Director of Global Programs, Rainforest Alliance
Commodity production and trade are at the centre of Earth’s most pressing sustainability challenges including climate change, biodiversity loss, and extreme poverty.
The Rainforest Alliance is on a mission to make responsible business the new normal. For most companies involved in food, agriculture, and forest products – supply chains present the greatest environmental and social risks.
The clock is ticking: the time for ethical supply chains is now
These supply chains are at the centre of Earth’s most pressing sustainability challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and extreme poverty. The expansion of farms and plantations for beef, soy, palm oil, timber, and other commodities is the leading cause of tropical forest loss in the Amazon, Congo Basin, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere. Today’s commodity business also carries a high human cost – expelling indigenous peoples from their land, contributing to forced labour, and perpetuating low wages and inequality.
In recent years, hundreds of companies have committed to cleaning up their supply chains by eliminating deforestation and human rights abuses associated with the products that we all consume.
But progress toward these commitments remains slow. And, as highlighted in a recent report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, many companies are failing to address fundamental issues such as climate change or child labour, and are even reducing their investment in supply chain responsibility.
It’s time to make ethical supply chains the new normal.
Words are not enough. Consumers want results.
Today’s consumers are savvy and don’t want empty promises; they want meaningful action and real results. For some companies, certification is the full solution to meeting this consumer demand. But to drive towards 100% responsible commodities worldwide, we need a broader arsenal of tools and tactics. And we need a common framework for companies to set sustainability commitments, take action, demonstrate results, and be held accountable across vast global supply chains.
Introducing the Accountability Framework: a guide for the ethical supply chain journey
The recently launched Accountability Framework fills this need, responding to company requests for a clear roadmap to achieve ethical supply chains that protect ecosystems and respect human rights. Underlying the Framework is the consensus of 15 leading NGOs ‒ representing a unique convergence of environmental and social perspectives ‒ as well as the contributions of hundreds of other organisations, experts, and companies.
The Framework helps to align existing tools (including certification and many others) and guide action in contexts where such tools are now lacking. That way, companies can follow a single, harmonised approach to manage and report their progress.
It’s time to make
ethical supply chains the new normal. Consumers are asking for it. And now,
with the Accountability Framework as a guide, companies can achieve it.