Sedex China Conference 2019

The Sedex China Conference 2019 was held in Shanghai on 21 -22 May 2019. This year we also celebrate Sedex’s 15 years of action in responsible supply chains. Over 300 guests from over 20 industries attended the conference. Nearly 20 speakers from brands, suppliers, government agencies and stakeholders gathered to share best practice on “Driving Transformational Change to Go Beyond Compliance”, the key theme of the conferenceFor the first time, two breakout sessions were set up to enable delegates to engage with the subject matter directly. 

We have summed up the key highlights of the speakers: 

How to implement and promote sustainable development in the supply chain

ILO | Fredy Guayacan  

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) founding. Facing the new global trade environment and trends, the ILO has made strategic thinking for the new era on how to achieve decent work and economic growth (UN SDG 8). There are many factors influencing foreign investors. In addition to national policies, technological maturity and trade controls, the development prospects of local enterprises are also important factors to consider. When a country has policies that promote decent jobs and economic growth, investors can take that as a clear positive sign. 

Royal Philips | Dr. Zhihai Zhang 

According to Dr. Zhang, the key is to promote the participation of suppliers of sustainable development projects in the supply chain. In order for suppliers to participate actively, the project must take into account the operating conditions of suppliers, their interest needs and fully understand the effects and benefits of the project, so as to make sustainability projects align with suppliers. 

Li & Fung | Charis Yang 

Based on the SDGs, Li & Fung focused their attention on three key areas to realise the goal of the sustainable improvement of the company: basic rights, environmental protection and health and safety in the workplace. These goals are supported by specific activity, such as the supplier’s PPE projects, chemical control and so on, to promote the three areas of improvement. Li & Fung believes that by focusing on one area consistently, you can solve some problems. 

AutoZone | Gina Zhong 

To promote sustainable development in the supply chain, enterprises cannot do it just by themselves. They need to give consideration to all stakeholders, encourage them to participate actively and work together to achieve the goal of sustainable development. 

Practice SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

CPRRA | Dr. Jiang Nanqing 

Dr Jiang believes that to implement SDG 12, consumers need to change their behaviour. Consumers must be aware that their food, clothing, housing and transportation produce a large amount of plastic waste, which, if not properly collected, sorted and recycled, will have a very bad impact on the environment. 

Tetra Pak | Jiayu Wan 

As a leading global packaging solution provider, Tetra Pak’s 2020 climate target is to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 2010 levels. To achieve this goal, Tetra Pak chose to work with stakeholders. Since 2018, Tetra Pak has partnered with Veolia, an environmental services company, to establish a partnership for the complete recycling of all ingredients in beverage cartons. The two organisations agreed to recycle all ingredients from discarded drink cartons in the European Union by 2025, with a global rollout in the near future. 

Xiamen Luhai Pro-environment Inc| Xie YiBin 

As an environmental protection enterprise, Luhai Pro-environment Inc focuses on the recycling of waste. Since its establishment 19 years ago, Luhai has gradually grown into a leader of domestic environmental protection. However, environmental companies face a survival problem: waste disposal requires people to pay for it, but exactly who does pay is a problem. In Xiamen, waste disposal is paid for by the government and environmental protection enterprises are exempted from income tax so that they can survive. This year saw the introduction of a new tax credit for third parties engaged in pollution prevention and control. For environmental companies, government support has helped them grow quickly. 

State Grid Zhixin Carbon Asset | Lu Li 

Green supply chain management is one of State Grid Zhixin Carbon Asset’s social responsibility projects. On State Grid’s website, it has voluntarily disclosed relevant actions related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, among which State Grid shares examples of how it has been working to meet SDG 12, disclosing the practice of green supply chain management. This project focuses on the environmental performance and potential environmental risks of upstream enterprises; greenhouse gas emissions and product carbon footprint of midstream enterprises; downstream enterprises waste materials processing. 

The Weir Group | Dr. Lu Jian Zhong 

As an ideological leader and practitioner in the field of CSR, Dr. Lu believes that enterprises should pay attention to the reality when doing green supply chain, such as whether it is beneficial to suppliers and whether it provides utility to society. To form a closed-loop economy in the supply chain, changes in consumer behavior are crucial. 

Recycling of plastics

CPRRA | Dr. Jiang Nanqing 

China is the largest plastic producer, accounting for a quarter of the world’s total output. In 2018, only 17 million tons, or 37.8%, of the 45 million tons of discarded plastic in China were recycled. The impact of plastics on the global environment is larger than that of paper, so the construction of plastic recycling closed-loop systems is urgent. Compared with the EU‘s circular economy strategy, China’s plastic recycling industry is currently in transition period. We still have the following problems to overcome: define the responsibility of everyone in the supply chain and put the responsibility into every link; The standards and data of recycling industry are not uniform, and there is no ready-made analysis system. Regeneration industry is an emerging industry and is still in the initial stage of development. 

Xiamen Luhai Pro-Environment Inc | Xie YiBin 

The disposal methods of waste plastic usually includes landfill, incineration, degradation, decomposition and recycling, but landfill, incineration and degradation will form secondary pollution, such as methane and carbon dioxide, and have little economic benefit. Taken together, reducing waste plastic to petroleum or processing it into recycled plastic provides an alternative solution. The waste plastic treatment of large and medium-sized enterprises has reached more than half of the total industrial treatment, recycling waste plastic varieties in addition to five general plastics, and also a lot of high performance, good quality engineering plastics. Industry backbone enterprises are gradually taking shape, waste plastic processing transactions are gradually moving towards intensive, integrated, clean operationsLuhai Environmental Protection covers an area of more than 130 miles, and deals with 150,000 tons of solid waste annually. 

Preventing potential risks in the supply chain

Li & Fung | Charis Yang

Factory Observation is an internal training programme that provides staff with the knowledge and skills to observe factories. The observations will be an effective plan to help the plant continue to improve, correct non-compliance issues, and prevent possible risks in the supply chain. WorkerApp is an online application that educates workers and provides skills to help them improve their quality of life and work skills.

Dell Technologies | Jason Ho

Dell is committed to applying technology and knowledge to the areas that will bring the greatest benefits to people and the planets. In the supply chain, Dell actively uses technology and big data to control risks. For example, Dell uses existing public data, such as pollution penalty records, online monitoring, licensing, NGO activities, major activities and community complaints, to monitor suppliers in real time.

Legrand LNCA Audio & Video Division | Rocky Bao

Safety is a top priority for Legrand, which emphasizes transparency, worker safety, and continuous improvement of supply chains. Legrand’s Supplier Safety Maturity Programme focuses on three segments which are leader accountability, procedure training and motivation, and behavior observation and compliance.

Benchmarks | David Yang

By applying new methods such as digitisation and new technology to supply chain management, risks in supply chain can be effectively prevented in advance. Even so, the establishment of a benign communication mechanism between employees and enterprises and the establishment of a positive emotional exchange are conducive to the two-way development of employees and enterprises.

Beyond Compliance

Tetra Pak | Jiayu Wan 

As an enterprise pursuing sustainable development, Tetra Pak takes a long-term view on sustainable development. Having nothing to do with corporate interests, Tetra Pak pays more attention to the benign development space of the industry. Only by improving the state of the industry can enterprises go further. For example, Tetra Pak’s emissions from its packaging complex plant (excluding other parts of the supply chain such as raw material production and logistics) account for only 7% of the value chain’s greenhouse gas emissions. Tetra Pak works closely with packaging material supplier partners to determine the efficiency of their operations and their own supply chain. 

SAI | Jane Liu 

Jane believes that the audit provides valuable data, but the audit itself has limited impetus for change. Employees are an important part of the supply chain. The establishment of open and perfect communication channels between enterprises and employees and the narrowing of the distance between them play an obvious role in improving enterprise competitiveness, improving labor productivity and improving employee satisfaction. 

The development of corporate social responsibility in China

JD-Y | Haixing Wei 

Professor Li Xiao Liang, the founder of supply chain bullwhip effect, introduced the concept of honest supply chain in the form of VCR at the beginning of sharing. Later, the general manager Wei released a white paper for the first time, which was written by 11 professors. From the perspective of upstream and downstream of the supply chain, the white paper analyses how integrity management penetrates into every link. Combined with the enterprise social responsibility project of JD, this paper discusses the importance of honest supply chain to support enterprise development. 

CNTAC | Yan Yan 

Director Yan shared the 15 years of responsible development of China’s textile and apparel supply chain with us at the conference. China’s textile industry, from small to large, from big to strong, integrates the concept of social responsibility into the development of the industry, the two complement and advance each other. From 2005 to 2020, the three “five-year plans” formulate industrial policies suitable for the development stage of the industry, among which comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development is the consistent keynote. The industrial pattern has changed from semi-closed to active integration into the globalization pattern. Among Chinese enterprises “going out”, more and more enterprises begin to take the initiative to assume the obligation of corporate social responsibility, which plays a positive role in local development. In today’s globalised world, although the textile industry is affected by the trade war between China and the United States, the size and hard and soft strength of China’s textile industry will not affect its global layout. 

SMETA 6.1 updates

On the first day of the conference, Sedex’s CEO Simon McCalla, shared Sedex’s new strategy with the conference.  

On the second day’s training, Sunny Qin, the training manager for Sedex’s China officeprovided a detailed introduction to SMETA 6.1, the latest update to Sedex’s market-leading audit methodology. 

Thanks to everyone who attended the Sedex China Responsible Supply Chain Conference, and to the businesses and individuals who endeavor to create responsible supply chains. As we said at the end of the conference, we don’t know how many years you may have been responsible in your field of expertise, but please know you do not walk alone on your responsible sourcing journey 

Hope to see you next year, 

The Sedex China Team


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