Navigating environmental and social risk in supply chains: how research supports sustainable business
The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT has worked together with FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, and global green coffee supplier Mercon Coffee Group to develop a new tool to assess environmental and social risks. The tool aims to diagnose risks in supply chains to support the design of mitigation actions that companies can implement to minimize negative environmental or social outcomes despite risks such as climate change, competing land uses or forced labor. It aims to support businesses to adapt and overcome threats to sustainable production in different countries and local contexts, and has already been used in 9 countries around the world, to develop sustainable value chains in coffee. It is also being tested in more countries in products including cocoa, maize and cashew nuts.
The tool currently looks at risks related to labor including child labor and forced labor, human rights and environmental degradation and contamination. While the tool focuses on three specific areas of social and environmental risk, the process behind it can be adapted to ongoing shifts in data availability and areas of concern. It combines an assessment at the macro or national level to understand the overall context and regulatory framework in which supply chains operates, including what is common practice in a given country and the commodity. A micro-level assessment will focus specifically on a company’s supply chain in a given country, using data to assess risk factors specific to the company’s supply chain.