6 Tips to Improve your Supply Chain Social Sustainability
Businesses have an incredible opportunity to make a difference. They can promote human rights and fair labour practices, help protect the environment and combat corruption. But it doesn't stop there — More and more businesses are realizing the importance of responsible and ethical practices throughout their supply chains.
Recognizing the complexities faced by businesses, the United Nations Global Compact offers practical guidance that goes beyond internal operations, helping companies enhance social sustainability across their supply chains.
Here are six tips to empower your company to make a positive impact within its supply chain and contribute to a more fair, equal and sustainable future:
#1: Understand and advance supply chain traceability
Ever wondered where your products come from? The UN Global Compact and BSR collaborated on a guide that helps companies and stakeholders understand and improve supply chain traceability. The guide provides insights into tracking a product's journey from raw materials to finished goods. Check it out and uncover the hidden stories behind your products to make informed choices for a more transparent and sustainable future.
#2: Champion decent work
Your procurement decisions hold the power to shape fair wages, safe working conditions and workers' rights. With the Decent Work Toolkit for Sustainable Procurement and the Navigating Decent Work Challenges in Multi-Tiered Supply Chains: Leadership Brief, you can integrate these principles into your processes. By leveraging these resources, you'll prioritize decent work practices, positively impacting workers’ well-being and fostering sustainable supply chain operations.
#3: Empower workers and tackle low wages
Low wages have far-reaching consequences, impacting workers’ well-being, productivity, responsible business practices and retention rates. The UN Global Compact provides two resources, Improving Wages to Advance Decent Work in Supply Chain toolkit and the Living Wage Analysis Tool. With these platforms, you can take decisive action to provide fair wages, ensuring dignity for all workers, their families and communities.
#4: Improve worker well-being and occupational health
Protecting workers, minimizing occupational hazards and promoting overall well-being are crucial aspects of sustainable supply chain operations. The UN Global Compact and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have outlined nine business practices to advance decent work and enhance global occupational safety and health (OSH). By implementing these practices, you can build safe and healthy supply chains that prioritize workers’ welfare.
#5: Create family-friendly workplaces
In global supply chains, workers and their families often lack essential benefits like paid parental leave, fair wages, healthcare and affordable childcare. This disproportionately affects women and hampers progress towards gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Employers can make a difference by implementing family-friendly policies for parents and caregivers throughout their operations, business partnerships and supply chains.
#6: Embrace a gender-responsive approach
By adding a gender lens to the Sustainable Procurement Toolkit, buyers gain a thorough understanding of incorporating gender considerations into their procurement strategies. The toolkit offers a practical guide to actively promote gender equality and non-discrimination in procurement decisions, emphasizing the benefits of sourcing from women-owned businesses or gender-responsive suppliers. By implementing these measures, businesses foster gender equality and unlock the benefits of a diverse and inclusive supply chain.
Supply chain sustainability is a critical and interconnected issue overlapping human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. The UN Global Compact recognizes the significance of this cross-cutting issue and supports companies in integrating a culture of responsible and ethical practices that extend throughout their supply chains. This commitment not only contributes to a more sustainable future but also creates a business environment that is socially responsible and aligned with the #GlobalGoals.