We take a look at another of our big trends this month – deglobalisation and the implications for supply chains. The topic first came to prominence during the pandemic; now mounting geopolitical instability and superpower rivalry make it even more pressing.
The starting point, however, is to recognise that the global economy is and will remain massively interconnected. Progress on business responsibility and sustainability therefore depends crucially on how extended supply chains are managed, from raw materials, through manufactured goods, to business services. That’s why the European Union is moving forward with its plans to mandate a ‘due diligence’ approach on such issues as forced labour and biodiversity loss. Our briefing this month explains what’s involved and when you need to take action, especially if you are in a high-risk sector such as textiles, food, or metals and minerals.
We also take a step back from compliance with rules, and ask how to build more resilient supply chains, by engaging proactively with suppliers. The good news for sustainability professionals is that a win-win is at work here. Whether it’s following global norms, joining collaborative initiatives or applying your own standards, all create a stronger chain and build greater reliability from suppliers – a pressing imperative for many businesses.
However, lest we think that issues such as child labour are limited to far-away places down a long procurement chain, my colleagues in North America highlight recent increases in exploitation in their home market. Check out their article examining recent trends and what should be done.
Visit the June Monthly Briefing here.