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Supply Chains: At the heart of business

Jon Mowll Jon Mowll Responsible Investment Analyst
EdenTree Insight reports

Supply Chains: At the heart of business

Jon Mowll


Responsible Investment Analyst
23 Oct 2020

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Foreword

Behind every well-known brand and all its shiny pronouncements on sustainability lies a complex supply chain sprawling across the globe. In many cases it will be poorly understood and barely visible to the brand. Foreword written by Mike Barry, Member of EdenTree’s Responsible Investment Advisory Panel and Former Director of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer.

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  Chapter 1

Introduction

We have written extensively in other EdenTree Insights on a range of topics intrinsically linked to the question of supply chains – shipping, ‘sustainability’, inequality, waste, transport, food and water, ‘natural capital’, to name a few. This Insight therefore seeks to synthesize some of this previous work, adding detail where necessary.

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  Chapter 2

Context: Corporate Responsibilities – Legal & Moral

Corporate responsibility is one of the key tenets in any modern ESG screening process. It is therefore imperative to consider both the legal and moral aspects of responsibility as, while something may be legal, it may not also fall within the bounds of morality.

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  Chapter 3

Environmental, Social, and Ethical Risks & Impacts in Supply Chains

Environmental and ecological risks and impacts in supply chains are many and varied. In this section we will examine the many different aspects an investor needs to consider when looking at a business' supply chains and their ethical implications.

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  Chapter 4

Supply Chain Management Today

Where these potential issues and risks in their supply chains are currently addressed by companies, approaches generally fall under the umbrella of ‘sustainable supply chain management’ (SSCM).10 This has evolved in many industries as a result of customer pressure. Such an approach has a number of features, stages, and methods, which we will explore here.

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  Chapter 5

Collaboration in Action

In this section, we look at two companies held in EdenTree portfolios that are taking direct action against two major supply chain issues. We look at how Carrefour are improving responsible agriculture, and at how TUI are fighting back against modern slavery.

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  Chapter 6

Deep Dive – Systemic Causes of Supply Chain Risks & Impacts

In order to understand today's supply chains, it is important to consider how they were formed and developed over time. In this section, we look at the roots of modern supply chains and their associated risks and responsible investment implications.

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  Chapter 7

The Future of Supply Chains

In this insight we have already looked at the roots of modern supply chains and how they function today. In this section, we will examine the possible futures for supply chains and the different ways in which they may be impacted.

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  Chapter 8

Redrawing Supply Chains: Blockchain and Circularity

As we have seen, there are many issues which can affect supply chains. However, there are an increasing number of potential solutions either logistically or using new technologies.

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  Chapter 9

Embedding Values in 21st-Century Supply Chains

Thus far, this insight has focused on the past, present and future of supply chains from a logistical point of view. but in this final chapter, we look at how the values of 21st century society are helping to shape the future of supply chains.

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Conclusion

As supply chains grew increasingly complex during the 20th century, it became ever more important to take a considered view when looking to invest responsibly in any business. This consideration is increasingly relevant in the 21st century and highlights the importance of considering all aspects of a business to ensure you invest ethically.

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