If the last few years have proven anything, it’s that ESG (environmental, social, and governance) isn’t a passing trend. Since 2020, demand for ethically sourced goods has soared, and consumers are paying more attention than ever to where their goods come from. 82% of consumers say sustainability is more top of mind than before the pandemic, and every generation from Gen Z to the Boomers now cites sustainability as more important than brand name when making purchases. It’s truly rare to see consumer preferences shift so rapidly.
Meanwhile, governments are regulating the supply chain like never before. Countries across the globe are passing legislation mandating supply chain due diligence, and the European Union is on the brink of adopting a sweeping new supply chain law. As governments have accelerated the passage of responsible sourcing regulations, the investment industry has tightened its own focus on sustainability. Investors remain committed to ESG, with many saying they would prefer to invest in highly ESG-rated companies over companies with higher expected returns. The real-world implications of their investments are now just as important as the financial ones.
Brands and retailers that haven’t kept pace with these shifting ESG headwinds are running out of time. Old processes are no longer sufficient to ensure compliance with recent regulations. Businesses that rely on spreadsheets and manual records to manage critical supplier and compliance information are exposing themselves to ever-growing reputational risks and financial penalties.
Successfully committing to ESG requires foundational process changes and intelligent systems for navigating a supply chain that’s grown increasingly complex over the last two decades. TradeBeyond provides those systems. Retail’s leading multi-enterprise platform, TradeBeyond helps brands and retailers build sustainability into every step of product sourcing and development.
TradeBeyond’s supplier relationship management module CBX Partner provides a complete solution to manage all suppliers – from vendors to factories to raw material providers – and to ensure their compliance with regulatory requirements. It also creates crucial transparency and traceability. Through supply chain mapping, our system grants businesses a fuller understanding of their environmental footprint, including where their yarns and fabrics come from, how much carbon they’re emitting, and whether they’re making progress toward reducing water and cotton consumption.
Compliance increasingly hinges on this transparency. Being able to map supplier bases to the Nth tier is essential for ensuring compliance with supply chain due diligence laws including the United States’ Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), since it allows businesses to verify the provenance of their goods. Without this traceability in place, containers could be detained for weeks or even months by customs agents.
TradeBeyond doesn’t just centralize all supplier information. It also helps merchandisers and compliance managers efficiently monitor every suppliers’ certifications, audits, risk assessments and compliance protocol. Our software automatically notifies merchandisers and compliance managers instantly if a red flag emerges. It also safeguards against human error, preventing merchandisers from placing orders from non-compliant suppliers and preventing shipping departments from booking shipments from non-compliant factories. Suppliers are notified of any open issues and corrective actions they must address before orders can proceed, helping prevent lengthy delays and ensure products arrive on shelves on time.
Our powerful platform also saves retailers and brands time by automating the onboarding process for vendors and factories through supplier self-registration, ensuring that all new suppliers have read and consented to the company’s terms. This way from the very earliest stages of working with a supplier, they’ve committed to your ESG standards and expectations.
Our software also helps companies leverage partnerships with sustainability leaders by seamlessly syncing with crucial outside databases. Last year TradeBeyond became the first supply chain management software company to offer an interface with amfori, the global sustainable trade association. amfori monitors the social performance of vendors, including working conditions and child labor, and keeps a cloud database of all its certification audits for retail members to search and view.
Our interface builds that database directly into TradeBeyond, synchronizing all amfori BSCI audit reports into the workflows of buyers, merchandisers and compliance management officers in real time so they don’t have to manually access the amfori portal. TradeBeyond automatically cross checks any orders and shipments and notifies key members of potential compliance issues. This year we’ve also introduced integrations with WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) and the sustainability insights platform Higg to integrate their social compliance data and environmental impact data directly into our system.
These integrations provide businesses with greater visibility into their sustainability initiatives through one centralized platform. With ESG and social responsibility now top of mind for consumers and investors, these kinds of automated safeguards are no longer “nice to haves.” They’re absolutely essential for ensuring businesses live up to their standards of responsibility.
ESG is complex and requires rigorous attention and systemic improvement of many supply chain processes. TradeBeyond provides a comprehensive solution for ensuring brands and retailers stay ahead of their current and future sustainability targets.
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