Issue: January 2017, Back to the beginning – Sustainable supply chains


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 environmental standards are needed.

This issue focuses on “cradle to grave” issues: it looks at the present situation and the challenges for business that want to do things right – or at least a lot better – in their supply chain. We highlight ways of improving sustainability at every stage from materials procurement to disposal.

I hope you enjoy reading eco@work and wish you all the best for 2017.


Michael Sailer
CEO, Oeko-Institut

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