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12 May 2014 | Will Green
A free online platform where buyers will be able to browse the sustainability credentials of suppliers is under development by the World Bank Institute (WBI) and Sedex.
The Open Supply Chain Platform, which is expected to launch later this year, will enable firms of all sizes to upload, share and track data covering issues such as ethics, labour standards and environmental factors for free.
The initiative is designed to “address global gaps in the availability and visibility of responsible supply chain data” and “help companies better understand their performance, increase sustainability and diversity, and generate shared values along global supply chains”.
According to Sedex there is no common mechanism for the private sector to openly share information and there is a widening gap between companies that have the resources to promote “open and collaborative behaviours” and those that do not, such as SMEs.
The project is part of the WBI’s Open Private Sector Platform. Sedex will develop content for the website and OpenCorporates will design the system architecture.
Benjamin Herzberg, program lead, Open Private Sector at the WBI, said: “The World Bank is committed to scaling up development impacts and achieving the goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. It is thus essential that we encourage the private sector to adopt open and collaborative behaviour that favour social, environmental and governance outcomes. That’s the purpose of our Open Private Sector Platform.”
Carmel Giblin, CEO at Sedex, said: “By combining Sedex’s 10 years’ experience of responsible sourcing with the global reach of the World Bank Institute, the Open Supply Chain Platform will deliver a step change in the uptake of responsible behaviours and practices by businesses. It will foster governance, sustainability and social development impacts in global supply chains.”
The move follows the adoption by the European Parliament of a new directive in April that requires firms with more than 500 employees to disclose non-financial information including environmental, social and anti-corruption issues. The directive must also be adopted by the European Council to become law.