PepsiCo’s responsible sourcing program “Performance with Purpose” is reflective of the AIM-PROGRESS strategy drivers on how companies should evolve their way of doing business towards a sustainable future. This was confirmed at the last AIM-PROGRESS membership meeting on 26-27 March, hosted by the company at their Theale headquarters (UK). Financial performance should be underpinned by environmental considerations, workplace safety, product quality and investment in local communities. PepsiCo believes there is a pre-competitive opportunity for collaboration through AIM-PROGRESS on visibility of global supply chains, joint solutions, data gathering and capability building. Company testimonials are a highly appreciated element of AIM-PROGRESS meetings, and participants further heard about Mars’ and Ferrero’s responsible/sustainable sourcing efforts.
Dexter Galvin, head of CDP’s supply chain program, gave an update on the CDP scope, which has expanded substantially and has become a de facto global standard for company reporting on carbon, water and also deforestation. The supply chain program enables manufacturers to ensure that the rest of the supply chain is also engaged in impact reduction. Joe Maguire shared Diageo’s experience implementing CDP's reporting and engaging their suppliers in a GHG reduction journey.
The new elements of the updated Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA), a key benchmark for AIM-PROGRESS audit requirements, were reviewed. The membership discussed the evolving responsible sourcing requirements of leading brand manufacturers and the need to take the common AIM-PROGRESS mutual recognition criteria to the next level. A critical enabler to benchmark members’ audit protocols is the AIM-PROGRESS-ITC protocol benchmarking tool which is being updated and will soon become available as an on-line version. Changes have now been included to broaden the common audit elements expected by AIM-PROGRESS members and to cover common requirements regarding audit methodology.Thus, little by little, AIM-PROGRESS will help raise the bar for responsible sourcing.
The Annual Benchmarking Survey, which provides an overview of member companies’ approaches to responsible sourcing, showed that there has been significant progress over the last four years with a 76% increase in audit activity, continued focus on remediation and generally higher maturity levels of companies. The discussions on Engaging in Responsible Sourcing allowed companies that are just developing their responsible sourcing programs to learn from their peers, whereas more mature companies shared their views of how positive impact can be delivered beyond simple compliance.
The meeting participants also heard the updates on a series of regulatory developments that will have impact on their responsible sourcing activities. A standing meeting item was the review of progress and future plans of the work streams (business integrity, mutual recognition, supplier capability building and environment).
The next meeting will be hosted by General Mills on 23-25 June in Minneapolis (US).