Supply Chain Programs and Partnerships

Applied Sustainability Center

The Applied Sustainability Center is committed to building a more sustainable world through research, education, and outreach. The mission of the Applied Sustainability Center is to accelerate learning about sustainability and expand the commitment to sustainable practices in communities and organizations throughout the state of Arkansas.

Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG)

The Automotive Industry Action Group is a globally recognized organization founded in 1982 by a group of managers from Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors. The purpose of the group is to provide an open forum where members can develop solutions to enhance the prosperity of the automotive industry. AIAG's focus is to continuously improve business processes and practices involving trading partners throughout the supply chain. Under the auspices of AIAG, volunteers from all layers of the supply chain work together to resolve issues affecting the automotive supply chain.

BES 6001

The BRE standard BES 6001 has been published to enable construction product manufacturers to ensure and then prove that their products have been made with constituent materials that have been responsibly sourced.  The standard describes a framework for the organizational governance, supply chain management and environmental and social aspects that must be addressed in order to ensure the responsible sourcing of construction products. Independent, third party assessment and certification against the requirements of BES 6001 then give the organization the ability to prove that an effective system for ensuring responsible sourcing exists and added credibility to any claims made.

BSR Energy Efficiency Partnership and China Training Institute

Through the Energy Efficiency Partnership, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) partners with suppliers on energy efficiency. The partnership is a practical way to make suppliers more competitive, while also offering a gateway for companies to manage climate and other supply chain sustainability issues. EEP participants include leading multinational manufacturers, retailers, and consumer products companies, along with more than 70 of their China-based suppliers. BSR also manages the China Training Institute (CTI). CTI is an ongoing initiative that aims to help global buyers and their Chinese suppliers to improve corporate social responsibility performance and overall competitiveness through a wide range of training programs, roundtables, and salons. Since 2004, CTI has delivered more than 140 days of training to more than 1,500 managers in China.

CDP Supply Chain Program

CDP is an independent not-for- profit organization working to drive greenhouse gas emissions reduction and sustainable water use by business and cities. It provides a platform for companies and cities around the world to measure, disclose, manage and share environmental information. The CDP runs a Supply Chain Program in which companies disclose information on the impact of their supply chain and engagement with suppliers to manage this impact.

CDP-IIP Action Exchange Program

Building on CDP’s Supply Chain Program, the Institute for Industrial Productivity and CDP launched the Action Exchange initiative to help CDP supplier companies gain access to the technology, intelligence and solutions that will help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit from financial savings. Leading members of CDP’s supply chain program have identified that emissions in their supply chains are not reducing as fast as the economic opportunities offered by energy efficiency investments lead them to expect. To address the performance gap between CDP supply chain members and their suppliers, CDP and IIP will provide suppliers with recommendations for emissions reduction activities based on their past CDP response(s) and industry best practices at no cost to the supplier, and connect participating companies with approved Action Exchange solutions providers, who will provide proposals on cost efficient emissions reducing goods and/or services. 

China Business Council for Sustainable Development's (CBCSD) '1+3' Initiative

Under this initiative, member companies are expected to train three of their partners in
their value chain (e.g. supplier, customer, logistics partner) on CSR issues based on their own experiences. Issues addressed include environmental protection, labor issues, and human rights protection. The three partners are then expected to disseminate the knowledge and practices learned to three further partners within their own value chain, thereby creating a “snowball” effect.

China Chain Store & Franchise Association

China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA) is the official representative of the retailing and franchise industry in China. Currently, there are more than 1000 enterprise members with over 300,000 outlets, including domestic & foreign-invested retailers, franchisers, suppliers, and relevant organizations. CCFA participates in policy making and coordination and safeguard the interests of industry and members, and provides a series of professional trainings and industry information and data for our members and establishes platforms for exchange and cooperation.

CO2 Performance Ladder

The CO2 Performance Ladder is a procurement tool whereby participating suppliers obtain external verification of their carbon management approach, scored on a 1-5 scale against a number of set criteria. A score of 5 is awarded an advantage equivalent to a 10% discount on the price of their bid in the tender evaluation process. Lesser scores receive smaller virtual discounts.

Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative

The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) aims to improve the sustainability of international supply chains. To this end, IDH works on social, ecological and economical bottlenecks for first chain actors in developing countries. The Initiative is a multi-stakeholder process in which actors from both northern and southern (production) countries actively participate. IDH searches for links with other chain initiatives, both in the Netherlands and in other countries. The ambition of IDH is to act as a catalyst and knowledge broker. IDH builds programs in the sectors tropical timber, soy, natural stone, cocoa, tea, tourism, aquaculture, cotton, spices, electronics and coffee.


EcoVadis operates a collaborative platform that helps companies to assess the environmental and social performance of their suppliers globally. EcoVadis combines technology and corporate social responsibility (CSR) expertise to deliver simple and reliable supplier scorecards, covering 150 purchasing categories and 21 CSR criteria. Key enabler of a sustainable procurement strategy, EcoVadis ratings help businesses reduce risks, drive performance and support eco-innovation in their supply chain.

Efficiency Exchange (EEx)

EEx is building an innovative technology platform designed to help factories and brands align their unique economic interests toward operating more efficiently. It claims to be the first cost management system built specifically to meet the needs of today’s Chinese manufacturers.

Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC)

EEIC was formed to develop an industry code of conduct, setting standards for social and environmental performance in the electronic industry’s global supply chain. Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) serves as secretariat for this coalition, which now includes over 40 members worldwide representing various tiers of the electronic supply chain. The EICC is committed to establishing common assessment tools, improved approaches to auditing, and capacity building and training for suppliers and auditors. It has also developed a common reporting framework. Working groups are focused on particular issues, such as the extractive working group, which is primarily concerned with the metals supply chain. Recognizing that this material crosses industry lines, this working group has expanded its multi-stakeholder effort to include other sectors, such as automotive companies (CERES, 2010).

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)

EDF is a United States– based nonprofit environmental advocacy group founded in 1967. The group's headquarters are in New York City, with offices nationwide, and scientists and policy specialists working worldwide. The group works with a number of large multinational companies on a partnership basis to assist these companies in reducing their environmental impact.

Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

EITI was established to set a global standard for transparency in oil, gas and mining. This coalition includes governments, companies, civil society groups, investors and international organizations at both the membership and board level. Over 40 of the world’s largest oil, gas and mining companies support and actively participate in the EITI process through their local operating companies in participating countries, through international- level commitments, and through industry associations (CERES, 2010).

Global Social Compliance Program (GSCP)

Launched end of 2006, the Global Social Compliance Program is a business-driven program for the continuous improvement of working and environmental conditions in global supply chains. The GSCP was created by and for global buying companies wanting to work collaboratively on improving the sustainability (social and environmental) of their often-shared supply base. The GSCP provides a global cross-industry platform to promote the exchange of knowledge and best practices in order to build comparability and transparency between existing social compliance and environmental compliance systems. To this effect, the Global Social Compliance Program is developing a set of reference tools and processes that describe best existing practices and provide a common interpretation of working and environmental requirements and their implementation at the supplier level.

Green Suppliers Network

The Green Suppliers Network is a venture involving industry, the U.S. EPA, and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), a leading provider of technical assistance to manufacturers. The Green Suppliers Network works with large manufacturers to engage their small and medium-sized suppliers in low-cost technical reviews that focus on process improvement and waste minimization. EPA provides program support.

Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC)

The ISC has established two Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Academies to help boost compliance and reduce risk, the first in Guangzhou (Guangdong) in 2008, and the second in Suzhou (Jiangsu) in 2011. These academies will expand the pool of qualified EHS and Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) managers serving factories in China. Located in Lingnan (University) College in Guangzhou and in Nanjing University's Research Center in Suzhou Industrial Park the two academies mark the first time that Chinese and U.S. experts from major brands have joined together to create world-class, independent, Chinese-owned and Chinese-staffed EHS training centers. The Guangdong center was funded by donations from international buyer companies including Wal-Mart, General Electric and Gap.

Intertek Think Green Initiative

Intertek’s Think Green Initiative (TGI) empowers leading suppliers to showcase environmental good practices while simultaneously reducing costs, improving material efficiency, practicing green manufacturing good practice, and ensuring the organization meets the requirements of tomorrow’s employees, communities, investors and customers. With Intertek’s web-based platform and environmental expertise, TGI has emerged as a tool for evaluating, reviewing and monitoring factories’ environmental performance and ultimately assuring improved performance.

ISO 14001

ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted standard that helps with implementation of an effective Environmental Management System (EMS). ISO 14001 pertains to the process of product production, rather than the product itself. Certification is performed by an independent third party organization.

ISO 50001

ISO 50001 is an International Standard that lays out the latest best practice in energy management. It sets forth the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving an energy management system. It was developed by energy management experts from over 60 countries from across the world.

NRDC Clean by Design

Clean by Design is an innovative program by the Natural Resources Defense Council to use the buying power of multinational corporations as a lever to reduce the environmental impacts of their suppliers abroad. Clean by Design focuses on improving process efficiency to reduce waste and emissions and improve the environment. By improving the efficiency in the manufacturing processes, there are plenty of opportunities to both save money and improve the environment. Even marginal improvements in manufacturing to these countries' factories have the potential to deliver excellent cost savings. Clean by Design promotes just these kinds of opportunities to increase efficiency (in energy, water, and chemical usage) and thereby reduce the environmental footprint while saving the factory money.


Sedex is a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to driving improvements in ethical and responsible business practices in global supply chains. It is a large collaborative platform for sharing ethical supply chain data, helping companies to reduce risk, protect reputation and improve supply chain practices. Sedex aims to ease the burden on suppliers facing multiple audits, questionnaires and certifications and to drive improvements in the ethical performance of global supply chains.

Sustainability Consortium

The Sustainability Consortium is a consortium of multinational manufacturing and corporate firms, which aim to drive scientific research and the development of standards and IT tools that enhance product sustainability. Founding members include Alcoa, BASF, Cargill and Unilever. The consortium works to partner with auditing and certification firms to create assurance standards.

Sustainable Apparel Coalition

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is an industrywide group of leading apparel and footwear brands, retailers, manufacturers, non-governmental organizations, academic experts and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products around the world.

Suzhou Energy Conservation Center

The Suzhou Energy Conservation Center is based in Jiangsu Province, and administers the Efficiency Star Scheme. The Scheme rates participating companies on energy efficiency, and provides training and support to increase efficiency among manufacturing suppliers (mostly textiles, electronics, iron and steel, chemicals, and building materials). The program is now extending its emphasis to engage domestic and international buyers to drive demand for the label, because this has been one barrier to the scheme’s expansion.

United Nations Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. The Global Compact is a practical framework for the development, implementation, and disclosure of sustainability policies and practices. The Global Compact Office has established an advisory group of participants and stakeholders to develop guidance material
on sustainable supply chains. With over 8700 corporate participants and other stakeholders from over 130 countries, it is the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world.

WBCSD Sustainable Consumption and Value Chain

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Sustainable Consumption and Value Chain (SCVC) system solution aims to identify new business models, solutions and opportunities in value chain integration with a particular focus on consumption. The Sustainable Consumption workstream, led by Henkel, Nokia and PepsiCo, aims to build a vision and a pathway for a sustainable consumption by 2050. The Sustainable Value Chains workstream, led by Coca-Cola and Unilever, aims to help companies to improve the sustainability of their value chains.

WRI-WBCSD GHG Protocol Scope 3 Value Chain Standard

The GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard provides requirements and guidance for companies and other organizations to prepare and publicly report a GHG emissions inventory that includes indirect emissions resulting from value chain activities. The primary goal of this standard is to provide a standardized step-by-step approach to help companies understand their full value chain emissions impact in order to focus company efforts on the greatest GHG reduction opportunities, leading to more sustainable decisions about companies’ activities and the products they buy, sell, and produce. The standard was developed to help companies prepare a true and fair scope 3 GHG inventory in a cost-effective manner, through the use of standardized approaches and principles. It also aims to help companies develop effective strategies for managing and reducing their scope 3 emissions through an understanding of value chain emissions and associated risks and opportunities. The standard supports consistent and transparent public reporting of corporate value chain emissions according to a standardized set of reporting requirements.

WWF Developing Climate Positive Opportunities for Suppliers

IKEA cooperates with the World Wildlife Fund on a number of projects, including to identify and act on opportunities in the entire value chain, from raw material extraction to recycling IKEA products at the end of their life- cycle, and to help our customers become more climate smart. The goal is to remove barriers and to promote a low carbon IKEA supply chain.

WWF Low Carbon Manufacturing Program

The Low Carbon Manufacturing Program (LCMP) aims at reducing carbon emissions generated by manufacturing facilities in the Pearl River Delta and developing environmental social governance for those manufacturers. By providing manufacturers with a carbon accounting and labelling system, LCMP helps to measure their effectiveness in reducing carbon emissions and equip them with best practice in greenhouse gas management.