Embracing Green in China ... with an NGO Nudge

To date, more than 200 corporate giants have explained to the seven-person Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs why their manufacturing facilities or suppliers in China violated the country’s air and water laws. At least 50 companies have taken corrective actions and agreed to IPE-supervised environmental audits of their factories. Here’s why supply chain managers need to pay attention to influential little watchdogs like IPE.

By ·
Download Article PDF

Apple. Motorola. Pepsi. HP. Timberland. Walmart. These are among the thousands of global corporations that a small Beijing-based nonprofit organization has exposed as sourcing from polluting factories in China over the last six years. The nonprofit — the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) — has surprising clout. To date, more than 200 corporate giants have explained to IPE offcials why their manufacturing facilities or suppliers in China were in violation of the country’s air and water laws. To get off IPE’s “blacklist,” at least 50 companies have taken corrective actions and agreed to IPE-supervised environmental audits of their factories. A growing number of those companies are now using IPE’s Web site as a tool to screen and monitor their Chinese suppliers’ environmental performance.

That’s not bad for a homegrown seven-man operation working out of a modest office in a converted sixth-floor Beijing apartment. By taking advantage of greater environmental transparency in China and global corporations’ desire to protect their reputations, IPE has become one of the country’s leading environmental watchdogs, powerful enough to spur some multinationals to pay more attention to their Chinese suppliers’ environmental records and to lean on offending suppliers to fix problems.

Not surprisingly, some companies see the little NGO (non-governmental organization) as a nuisance, ignoring its notifications of suppliers’ environmental infractions for as long as possible. Apple, for instance, paid no heed to IPE’s entreaties for months until embarrassing headlines, such as “Apple Attacked over Pollution in China,” in August 2011, scandalized newswires. But far-sighted companies such as Walmart and Nike are embracing IPE as a partner in improving their environmental management of their Chinese supply chains. “The IPE Web site provides a really good platform for us to reduce the risk of environmental violations,” says May Qiu, Nike’s health, safety, and environment manager for Asia.

SUBSCRIBERS: Click here to download PDF of the full article.

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
The Internet of Things and the Modern Supply Chain
Learn today how the internet of things is transforming supply chain operations.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Issue
As the new administration sends waves of uncertainly through the global trade community, this could be the best time ever for shippers to build an investment case for GTM. Here are five trends you need to watch if you’re about to put these savvy systems to work
Carrier Consolidation Keeps Shippers Guessing
Getting Value from the Cloud
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Advance your career with the fastest growing logistics certification – APICS CLTD
During this webcast presenters will give an overview of APICS and the new Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) designation. Learn how the CLTD program can help you stay on top of current trends and advance your career.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...

Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...