28.04.2020  |  Supply chain

8 tips for responsible supply chain actions during COVID-19

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What can companies do to show extraordinary responsibility in this extraordinary situation? Here are 8 tips for responsible supply chain actions during COVID-19 for those with the funds and means.

The implications of the current corona crisis are overwhelming.

Many companies are struggling to survive, millions of workers in global value chains stand to lose their jobs, and many businesses are asking what they can do to show extraordinary responsibility in this extraordinary situation.

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the vulnerability of our global economic model, and ethical trade is consequently more important than ever.

Therefore, we have - in collaboration with our certified Sustainable Business Change Managers and competent guidance from DIEH - Danish Ethical Trading Initiative - put together 8 tips for responsible supply chain actions for those who have the funds and means: 

1. SUPPORT WORKERS

Ask what your suppliers need to protect their workers. You may be unable to provide financial support at this stage, but international institutions like IFC, ILO, World Bank are setting up collective funds to support.

2. COLLABORATE

Work (even more) closely with your supplier(s) or buyer agent. Engage with industry peers or multi-stakeholder organisations who can facilitate a collective response.

3. KEEP PURCHASE ORDERS

Maintain or postpone pending orders if possible to avoid supplier shut-down or worker unemployment. Alternatively, consider if suppliers can help provide crisis-related goods or services.

4. FLEXIBLE PAYMENTS

Be open for flexibility in your orders, delivery and payment terms. Prioritize faster payments, partial or pre-payments. Consider particular efforts for smallest suppliers.

5. UPHOLD LABOUR RIGHTS

Encourage suppliers to work with trade unions or inquire to ensure that earned wages are paid, health precautions are made, over/undertime is fairly compensated, and worker support during shut-down is provided.

6. ADAPT TO CRISIS NEEDS

If you have to reduce or eliminate supply chain orders, consider whether you could instead adjust your services or production processes to provide crisis-relevant solutions (e.g. sanitizers, protection).

7. EXPLORE NEW MODELS

Consider alternative ways that allow (reduced) production and (online) sales for your own or your suppliers' products (e.g. crowdfunding, pre-paid gift vouchers, pay-what-you-can concepts).

8. PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE

Consolidate with key suppliers. Collaborate on mutual challenges. Discuss required investments and solutions for long-term sustainability based on e.g. no waste, resource optimization, and fair worker's wages.


You can download a full-size infographic with the 8 tips here. Feel free to share with anyone who can benefit. 

The 8 tips infographic is a part of our Corporate Corona Actions series, where we share advice and cases of how companies can innovate, contribute and be of service during and in preparation for the times after COVID-19. Learn more at www.bit.ly/corona-actions.
 

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TANIA ELLIS – The Social Business Company

http://www.thesocialbusinesscompany.com

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