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Enhancing supply chain stability, resilience and sustainability through improved sub-supplier management -chocolate and cotton apparel case studies

English title Enhancing supply chain stability, resilience and sustainability through improved sub-supplier management -chocolate and cotton apparel case studies
Applicant Niggli Urs
Number 172451
Funding scheme NRP 73 Sustainable Economy
Research institution Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL)
Institution of higher education Research Institute of Organic Agriculture - FiBL
Main discipline Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Start/End 01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021
Approved amount 617'020.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Economics

Keywords (10)

Procurement/Supply Chain Sustainability; sustainablity management; sustainability assessments; food; agriculture; supply chain management; sub-supplier management; SMART; cocoa value chains; cotton value chains

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Wie können Unternehmen durch Vorlieferantenmanagement die Nachhaltigkeit ihrer Produkte verbessern? Wir untersuchen die Durchführbarkeit und die Auswirkungen verschiedener Massnahmen im Schokoladen und Textilsektor.
Lay summary

Hintergrund
Die meisten Schweizer Unternehmen, die in der Produktion oder im Handel tätig sind, sind von globalen Lieferketten abhängig. Schweizer Einkäufer investieren denn auch einiges, um die Nachhaltigkeit auf ein hohes Niveau zu bringen. Sie führen ökologische und soziale Standards in ihren Lieferketten ein, überprüfen die Lieferanten und sorgen für deren Weiterentwicklung. Doch allen Anstrengungen zum Trotz zeigt sich, dass der gewünschte Effekt bei den Lieferketten nur gelegentlich eintritt.

Ziel

  1. Nachhaltigkeits-Hotspots entlang der Lieferketten im Bereich Schokolade und Baumwollbekleidung analysieren.
  2. Entscheidungsprozesse identifizieren und bewerten, die nötig sind, um zuvor identifizierte Hotspots der Lieferketten zu beeinflussen.
  3. Das Potenzial von Massnahmen, die die Nachhaltigkeit einzelner Lieferketten und Lieferanten steigern sollen, auswerten.
  4. Empfehlungen für das Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement in Lieferketten für Schokolade und Baumwollbekleidung entwickeln und verbreiten.


Bedeutung

Der Schweizer Textil- und Schokoladensektor hat enormen Einfluss auf die Erreichung von mehreren der Ziele der nachhaltigen Entwicklung der Agenda 2030 sowohl in der Schweiz als auch in Ländern aus denen Rohprodukte wie Kakao oder Baumwolle bezogen werden. Das vorliegende Forschungsprojekt ist das erste, welches verschiedene Optionen zum Vorlieferantenmanagement quantitativ evaluiert.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.03.2018

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Comment les entreprises peuvent-elles améliorer la durabilité de leurs produits par la gestion des fournisseurs situés en amont? Nous étudions la faisabilité et les effets de différentes mesures dans les secteurs du chocolat et du textile.
Lay summary

Contexte
La plupart des entreprises suisses agissant dans le secteur de la production ou du commerce dépendent de chaînes d’approvisionnement mondiales. Les acheteurs suisses investissent donc de grosses sommes pour accroître le niveau de la durabilité: ils intègrent des normes écologiques et sociales dans leurs chaînes d’approvisionnement, contrôlent les fournisseurs et s’assurent de leurs progrès. Pourtant, malgré tous leurs efforts, l’effet désiré sur les chaînes d’approvisionnement n’est qu’occasionnellement réalisé.

Objectifs

  1. Analyser les points sensibles relatifs à la durabilité tout au long des chaînes d’approvisionnement des secteurs du chocolat et des vêtements en coton.
  2. Déterminer et évaluer les processus décisionnels nécessaires pour agir sur les points sensibles de la chaîne d’approvisionnement préalablement identifiés.
  3. Évaluer le potentiel des mesures mises en place dans le but d’accroître la durabilité des chaînes d’approvisionnement et des fournisseurs.
  4. Développer et diffuser des recommandations en matière de gestion durable sur les chaînes d’approvisionnement des secteurs du chocolat et des vêtements en coton.


Importance

Les secteurs suisses du chocolat et du textile jouent un rôle essentiel dans la réalisation de nombreux Objectifs de développement durable aussi bien en Suisse que dans les pays de provenance des matières premières (comme le cacao ou le coton). Le présent projet de recherche est le premier à évaluer quantitativement les différentes options permettant la gestion des fournisseurs en amont.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.03.2018

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
How can companies improve the sustainability of their products through supply chain management? We are studying the feasibility and impacts of various measures in the chocolates and textiles sectors.
Lay summary

Background
Most Swiss companies active in production or trade are dependent on global supply chains. Swiss purchasing agents are investing a great deal in order to bring sustainability to a high level. They are introducing environmental and social standards in their supply chains, reviewing their suppliers and ensuring that supply chains are improved. Despite all efforts, the desired effect in the supply chains is only achieved occasionally.

Aims

  1. To analyse sustainability hotspots along the supply chain in the chocolates and cotton apparel sectors.
  2. To identify and evaluate decision-making processes necessary to influence the previously identified supply chain hotspots.
  3. To assess the potential of measures to increase the sustainability of individual supply chains and suppliers.
  4. To develop and disseminate recommendations for sustainability management in supply chains for the chocolates and cotton apparel sectors.


Importance

The Swiss textiles and chocolates sectors have an enormous influence on the achievement of several of the Sustainable Development Goals, both in Switzerland and in countries from which the raw materials (such as cocoa or cotton) are purchased. This research project is the first to quantitatively evaluate various options for upstream supplier management.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.03.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
International Business Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, Canada Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Maestrani Switzerland (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Verband für nachhaltiges Wirtschaften (öbu) Switzerland (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Williams College of Business of Xavier University, Cincinnati United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Foreign Trade Association (FTA) Belgium (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Foisie School of Business United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (HNEE) Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Sustainable Food Systems GmbH Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
International Trade Center (ITC) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Germany (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Swiss platform for sustainable cocoa Switzerland (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
185603 Sustainable Trade Relations for Diversified Food Systems 01.07.2019 NRP 73 Sustainable Economy

Abstract

The majority of Swiss sectors, which are engaged in production or trade, source from global supply chains. To improve sustainability performance to meet today’s stakeholder requirements, Swiss commodity buyers introduce environmental and social standards to their supply chains, monitor suppliers, and engage in supplier development. Yet, vast supplier and sub-supplier monitoring and development efforts have been found to only occasionally create the aimed impact on their supply chains. Two important parts of the Swiss economy, the chocolate and textile sectors, continuously face public reports on environmental and social issues within their supply chains. Critiques argue that new additional standards only expose suppliers and sub-suppliers to competing logics of sustainable versus cheap instead of establishing real change. Two potential reasons for the low performance in supplier / sub-supplier development shall be addressed in this project: (1) A lack of understanding of diverging sustainability performances between different forms of supply chains and potential drawbacks by assessing and addressing sustainability objectives in isolation (i.e. ecological versus social versus economic objectives), as well as (2) insufficient changes to the commercial setting of buyer-supplier relationships.The aim of this project is to analyse supply chain management options related to sustainability issues in chocolate and textile supply chains, giving particular focus on sub-suppliers of Swiss companies. In order to achieve this aim, we plan to: 1. Analyse and identify sustainability hotspots (including all relevant dimensions: economic, environmental, social performance and governance issues) along the specific chocolate and cotton apparel supply chains selected for this project, based on the FAO-SAFA Guidelines.2. Identify and assess decision processes which are needed for influencing previously identified supply chain hotspots and evaluate the success of the measures.3. Evaluate the potential of measures for enhancing the supply chain sustainability in individual chains and for individual suppliers.4. Develop and disseminate target-group recommendations for sustainability management in chocolate and cotton apparel supply chain.
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