The Federal Government intends to enforce binding rules for the sustainable procurement and supply chains of European companies during the German EU Council Presidency. A legal regulation of human rights and environment-related due diligence obligations is also to be drawn up at the national level. Of the Global Nature Fund (GNF) and the Lake Constance Foundation support this plan together with other companies and organizations that are campaigning for a supply chain law in a joint statement.
Sustainable procurement is the greatest challenge for companies
Sustainable supply chain design, that is, ensuring social-ecological standards on the way from production to sale, is one of the “thickest boards” that corporate sustainability management has to drill. For many industries and products, the real challenges lie outside the European factory gates sustainable procurement and the overseas origins of the raw materials and intermediate products. The former are often obtained in one country and traded and processed in numerous stages until they reach the end customer in another country. Traceability is sometimes difficult: many procurement companies only have contact with their direct suppliers.
Transparent supply chains to protect biological diversity
The result is social and ecological burdens in production countries that middlemen, processing companies and customers do not know about or that they tacitly accept. The Global Nature Fund and the Lake Constance Foundation are NGOs that deal with the effects of human economic activity on the environment and show companies how to act more ecologically.
She is particularly concerned with the influence of international supply chains on biodiversity: Studies show that there is a significant loss of biological diversity in countries where raw materials and goods for international trade and thus export to Europe are obtained and produced, but not be consumed.
This is problematic because there are many biodiversity hotspots in developing and emerging countries, i.e. areas with a large and at the same time threatened biodiversity. Marion Hammerl, managing director of Lake Constance Foundation, explains: “Scientists were able to show that 30 percent of all endangered species got on the red list through international trade. The deforestation for soy cultivation, the use of pesticides on banana plantations or the poisoning of rivers through ore mining contribute to the loss of biological diversity, especially in countries in the Global South. “Hammerl’s conclusion is clear:” We need a supply chain law. At the German level as well as at the European level. And preferably yesterday, because the man-made loss of biodiversity cannot be made good. ”
A broad alliance for sustainable procurement
So there are enough good reasons for living responsibility, for which many companies are already taking the initiative independently to shed more light on their value chains and to actively shape them. This includes sensitizing employees from sustainability management to purchasing to company management to scrutinize their own supply chains and identify scope for action. In order to ensure that all European companies share this approach in the future, the Bodensee Foundation also supports the Global Nature Fund a statement by the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA), under the umbrella of which 33 companies and organizations have come together.
“It is important for us to make a statement with it”, says Stefan Hörmann, Deputy GNF Managing Director and Head of the Business and Biodiversity Division. “Many companies are already showing how it’s done and are setting a good example of social and ecological responsibility. But not everyone – and humans, nature and biological diversity suffer from our careless trade and consumption. It is therefore important to create binding regulations. We at the GNF are committed to fair trade, as expressed in a supply chain law. ”
Also read: Supply chains: Revival of “Made in Germany” in the global economic system