World’s first guide on traceability advances supply chain sustainability

The United Nations Global Compact and BSR have released the first guide on traceability, which will help companies and consumers to ensure their material or product is produced responsibly.

Conflict-free mineralsEnsuring that minerals are sourced without conflict or human rights abuses is one example of what supply chain traceability can accomplish, thanks to the big push the UN Global Compact and BSR are making with their new guide on traceability for sustainability.

Supply chain traceability is increasingly becoming a key component in the business operations of palm oil, paper, minerals and diamonds, and select food commodities, said the United Nations Global Compact and BSR.

The two organisations recently launched the first worldwide guide on traceability, which aims to shed light on the importance of traceability in achieving sustainability while providing steps on how to conduct traceability programmes within companies’ corporate social responsibility efforts.Called the A Guide to Traceability: A Practical Approach to Advance Sustainability in Global Supply Chains, it also presents lessons and real-life case studies on a wide range of products that are applicable across companies and industries around the world.

According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), as cited by the guide, supply chain traceability is “the ability to identify and trace the history, distribution, location and application of products, parts and materials, to ensure the reliability of sustainability claims, in the areas of human rights, labour (including health and safety), the environment and anti-corruption”.

Firms are becoming more aware of the significance of traceability due to growing regulatory pressure and consumer demand for responsibly sourced and produced goods and services, said the UN Global Compact, the largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative in the world.

“Customers want to know that the sustainability claim they see on a product is true. When done correctly, traceability is a powerful tool to provide re-assurance to customers that companies mean what they say

Tara Norton, BSR director for advisory services

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