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Issue January 2017

Back to the beginning

Sustainable supply chains

Editorial


Standards and rules

Foreword by Michael Sailer, CEO, Oeko-Institut

“Back to the beginning” is often the motto in our projects when we analyse the environmental impacts of products, processes or services. There are already numerous schemes that attempt to bolster the importance of fairness and environmental performance in the production chain. Sometimes it is individual companies who get things moving, sometimes initiatives cover an entire sector. Businesses may be motivated to get involved because responsible management is an important aspect of their corporate values or because they recognise that the assurance of responsible business practices is an additional attraction for their customers. We analyse the broad picture in a self-financed project on sustainable supply chains that is described in this issue. Yet despite the usefulness of voluntary commitments, we at the Oeko-Institut believe that compulsory statutory rules for social and...

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Standards and rules

In Focus


Sustainable supply chains

9 propositions for greater responsibility

In 2013 the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,138 people. People around the world who might not previously have thought about these things began to ask important questions: Where does the T-shirt that I’m wearing come from? Who cut the fabric, sewed the seams – and above all: under what conditions? Many western companies were having clothes made at the Rana Plaza, despite the clearly inadequate safety standards. It is difficult for individual consumers to... more

Sustainable supply chains

In the initiative jungle

What sort of schemes really work?

The steak comes with an assurance that the animal was not fed genetically modified crops. The jeans state that they are made from certified organic cotton. The cosmetics declare that no rainforest was destroyed for their palm oil. Companies decorate their products with all sorts of sustainability seals and promises; there is scarcely a sector that does not have its sustainability initiatives. But how seriously can we take them? What schemes not only promise sustainability but... more

In the initiative jungle

“The power of the many should not be underestimated”

Interview with Maren Barthel (Otto Group)

She is just back from India: a few days before the interview, Maren Barthel of the Otto Group was helping to run a supplier training programme for textile factories there. Much of the company’s clothing is made in China, Bangladesh, India and Turkey. In conversation with eco@work the Otto Group’s Corporate Responsibility Manager describes her experiences of local textile factories, the standards that the Otto Group sets for its suppliers and the challenges involved in establishing... more

“The power of the many should not be underestimated”

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