Certification and Markets: An Newsletter (Oct 2013)

Oct 2013

Summary: This month reports on leading buyers.  Two stories from Walmart, the Gap reports on Bangladesh and Jack Wolfskin discloses its suppliers.

Walmart Supply Chain Chemicals Policy: The world’s leading retailer announced a policy to require its suppliers to work towards a stricter chemicals-in-product policy for common household and cosmetics products.  The new policy will come into effect in 2015 and in particular, involve a list of 10 chemicals it wants to phase out of its supply chain (not specified in this source). 

The Gap Reports on Progress in Bangladesh:  In its latest CSR Report the US clothing retailer Gap reports on its response to the worldwide outcry following last year’s fire in Bangladesh that killed over 1000 garment workers.  The Gap reports: “We have formed an expert team focused on improving fire and building safety at the factories producing our branded apparel in Bangladesh. We are also providing training to help drive worker and management behavior changes to improve fire safety practices.  Fire and building safety in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment industry is a key priority for Gap Inc., and we are working with a broad coalition of stakeholders through the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety to address this urgent issue.”

Transparency on Suppliers: Leading outdoor brand Jack Wolfskin has followed the lead of Nike, Levis and other brands concerned with worker safety and welfare risk in their supply chain and has published a list of its direct suppliers.  In disclosing the list the company states “By publishing a detailed plan of action in the spring under the motto, "We go further", Jack Wolfskin has cemented its status as an industry pioneer in the environmentally friendly management of chemicals. In extending its current responsibility for the product to include comprehensive responsibility for its production, Jack Wolfskin has made a commitment to transparency with regard to its manufacturers throughout the supply chain.

Walmart Chooses MSC Certification for Salmon: In 2012, a number of Alaska based salmon fishing companies opted out of the Marine Stewardship Councils certification program, arguing that its own Global Trust Certification  rogram was equivalent and should be accepted.   In a Reuters news release it has been reported that Walmart is sticking to its MSC requirements and the State of Alaska is lobbying the retail giant to reverse this.   The decision could have serious implications for fisheries choosing between the MSC and other systems of sustainability certification.


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