Ethical sourcing is one of the words that is now spoken a lot in the global supply chain process. Companies want to ensure that they have the correct ethical sourcing methods for their company or brand.
Ethical sourcing encompasses the environment, labor protection, safety standards, and social responsibility as part of the global supply chain. For a company to say they use ethical sourcing or have an ethical sourcing policy, they need to include environmental and social responsibility as part of their global sourcing supply chain policy.
Ethical Sourcing And The Environment
One of the main ways people look at ethical sourcing is environmental issues. Ethical sourcing looks at protecting the environment throughout the global supply chain.
When you have a factory audit – as we have in our facility outside Hanoi, Vietnam – the auditing company will ask how we will handle the factory waste and protect the environment. Protecting the environment has become an essential aspect of ethical sourcing in the supply chain.
Some things that are looked at with the environment and the supply chain for an inspection of the factory to certify Ethical soucing could include:
- Wastage and Recycling – How waste is being disposed and handled and your recycling policy. Also, if there is any toxic waste, and to ensure that it is appropriately handled to not go into the environment and cause environmental issues.
- Smoke and Other Pollution – Another thing a factory audit willl ook at is smoke or other pollution. If part of your production process has things sprayed into the air, they would need to ensure it does not contribute to pollution and other environmental issues.
- Facility Location and Zoning – You need to show that you are in an area that allows for the types of work you are doing for your manufacturing. If you are using toxic chemicals or have a lot of waste in an area that does not allow it you can not pass the ethical sourcing audit.
All aspects of the environmental issues should be looked at to ensure that you adhere to all the qualifications to be considered ethical sourcing. A factory needs to ensure that its methods and use throughout the supply chain are sustainable.
Ethical Sourcing And Labor
One of the significant aspects of ethical sourcing, especially in a developed or developing country, is labor. To be considered a company that adheres to Ethical sourcing, you must pay your labor force a living and fair wage.
It does not need to be the highest wage, but it has to be deemed as what is known as a fair or living wage.
Also, one of the huge issues that many companies look at and what to ensure is not happening is any child or slave labor. The age of child labor can differ from country to country. In the United States, children are not allowed to work until 16, but a person is usually considered an adult at age 18.
In Vietnam, the Labor Code states that a child under 15 years old should not work in Vietnamork. But even when the labor code says an age as low as 15 years old, most companies will not hire anyone under 18.
One notable industry hit hard by child labor is the cocoa or chocolate industry. Child labor has been found on cocoa farms in Cameroon, Guinea, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The cocoa companies are now cautious to ensure their cocoa is produced without child labor.
Ethical Sourcing And Protection Of Animals
Ethical sourcing and the protection of animals is another area that is looked at for the supply chain. An example of a trade that had to deal with this early on is the trade of Ivory.
In 1989 there was an Ivory trade ban due to elephants’ rampant hunting and poachers just for their ivory tusks. Since this time, Ivory has been banned from all international trade; it is now impossible to find any Ivory.
The ban on Ivory was very successful and showed us what Ethical sourcing could do when agreed upon by the world. Almost immediately, the poaching and killing of elephants stopped as there was no longer a viable market for the ivory elephant tusks.
Ethical Sourcing And Safety
Another aspect of ethical sourcing is safety. Safety can include many different things for a manufacturing facility, such as having access to first aid kits and medical attention. Also, proper fire hazard and fire safety measures are in place.
Anything to do with the welfare and safety of the workers is looked at for ethical sourcing. For a company to say they believe and adhere to ethical sourcing, they need to show that they believe in and adhere to the safety of their workers.
In 2012 there was a significant fire at a Bangladesh Garment factory where over 115 factory workers were killed and hundreds injured. The fire resulted from overcrowded conditions in a factory with no apparent fire or safety measures.
At the time, many of the factories in Bangladesh would disregard safety measures. Activists said that brands such as IKEA, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, and Walmart should take responsibility for the working conditions in Bangladesh’s many garment factories.
The activists reasoned that if they did not purchase from these factories or were willing to pay more for the clothing, the factory could have had better working conditions and fire safety measures. This shows that many consider the companies and brands that are part of the global supply chain responsible for what happens in the supply chain.
Ethical Sourcing And Social Responsibility
Another aspect of ethical sourcing is social responsibility. Social responsibility is a broad term to show that a company, brand, or corporation cares.
A brand, company, or corporation can show they care and are socially responsible by helping their communities. The companies can have anything from having a program to educate children or giving back to clean up the environment. Any program that shows a company believes in ethical sourcing and takes its social responsibility seriously.
Consumers want companies to have transparency in their supply chain, and they want to purchase from and buy from companies, brands, and corporations that they feel as socially responsible.
One of the significant findings in the survey is that consumers want and expect companies to have more transparency to show that the products they are purchasing are ethically sourced.
At Mondoro, we believe in helping the community in which we live. That is why Mondoro actively supports Project Sprouts, a grassroots organization whose focus is to help pre-school and elementary-aged children. Click here to find out more about how you can help support Project Sprout.
If you are interested in seeing how Mondoro can help you manufacture ethically sourced home decor and home furnishing products – we would love to talk to you to see how we can help you.
Find out more about how Mondoro can help you create, develop, and manufacture excellent home decor and home furniture products – don’t hesitate to contact me, Anita. Check out my email by clicking here or become a part of our community and join our newsletter by clicking here. or become a part of our community and join our newsletter by clicking here.
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Social Environmental Responsibility Fights Social Challenges
What is apparent to me and many others is that how an individual, company, or brand looks at their social, environmental responsibility matters in today’s world. Companies today need to balance their needs for profits with the ecosystem, poverty, environment, and climate change.
You can discover more by reading Social Environmental Responsibility Fights Social Challenges by clicking here.
Ethical Sourcing And Why It Is Important
Ethical sourcing is about a company, brand, corporation, or individual ensuring that their products are obtained through a sustainable and responsible method. A recent Open Text Survey showed that 83% of consumers globally consider ethical sourcing an essential aspect of their buying decisions.
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