reinforce its cocoa sustainability efforts by accelerating farmer and family development in West Africa, where 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown.

In a press release, the company outlined its plans to: (more…)

Chatham House Reports Decline in Illegal Logging, But Problems Remain

July 20, 2010 | No Comments →

Over the past decade, various stakeholders have collaborated internationally to combat illegal logging and forest degradation, and now new research says these efforts are beginning to pay off.

The 154-page report, Illegal Logging and Related Trade: Indicators of the Global Response, is an in-depth study of the timber trade in twelve producer, processing and consumer countries, and it includes several encouraging indicators of progress in the fight against illegal logging and related trade. For example: (more…)

35 Companies Disclose Their Forest Footprints

February 16, 2010 | No Comments →

Back in August, in my post “Do You Know Your Forest Footprint?,” I mentioned that the Forest Footprint Disclosure (FFD) Project planned to release an annual report of “best-in-class” corporations in early 2010.

Well, those results are in, and they show –for the first time ever –how 35 different companies are tackling the issue of sustainable sourcing of Forest Risk Commodities (FRCs), such as palm oil, soy, timber, beef, leather and biofuels. (Read the full 64-page report here.)

The FFD Project sent its disclosure request was sent to 217 high profile international companies, selected by Fortune 500 status and exposure to FRCs. The questionnaire asked for information in 11 key sections, including Risk Assessment, Sustainable Supply Chain Development and Support and Governance Process. All told, 35 companies –including global leaders such as British Airways, BMW, Travis Perkins, L’Oréal, Weyerhaeuser, Kingfisher, Adidas, Nike, Mondi and Unilever –disclosed in response to this first approach. (more…)

More Questions About the Sustainability Credentials of Products From the Brazilian Rainforest

July 15, 2009 | No Comments →

A few weeks ago, I posted about why it’s becoming increasingly important to look deeply into all components of your supply chain to ensure that your products are being manufactured as responsibly as possible. That particular post, “Are Your Suppliers Contributing to Deforestation of the Amazon…or Worse?”, discussed a Greenpeace report that mentions Adidas, Gucci, Nike, Timberland and Clarks as potential, and quite possibly unwitting, end users of the illegally-farmed leather.

Now, this week there’s another story emerging that underscores the difficulties all companies, but particularly manufacturers, face with regard to supplier traceability. Mongabay.com reports that A Brazilian federal prosecutor is leading an investigation into charges that illegal timber from the state of Pará is being laundered as “eco-certified” wood and exported to markets in the United States, Europe, and Asia.