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Global

supply chains,
sustainability and human
rights - Why it all ma7ers for
business

Kings College London Lecture, March 13 2017

Tobias Webb, founder, Innova2on Forum

www.innova2on-forum.co.uk
www.sustainablesmartbusiness.com (blog)
www.sustainablesmartbusiness.com
So why do we care about responsible supply chains?

April 2013
Smallholder farmers are crucial to the global
food supply chain, par2cularly in tropical areas.
Up to 80% of supply in some regions.
Poverty = environmental
destruc2on
2015: El Nino combined
with burning season to create
an environmental catastrophe
2010: Largest oil spill in US history
Four of nine
Planetary
Boundaries
have now been
crossed
Consumer demand and big business plays a key role

hVp://supply-change.org
Its not just about environmental issues

In fact, human rights


and environment
are closely linked

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre


Company responses to these challenges

hVp://www.patagonia.com/footprint.html
hVp://net-works.com
BUT the scale of the ocean plas2cs challenge is HUGE
How technology is evolving and helping

hVp://www.globalforestwatch.org
hVps://trase.earth
Human rights: Companies star2ng to stand up for ac2vists
Big challenges, but around 500 companies are responding
But theres s2ll a long
way to go
hVp://forest500.org/sites/default/les/sleeping_giants_of_deforesta2on_annex.pdf
hVp://forest500.org/sites/default/les/sleeping_giants_of_deforesta2on_annex.pdf
Conclusions

We have more knowledge than ever before about human impact on the
environment and on other people
Serious problems are arising as popula2on and economic wealth and product
and service demand increases world-wide (from beef to air travel)
Climate change, biodiversity loss are extremely serious issues for everyone,
including business
Technology is helping us become more aware of the problems and is/will help
us create solu2ons. It is already doing so.
Some companies now understand how important it is to have resilient supply
chains which include both an2-deforesta2on measures AND the protec2on of
human rights.
But 500 companies and some tech is by means the enHre soluHon. BeVer
governance, enforcement, educa2on and consistency are needed to secure
what we have lea of planetary bio-diversity and eco-systems, and the food
and stability that depends on these, world-wide.
For example, half of the drinking water in the United States and nearly two
thirds of the drinking water in Canada comes from forests.

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