- The EPA selected its 2017 Climate Leaders at an awards event in Chicago, a press release announced. The winners were chosen on the basis of their efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate action. Clif Bar & Company and the United States Postal Service were both honored for their supply chain leadership.
- Clif Bar instituted a program called “50/50 by 2020,” wherein supply chain partners are asked use 50% or more green power on Clif ingredients by the end of the decade.
- Meanwhile, USPS has set leadership benchmarks by setting reduction goals for Scope emissions, added sustainable procurement clauses to its best practices guide and performs outreach to the transportation supplier community to encourage alternative fuel usage.
In the midst of the entertainment awards season, one more award coming from a government agency might be easy to overlook. However, the EPA's acknowledgement and honoring of people, organizations and efforts are a significant rung in the chain for transparent supply chain sourcing and sustainability.
As recently unveiled by the global non-profit sustainability organization BSR, the first rung of their ladder of sourcing transparency is awareness, both within the organization as well as across the landscape. Change and progress is nearly impossible if people within the organization do not feel pressure both internally and externally. Part of that accountability can arrive via this kind of external validation that the EPA has provided, which not only acknowledges organizations' efforts to increase transparency, but also promotes an alignment of values that the millennial generation espouses and on which they will increasingly base their spending habits.
But as BSR and other external auditing organizations point out, raising awareness is only the first step. If not followed by investigative efforts to measure the degree of compliance down the chain, companies may have a belief of transparency but without actual knowledge of the fact. As various industries have seen, this willful oversight is a recipe for violations to occur, and audits, which often prove to be self-serving, rarely accomplish their goal.