Multinationals can exert influence on sustainable supply chain

Among the more insightful remarks made at the event were those voiced by Dennis Averill, Corporate Manager EHS, Unilever

By ·

Eyefortransport’s 4th Sustainable Supply Chain Summit in San Francisco examined some of the more challenging aspects of “corporate responsibility” and outsourcing this week.

Among the more insightful remarks made at the event were those voiced by Dennis Averill, Corporate Manager EHS, Unilever.

“As a company, we can’t condone the clear-cutting of forests in Southeast Asia when it’s done for the harvesting of palm oil,” he said. “And because we are such a huge multinational, we can use our leverage to keep farmers from doing that.”

Speaking on a panel, “How to Make Your Supply Chain a Positive Influence,” Averill noted that Unilever is a member of the United Nations’ Global Compact and is committed to living out the Compact’s ten principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

“Our goal is to source palm oil from companies participating in ‘GreenPalm’ program,” he said. “These are supply chain partners that have been vetted and certified.”

The company also sources tea for Lipton from certified “Rainforest Alliance” farms, although it still faces a challenge when it comes to reaching its global benchmark.

As for the cold-chain, Averill made the startling declaration that “out-of-the-box thinking” was being used to eventually produce ice cream that requires less refrigeration.

The company—which makes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream ingredients—sources its eggs from “cage-free” chickens.

Mark Comolli, Director of Markets, Rainforest Alliance, observed that Unilever is among the leaders in sustainable practices.

“But we can do more to influence agricultural legacies,” he said. “For example, getting farmers in the Amazon to give up cattle raising in favor of sustainable crops. It’s becoming clear to them now that they can make more money and raise their standard of living by making that change.”


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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
Managing Global Transportation: How NVOCCs can operate more profitably
Global transportation isn’t getting any easier to manage. With new rules and regulations to learn, new compliance requirements to adhere to, and new customers and business partners to onboard, navigating the complexities of the global market can be difficult for any company. To fully leverage their global supply chains, firms need a robust, global transportation management system that helps them navigate this ever-changing environment.
Download Today!
From the July 2016 Issue
While it’s currently a shippers market, the authors of this year’s report contend that we’ve entered a “period of transition” that will usher in a realignment of capacity, lower inventories, economic growth and “moderately higher” rates. It’s time to tighten the ties that bind.
2016 State of Logistics: Third-party logistics
2016 State of Logistics: Ocean freight
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....

Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...
Port of Oakland launches smart phone apps for harbor truckers
Innovation uses Bluetooth, GPS to measure how long drivers wait for cargo