Technology company Dell has come top of a green ranking list thanks to high levels of sustainability in its supply chain.
Chinese environmental research organisation, the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), placed the American multinational top of its Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI). Also in the top five rankings were Levi’s, Adidas, C&A and Inditex.
The IPE explained Dell’s success: “Its suppliers are expected to provide timely explanations, which allow both the brand and local communities to understand the reasons for violations, the corrective actions suppliers have adopted and the current status of environmental performance.
“This enables Dell to move beyond the oversight of supply chain compliance to building mutual trust with their suppliers on improving their environmental performances beyond compliance.”
The IPE ranked a total of 438 companies which rely on suppliers manufacturing in China in 2019. The IT and apparel sectors featured most heavily. However, companies in fields such as metal processing, off-site wastewater and hazardous waste treatment have joined the ranking this year.
The IPE assessed brand performance in the overseeing of supply chain environmental responsibility and scored on matters such as public engagement, supplier compliance and corrective action, and data disclosure and transparency.
Chinese technology company Huawei entered the CITI top 20 for the first time as Chinese brands and manufacturers significantly strengthened their scores, reflecting increased environmental management of supply chains and attempts to reduce industrial pollution problems. Tesco and Cisco also joined the top 20 for the first time this year.
Apple, which had ranked number one in the index for the previous five years, has been inaugurated into a new master category. The Californian tech giant had maintained high standards in environmental management in its supply chain, IPE said.
IPE’s report noted the continued acceleration of government inspection and enforcement efforts in 2019, which it said “greatly enhanced the overall private sector oversight of factory environmental performance in China”.
It added that the Chinese government’s targeting of thousands of factories which failed to comply with the law made it significantly easier to oversee supply chains.
The IPE said it was “gratified” that more than 2,900 factories offered to explain, rectify or disclose environmental data through its system during the evaluation period between October 2018 and September 2019.
However, it was concerned by the failure of the chemical industry to step up its efforts to oversee supply chains in the wake of a major explosion at a chemical plant in March 2019, (operated by Tianjiayi Chemical in Jiangsu province), which caused 78 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
“Regretfully, the enormous explosion did not trigger a similar level of concern to improve supply chain oversight in this inherently high-risk industry,” the report added.
The 2019 IPE CITI rankings top 10: