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Streamlining sustainability: Increased focus on supply chain management and disclosure
12 June 2013
​The globalization of the world economy has led to a corresponding growth in the complexity of sustainability management. Organizations must now design sustainability management processes that include not just their own operations, but also address impacts of business partners in the supply chain.
​Last month, at the Global Conference on Sustainability and Reporting in Amsterdam, GRI’s new Guidelines – G4 – were launched. One of the key changes in G4 is the increased attention to supply chain performance disclosure.

In a special G4 Conference session about supply chains, speaker Dwight Justice of the International Trade Union Confederation touched on the increased focus on supply chain management: “Companies - the game has changed. Your responsibilities have changed.
The supply chain is now a fundamental part of your responsibility."

The session drove home the point that if a holistic picture of the sustainability performance of organizations is to be gained, it is vital that organizations’ supply chain-related impacts are clearly understood.

GRI’s Business Transparency Program – a program for suppliers and groups of smaller companies under a larger, ‘umbrella’ organization – is specifically designed to help increase the uptake of sustainability reporting by suppliers of multinationals.

The Program builds the sustainability reporting skills within groups of companies - from introducing them to sustainability and transparency to publishing their first report. It is ideal for multinationals that want to manage risk and improve their suppliers’ sustainability performance through a sustainability reporting process.

Business Transparency Program participant, Stefan Seidel, Manager Environmental and Social Affairs at Puma, commented on the importance of supply chain disclosure: “Supply chain sustainability reporting forms a very important element of Puma's sustainability strategy. Without sustainable suppliers, we will not be able to produce a sustainable product or even credibly report about Puma's own actions related to Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability.”

G4’s coverage of impacts in the supply chain is very comprehensive and is designed to address some of the most pressing issues in contemporary business life.

To learn more about the increased guidance on supply chain disclosure in the new Guidelines, visit the G4 webpages.

In addition, read the latest blog post by Focal Point USA Director, Mike Wallace, who looks at the way Microsoft is using the GRI Reporting Framework to gain better insight into the social and environmental performance of its supply chain.