Your glossary of must-know supply chain terms

Make sure you and your supply chain are using the same definitions of common supply chain terms to help build transparency with this guide to key terms, acronyms, and more. 

Supply chain transparency has become the center of many conversations in the last couple years — especially with more regulations asking companies to look at the chemicals not only in their products, but their processes as well. However, with so many acronyms, as well as large concepts like circular economy that don’t share a single definition, not everyone is clear on them all. To help bring everyone onto the same page, here is my glossary of key terms for your conversations about supply chain transparency. 

Carbon Footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, organization, or product. The most commonly recognized greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, which are emitted through various activities, such as transportation, energy consumption, and manufacturing. Carbon footprint is measured in units of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), which indicates the impact of each greenhouse gas in terms of its global warming potential. The concept of carbon footprint is used to understand and quantify the environmental impact of human activities and products, and to promote strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. Carbon footprint reduction is becoming increasingly important in supply chain management as companies recognize the need to reduce their environmental impact and meet regulatory requirements.

Circular Economy is an economic system that aims to minimize waste and maximize the use of resources by keeping materials in use for as long as possible. It involves designing products for reuse, recycling, or repurposing, and creating closed-loop supply chains where waste is minimized and resources are conserved. In a circular economy, materials are kept in use through recycling, remanufacturing, and refurbishing, and waste is turned into a valuable resource. The goal of a circular economy is to create a sustainable and regenerative system that reduces environmental impact and promotes economic growth. The concept of a circular economy is gaining increasing attention as a key strategy for achieving sustainable development goals.

Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines and principles that outline expected behaviors and practices for individuals or organizations. It typically includes standards for ethical behavior, compliance with laws and regulations, and expectations for social and environmental responsibility. Codes of conduct can be voluntary or legally required, and may apply to employees, suppliers, customers, or other stakeholders. The purpose of a code of conduct is to promote integrity, accountability, and responsible behavior, and to help organizations build trust with stakeholders. Codes of conduct can be an important tool for managing supply chain risks, promoting sustainability, and enhancing the reputation of organizations.

Conflict Minerals are minerals that are mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses, often in countries with weak governance and rule of law. The most commonly recognized conflict minerals are tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold (known as the 3TG minerals), which are used in a wide range of products, including electronics, jewelry, and automotive parts. The mining and trade of conflict minerals can fuel violence, contribute to human rights abuses, and perpetuate environmental damage. The use of conflict minerals in supply chains has become a global concern, leading to increased scrutiny and regulation of the mineral trade to promote responsible sourcing and ethical supply chain practices.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to the responsibility of companies to ensure that their supply chain practices are ethical, socially responsible, and environmentally sustainable. This includes promoting human rights, fair labor practices, and environmental stewardship throughout the supply chain. CSR in the supply chain involves engaging with suppliers, monitoring their practices, and implementing policies and processes to promote responsible sourcing and ethical behavior. CSR in the supply chain is important for building trust with stakeholders, enhancing reputation, and promoting sustainable development. CSR in the supply chain is becoming increasingly important as companies recognize the need to address social and environmental risks and to meet the expectations of customers, investors, and regulators.

Due Diligence refers to the process of assessing and managing risks in the supply chain. It involves investigating suppliers and their practices, and taking steps to ensure that they meet ethical, social, and environmental standards. Due diligence can help companies identify potential risks in their supply chains, such as human rights abuses, environmental violations, and corruption, and take action to address them. Due diligence may involve various activities, such as supplier audits, risk assessments, and stakeholder engagement. Due diligence is essential for promoting responsible sourcing and ethical supply chain practices, and for mitigating risks that could harm the reputation or financial performance of companies.

Eco-Design is an approach to product design that takes into account the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire lifecycle. It involves considering the environmental impact of all stages of the product’s life, from the selection of raw materials, to manufacturing, use, and end-of-life disposal or recycling. Eco-design seeks to optimize product design and functionality while minimizing environmental impacts, by reducing energy and material use, waste generation, and emissions. Eco-design can help companies reduce their environmental footprint, improve their sustainability performance, and meet regulatory requirements. It can also lead to cost savings through reduced resource consumption and improved efficiency.

End-of-Life Management refers to the practices and strategies used to manage products and materials at the end of their useful life. It involves the collection, reuse, recycling, and disposal of products and materials, and aims to minimize waste and environmental impacts. End-of-life management can involve a range of stakeholders, including manufacturers, retailers, waste management companies, and consumers. The goal of end-of-life management is to create a circular economy, where waste is minimized, and resources are kept in use for as long as possible. End-of-life management strategies can include product design for recyclability, extended producer responsibility, and waste reduction and recycling programs.

Energy Efficiency in the supply chain refers to the practices and technologies used to reduce the amount of energy consumed in the production and distribution of goods and services. It involves optimizing energy use at every stage of the supply chain, from raw material extraction to end-of-life disposal. Energy efficiency measures may include the use of energy-efficient technologies, such as LED lighting or high-efficiency motors, improving transportation efficiency, such as through route optimization or modal shift, reducing waste and implementing recycling programs, and optimizing energy use in buildings and facilities. Energy efficiency in the supply chain can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower operating costs, enhance resilience, and improve sustainability performance.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process used to evaluate the potential environmental consequences of a proposed project or development. It is a systematic approach to identifying, predicting, and assessing the likely environmental impacts of a project, and determining whether or not the project is environmentally viable. EIA typically includes a detailed analysis of the potential impacts of the project on the surrounding environment, including air and water quality, wildlife, ecosystems, and human health. The purpose of an EIA is to identify ways to mitigate the negative impacts of a project and ensure that any significant environmental impacts are minimized or avoided altogether. EIA is an important tool for promoting sustainable development and ensuring that environmental considerations are integrated into decision-making processes.

Environmental Management System (EMS) is a framework used by organizations to manage their environmental impacts and comply with environmental regulations. It is a systematic approach to identifying and managing environmental risks and opportunities, and improving environmental performance. An EMS typically includes a set of policies, procedures, and practices that help organizations monitor and control their environmental impacts, such as energy and water use, waste generation, and emissions. The EMS approach involves establishing goals and targets, tracking performance, and continuously improving environmental performance over time. EMSs can help organizations reduce their environmental footprint, improve their reputation, and enhance their competitiveness by demonstrating their commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. The most widely recognized EMS standard is ISO 14001.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a concept in environmental policy and supply chain management that holds manufacturers responsible for the environmental impact of their products throughout their lifecycle. The idea behind EPR is to shift the burden of waste management and disposal from taxpayers and local governments to producers, who are in the best position to prevent waste generation and promote recycling and reuse. EPR policies typically require manufacturers to take back and recycle their products at the end of their useful life, or pay a fee to fund recycling programs. EPR can help create more sustainable supply chains by incentivizing product design for recyclability, reducing waste generation and disposal costs, and promoting a circular economy.

Fair Trade is a movement that aims to promote social and environmental sustainability in international trade by creating fair and ethical relationships between producers and consumers. It seeks to ensure that producers in developing countries receive fair prices for their products, work in safe and healthy conditions, and have access to education, healthcare, and other basic needs. Fair Trade involves certification and labeling systems that allow consumers to identify products that meet these standards, including coffee, cocoa, tea, bananas, and other agricultural products. By choosing Fair Trade products, consumers can support sustainable and equitable supply chains that benefit small farmers and promote economic development in disadvantaged communities.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – Supply chains use packaging. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organization that promotes responsible forest management. The FSC operates a global certification system that ensures that timber and other forest products are sourced from well-managed forests that meet strict environmental, social, and economic standards. The FSC certification process involves independent audits of forest management practices and supply chain operations, from forest to market. The FSC certification is recognized as a leading standard for responsible forest management, and its logo is used on products made from FSC-certified materials. The FSC aims to promote sustainable forestry, conserve biodiversity, and support the rights and welfare of forest-dependent communities.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is an independent international organization that has developed a globally recognized framework for sustainability reporting. The GRI framework provides guidance and standards for reporting on an organization’s economic, environmental, and social impacts, including governance, human rights, labor practices, and environmental management. The GRI framework is widely used by organizations of all sizes and sectors, and its guidelines are regularly updated to reflect changes in best practice and stakeholder expectations. The aim of GRI is to promote transparency and accountability in sustainability reporting, and to enable organizations to measure and report on their sustainability performance in a consistent and comparable way.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) are gases that trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere and contribute to the greenhouse effect, which causes global warming and climate change. The most common GHGs are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and fluorinated gases. GHGs are released into the atmosphere through a range of human activities, including burning fossil fuels, deforestation, agriculture, and industrial processes. The accumulation of GHGs in the atmosphere is responsible for the warming of the planet and the resulting changes to the climate, including rising sea levels, more frequent and severe weather events, and changes to ecosystems and biodiversity. Reducing GHG emissions is a key strategy in mitigating climate change.

Human Rights Due Diligence is a process through which companies identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address their potential or actual adverse impacts on human rights. It involves a comprehensive and ongoing approach to assess, manage, and monitor human rights risks and impacts associated with a company’s operations, products, and services, as well as its business relationships, including suppliers, business partners, and clients. The HRDD process involves conducting risk assessments, establishing policies and procedures, engaging stakeholders, and monitoring and reporting on progress. The goal of HRDD is to ensure that companies respect human rights, and to identify and address any adverse human rights impacts that may arise from their operations or business relationships.

ISO 14001 is an international standard for environmental management systems (EMS). It provides a framework for organizations to manage their environmental impacts and improve their environmental performance. The standard requires organizations to establish an environmental policy and objectives, to identify and evaluate environmental impacts, and to implement controls and measures to reduce or eliminate these impacts. ISO 14001 also requires organizations to continuously monitor and evaluate their environmental performance, to establish procedures for emergency response, and to involve employees and stakeholders in the environmental management process. The standard is designed to be applicable to organizations of all sizes and industries, and can be used to improve the sustainability of operations, reduce environmental risks, and enhance the reputation of the organization.

ISO 22301 is the international standard for Business Continuity Management (BCM). ISO 22301 leverages a framework that is designed to help organizations plan accordingly in order to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from unexpected and disruptive incidents. ISO 22301 certification can help your organization build resiliency and improve risk management, in particular, along your supply chain to help avoid disruption. It is intended to be applicable to organizations of all types, sizes, and locations, and can be used by both public and private sector organizations.

ISO 26000 is an international standard that provides guidance on social responsibility and sustainable business practices. It outlines a framework for organizations to operate in a socially responsible manner and to contribute to sustainable development. The standard covers seven core subjects of social responsibility: organizational governance, human rights, labor practices, the environment, fair operating practices, consumer issues, and community involvement and development. ISO 26000 is not a certifiable standard, but rather provides guidance for organizations to integrate social responsibility into their operations and decision-making. It is intended to be applicable to organizations of all types, sizes, and locations, and can be used by both public and private sector organizations.

ISO 27001 is an international standard to manage information security. It provides a framework for organizations to protect their most valuable information, and can be leveraged as a selling point for both customers and suppliers to know their data—whether it be a credit card number or a chemical formulation—is kept safe and private. It is intended to be applicable to organizations of all types, sizes, and locations, and can be used by both public and private sector organizations.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in the context of supply chain is a method used to evaluate the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire lifecycle, from raw material extraction to end-of-life disposal. It involves identifying the environmental impacts associated with each stage of the product’s life, such as energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste generation. LCA is a valuable tool for supply chain management, as it can help companies identify opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of their products and processes, and make informed decisions about product design, material selection, and manufacturing processes. LCA can also help companies comply with environmental regulations and meet customer and stakeholder expectations for sustainable products and practices.

Life Cycle Thinking is an approach to product and process design that considers the environmental and social impacts of a product or service throughout its entire life cycle, from raw material extraction to end-of-life disposal. This approach involves taking a holistic view of the product or service, considering all stages of the life cycle, and evaluating the potential environmental and social impacts of each stage. Life cycle thinking can help identify opportunities to reduce environmental and social impacts, optimize resource use, and enhance the sustainability of the product or service. It is often used in sustainability assessments and decision-making, and can help inform product design, marketing, and procurement decisions.

Local Sourcing refers to the practice of procuring goods and services from nearby or local suppliers, rather than from distant or global sources. Local sourcing may include the purchase of raw materials, components, or finished products, and can apply to a variety of industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, and retail. The benefits of local sourcing may include reduced transportation costs and emissions, shorter supply chains, better control over quality and delivery, support for local economies and communities, and increased transparency and accountability in the supply chain. Local sourcing is often seen as a sustainable and socially responsible alternative to global sourcing practices, and can help promote regional development and resilience.

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a document that contains detailed information about potentially hazardous substances, such as chemicals, that are used or produced in an industrial or commercial setting. The MSDS provides information on the physical and chemical properties of the substance, including its toxicity, flammability, and reactivity, as well as information on safe handling, storage, and disposal. The MSDS is typically required by law to be available for any potentially hazardous substance used in the workplace, and is an important resource for workers and emergency responders to understand the potential hazards and safe handling procedures for these substances.

Materiality Assessment in the context of supply chain refers to the process of identifying and prioritizing the most significant social, environmental, and economic impacts of a company’s supply chain. It involves engaging with stakeholders to determine which issues are most important to them, and using this information to inform decision-making and strategic planning. Materiality assessment can help companies identify key risks and opportunities in their supply chains, and focus their efforts on addressing the most significant issues. Materiality assessment is an important tool for supply chain management, as it can help companies ensure that they are addressing the most important issues, and can help build trust with stakeholders by demonstrating a commitment to transparency and responsible behavior.

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) in the context of supply chain refers to the responsibility of companies to ensure the health and safety of workers throughout the supply chain. This includes identifying and mitigating risks to worker health and safety, providing appropriate training and protective equipment, and implementing policies and procedures to prevent accidents and injuries. OHS in the supply chain is important for protecting the well-being of workers, promoting social responsibility, and meeting regulatory requirements. OHS in the supply chain is becoming increasingly important as companies recognize the need to address social and environmental risks and to meet the expectations of customers, investors, and regulators.

Packaging Optimization refers to the practice of designing, selecting, and using packaging materials and systems that minimize waste, reduce environmental impact, and optimize supply chain efficiency. This involves considering the entire life cycle of the packaging, from raw material extraction to end-of-life disposal, and evaluating the environmental and social impacts at each stage. Packaging optimization may include the use of eco-friendly materials, reducing packaging size and weight, implementing reusable or returnable packaging systems, and designing packaging for easy recyclability or compostability. The goal of packaging optimization is to reduce the environmental impact of packaging while still protecting the product, optimizing logistics and supply chain efficiency, and enhancing customer experience.

Product Stewardship refers to the practice of minimizing the environmental and health impacts of a product throughout its entire life cycle, from design and manufacturing to use and disposal. This involves taking a holistic approach to product design and management, and considering the environmental and social impacts of the product at every stage of its life cycle. Product stewardship may include the use of environmentally friendly materials, designing for reuse or recyclability, implementing take-back programs, and promoting responsible end-of-life disposal. The goal of product stewardship is to minimize the environmental and health impacts of products, reduce waste, conserve natural resources, and promote sustainable consumption and production practices.

Renewable Energy refers to energy that is derived from renewable or replenishable sources, such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and biomass. Unlike non-renewable sources of energy, such as fossil fuels, renewable energy sources can be replenished naturally over time and do not produce harmful emissions or pollutants that contribute to climate change. Renewable energy is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional fossil fuels, as it is more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective in the long term. Examples of renewable energy technologies include solar panels, wind turbines, hydroelectric dams, geothermal plants, and biofuels. The adoption of renewable energy sources is an important component of sustainable development and climate change mitigation efforts.

Resilience refers to the ability of a supply chain to withstand and recover from unexpected disruptions, such as natural disasters, political instability, economic downturns, or supply chain failures. Supply chain resilience involves developing strategies and practices that reduce the likelihood of disruptions, and that enable a quick and effective response when disruptions do occur. Examples of supply chain resilience practices may include the use of multiple suppliers, inventory management, redundancy planning, contingency planning, and collaboration with supply chain partners. Supply chain resilience is essential for ensuring the continuity of supply chain operations and for minimizing the impact of disruptions on customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.

Responsible Investment refers to the practice of making investment decisions based on an assessment of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors within a company’s supply chain. This approach involves evaluating a company’s suppliers and their practices with respect to ESG criteria, and using this information to inform investment decisions. The goal of supply chain responsible investment is to encourage sustainable and responsible practices throughout the supply chain, to reduce risk and enhance long-term value for investors. Examples of ESG factors that may be considered in supply chain responsible investment include labor practices, environmental impact, human rights, corruption, and supply chain transparency.

Responsible Sourcing refers to the practice of procuring goods and services in a way that is ethical, socially responsible, and environmentally sustainable. Responsible sourcing involves a thorough assessment of suppliers, their practices, and their impact on the environment and society, as well as the implementation of policies and procedures that prioritize responsible sourcing practices. These may include the use of environmentally friendly materials, fair labor practices, anti-corruption measures, and ethical sourcing of raw materials. Responsible sourcing is important for ensuring that supply chains are sustainable, transparent, and socially responsible, and for promoting environmental protection, human rights, and fair labor practices.

Reverse Logistics refers to the process of managing the return, repair, or disposal of products or materials after they have been sold or used. This process involves the collection, transportation, and handling of products or materials from customers or downstream partners back to the original manufacturer or supplier. Reverse logistics may be necessary for a variety of reasons, such as product recalls, warranty claims, end-of-life disposal, or refurbishment for resale. Effective reverse logistics management can help organizations reduce costs, recover value from returned products or materials, minimize environmental impacts, and enhance customer satisfaction. Reverse logistics is an important component of sustainable supply chain management and circular economy initiatives.

Risk Assessment is the process of identifying, analyzing, and evaluating potential risks and vulnerabilities within a supply chain. The purpose of supply chain risk assessment is to assess the likelihood and potential impact of various risks, such as natural disasters, political instability, economic downturns, supplier bankruptcy, or quality issues, and to develop strategies to mitigate or manage these risks. Supply chain risk assessment typically involves a systematic and comprehensive review of the entire supply chain, from raw materials to finished products, and may involve the use of tools such as risk matrices, scenario planning, or data analysis to identify and prioritize risks. Supply chain risk assessment is essential for ensuring the continuity of supply chain operations and for reducing the potential for disruptions or losses.

Safe Work Practices refer to procedures and guidelines established by an organization to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for employees. Safe work practices typically address a range of potential hazards, including physical, chemical, biological, and ergonomic hazards, and provide guidance on how to minimize risks and prevent accidents and injuries. Examples of safe work practices may include the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), proper handling and storage of hazardous materials, regular equipment inspections and maintenance, and the establishment of emergency procedures and protocols. Safe work practices are essential for ensuring the health and safety of employees and for promoting a culture of safety within an organization.

Social Audit is a process of evaluating and reporting on an organization’s social, ethical, and environmental performance, policies, and impacts. The purpose of social audit is to measure and communicate an organization’s social responsibility and sustainability performance to stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, and the general public. Social audit typically involves a systematic and comprehensive review of an organization’s social and environmental practices, and may include areas such as labor practices, human rights, environmental impact, supply chain management, and community engagement. Social audit is used to identify areas for improvement and to promote transparency, accountability, and stakeholder engagement in corporate decision-making processes.

Social Impact Assessment is a process of evaluating the potential social impacts of a proposed project, program, or policy. The purpose of SIA is to identify and assess the potential positive and negative social impacts of a project on affected communities and stakeholders, and to develop strategies to mitigate or enhance these impacts. SIA typically involves a range of stakeholders, including community members, NGOs, government agencies, and the private sector, and may include methods such as surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gather input and feedback. SIA is used to ensure that projects are developed and implemented in a socially responsible and sustainable manner, and to promote greater transparency and accountability in decision-making processes.

Social License to Operate (SLO) is a concept that refers to the level of acceptance and support that a company has from its stakeholders, including local communities, NGOs, and other groups. It recognizes that a company’s operations can have social and environmental impacts that can affect the well-being of local communities and ecosystems. SLO is based on the idea that companies have a responsibility to engage with their stakeholders and to operate in a way that respects human rights, promotes social and environmental sustainability, and contributes to the development of local communities. The concept of SLO is often used in industries with high environmental and social impacts, such as mining, oil and gas, and forestry, and is seen as an essential component of sustainable development.

Social Responsibility refers to the ethical and moral obligations that individuals, organizations, and businesses have to act in ways that benefit society and promote the common good. This can involve a range of actions and behaviors, including complying with laws and regulations, promoting social justice, protecting the environment, and supporting community development. Social responsibility is often associated with corporate social responsibility (CSR), which involves companies taking responsibility for their impacts on society and the environment, and proactively seeking to address these impacts through actions such as philanthropy, sustainability initiatives, and ethical business practices. Social responsibility recognizes that individuals and organizations are interconnected with society and have a responsibility to contribute to the well-being of communities and the planet.

Supplier is a person or business that provides raw materials, parts, machines, and products to brands and manufacturing units. There are tiers of suppliers. Tier 1 suppliers are direct suppliers of the final product. Tier 2 supply materials to Tier 1. Tier 3 supply raw materials to Tier 2 suppliers. Supply chains can extend beyond 3 tiers depending on the product being created. According to Deloitte, 65% of procurement executives lack transparency beyond the first tier of suppliers. Gaining transparency into Tier 2 and 3 suppliers helps to ensure problematic chemicals are removed from products and processes.

Supplier Code of Conduct is a set of principles and standards that a company expects its suppliers and vendors to adhere to in order to ensure ethical, sustainable, and responsible practices throughout the supply chain. The code typically outlines expectations for issues such as human rights, labor practices, environmental management, anti-corruption, and business ethics. The supplier code of conduct is often included as a requirement in procurement contracts and may be audited or enforced through supplier assessments or other monitoring mechanisms. The purpose of the code is to ensure that a company’s supply chain operates in a manner consistent with the company’s values and objectives, and to mitigate risks such as reputational damage, legal liability, or supply chain disruptions.

Supply chain transparency refers to the ability of organizations to provide visibility and accountability across their supply chains, from raw material extraction to end-of-life disposal. It involves the disclosure of information about suppliers, products, and processes to stakeholders, including customers, investors, and regulatory bodies. Supply chain transparency enables stakeholders to understand the social, environmental, and ethical impacts of the products they purchase and the companies they do business with. It also promotes responsible sourcing, sustainable production, and ethical labor practices. Supply chain transparency can be achieved through various means, such as supplier audits, certification programs, and reporting standards, and is essential for building trust and promoting sustainability in the global supply chain.

Sustainability reporting, also known as corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting, is the practice of disclosing a company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance and impacts to its stakeholders. Sustainability reporting typically involves the publication of a sustainability report or CSR report that provides information on the company’s policies, practices, and performance in areas such as climate change, human rights, labor practices, supply chain management, and community engagement.

Sustainability reporting is becoming increasingly important for companies as stakeholders, including investors, customers, employees, and regulators, are demanding greater transparency and accountability around ESG issues. Sustainability reporting can help companies identify and address ESG risks and opportunities, improve their reputation and brand value, and enhance stakeholder engagement and trust. It can also support the achievement of broader sustainability goals, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sustainability reporting frameworks, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), provide guidance and standards for companies to report on their sustainability performance. Many companies also use other frameworks such as the UN Global Compact, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), or the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to report on specific ESG issues.”

Sustainable Chemistry is proactively examining the chemicals used in your products and processes and leveraging that information to choose safer chemicals. This translates into creating safer products for consumers, processes for your workers, and has more positive environmental impacts. In practice, this can happen in several different ways:
-By researching chemicals to better understand their qualities in a variety of environments and use cases, leveraging the best and most recent resources from scientific journals, laboratory testing results, agency chemical databases, and more.
-By assessing your current chemical inventory using both Regulatory and Restricted Substance List (RSL) screening and Chemical Hazard Assessments, which provide toxicological information along 23 physical, environmental, and human health endpoints and can help you identify chemicals of concern (like PFAS) and choose safer alternatives.
-By connecting with your supply chain to better understand the chemicals used throughout your entire production process and help bring them on board with your safe + sustainable initiatives.
-By innovating safer products by coupling your assessment and connection work to select safer chemicals at the beginning of your R&D process, which also saves time, prevents regrettable substitutions, and decreases risk later.”

Sustainable procurement, also known as green procurement, is the process of purchasing goods and services in a way that supports sustainable development and reduces negative environmental and social impacts. Sustainable procurement involves considering the full lifecycle of a product or service, from the extraction of raw materials to disposal or recycling, and assessing the environmental, social, and economic impacts at each stage.

Sustainable procurement strategies aim to minimize the use of resources and reduce waste, while also promoting social and ethical standards such as human rights, fair labor practices, and responsible sourcing. This can involve working with suppliers to promote sustainable practices, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving water, reducing waste, and promoting social and environmental responsibility. Sustainable procurement can also involve using standards and certifications, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Fairtrade, to ensure that products and materials are sourced responsibly.

Sustainable procurement can have a range of benefits, including reducing the environmental and social impacts of production and consumption, supporting local and sustainable economies, and improving the sustainability and resilience of supply chains. Sustainable procurement also supports the achievement of broader sustainability goals, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns.”

Tier 1 suppliers are direct suppliers of a final product. They bring together different materials from Tier 2 suppliers in order to create a final product.

Traceability in supply chains refers to the ability to track and trace the movement of products and materials throughout the entire supply chain, from raw materials to finished goods. It involves the use of systems and technologies that enable the identification, recording, and monitoring of products and materials at each stage of the supply chain.

Traceability is important for several reasons. It can help companies identify the origin of their products and materials, which is important for ensuring responsible sourcing and preventing unethical or illegal practices such as human rights abuses or environmental damage. Traceability can also help companies identify and address quality or safety issues, such as product recalls, and improve efficiency in the supply chain by reducing waste and improving inventory management.

Traceability systems can include technologies such as barcodes, RFID tags, and blockchain, which enable the tracking and recording of products and materials at each stage of the supply chain. By implementing traceability systems, companies can improve transparency and accountability in their supply chains, which is increasingly important for meeting regulatory requirements, maintaining brand reputation, and meeting the expectations of consumers and stakeholders.”

3BL (Triple Bottom Line) reporting is a type of sustainability reporting that focuses on a company’s performance in three areas: social, environmental, and financial. The triple bottom line refers to the three pillars of sustainability: people, planet, and profit. The goal of 3BL reporting is to provide a comprehensive assessment of a company’s impact on society and the environment, as well as its financial performance. This approach recognizes that businesses have a responsibility to not only generate profits, but also to consider their impact on people and the planet. 3BL reporting typically includes metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure a company’s performance in these three areas, such as employee diversity, greenhouse gas emissions, and financial stability. By reporting on all three pillars, companies can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, and provide stakeholders with a more complete picture of their overall performance.

The UN Global Compact is a voluntary initiative launched by the United Nations in 2000 to encourage businesses and organizations to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies and practices. The Global Compact is based on ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. These principles are derived from international agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

By joining the Global Compact, companies commit to aligning their operations and strategies with the ten principles, and to report annually on their progress. The initiative is open to businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, and has more than 12,000 signatories from over 160 countries. The UN Global Compact also works to promote partnerships between businesses, governments, civil society organizations, and the UN to advance sustainable development and address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, and climate change.”

Water management is maintaining control of water resources to minimize damage to life and property and to maximize efficient beneficial use. To expand this to sustainable water management, that includes using water in a way that meets ecological, social, and economic needs both currently as well as in the future. It requires water managers to look beyond immediate supply and to consider resilient solutions that minimize risk.

Zero Waste is a sustainable approach to waste management that aims to eliminate the production of waste and reduce the amount of materials that end up in landfills or incinerators. The goal of Zero Waste is to design products, processes, and systems that minimize waste generation and maximize the use of resources, through practices such as reducing, reusing, recycling, and composting. This approach also emphasizes the use of renewable resources, the reduction of toxic substances, and the promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns. The Zero Waste approach involves a shift from a linear “take-make-dispose” model of production and consumption to a circular economy model that prioritizes the use of resources in closed loops. Zero Waste is a holistic approach that involves individuals, businesses, and governments working together to reduce waste generation and promote sustainable practices.

The importance of supply chain transparency and engagement for PFAS tracing

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