Not just another fluff piece

Winter is on the way and with it, racks and racks of high-end down filled jackets, slippers and blankets promising to keep you cozy all season long. Generally speaking these are high-priced items, but a recent article has left us wondering, what is the real cost of all this down?

A review of the video attached tells you everything you didn’t want to know about how down is usually sourced. None of it is surprising for anyone who is versed in large factory farming methods, but it’s sure to bring a chill to anyone cuddle up in their down duvet! Force feeding, plucked alive, terrible conditions all suffered by these harmless birds to keep us warm and cozy.

Enter Patagonia, an outdoor apparel company who has just launched its “Responsible Apparel” campaign along with its intention to offer Fair Trade Clothing. This week they announced the launch of Patagonia® Traceable Down. The company says that the birds are neither force feed for fois gras or plucked during their lifetime. In fact, Wendy Savage, social and environmental responsibility manager for Patagonia says “Patagonia’s traceability program is hands-on every step of the way. We begin our audit at the parent farm, where the eggs are laid, and follow it all the way to the garment factory, where the down is placed in our garments. We need to understand every single part of the supply chain – otherwise we can’t truly feel comfortable claiming the down as traceable.”

Down is lightweight and efficient insulation, with Patagonia creating and following these traceability standards; it is now sustainable and a lot more ethical. Considering it already has organic cotton and recycled polyester, they are leading the charge towards sustainable apparel and should be an inspiration to other companies to utilize the holistic model set forth by Patagonia.

We’re hiring! Admin Assistant (Vancouver)

We’re excited to announce an open position with Reeve Consulting in Vancouver, BC.

Click on the links below for full job postings and application details.

The position will be filled upon finding a suitable candidate.

Reeve Consulting is a boutique consultancy based in Vancouver, BC specializing in the development and implementation of ethical and sustainable purchasing programming for business, government and non-profit organizations in BC and across North America.

New eLearning Tool for Sustainable Purchasing from Reeve Consulting

With supply chain transparency quickly rising as a corporate priority –private and public sector organizations are asking themselves how they can more effectively engage with their staff around important ethical and sustainable purchasing concepts.

That’s why a new eLearning tool called The Green Learning Centre is creating a buzz. Powered by Reeve Consulting, The Green Learning Centre is a unique online communication and training program that builds employee awareness and understanding of ethical, sustainable and green purchasing in a fast, fun and effective way.

The Green Learning Centre offers three levels of courses to enable employees to quickly learn the fundamental concepts of green purchasing and sustainable supply chains using interactive videos and the latest in online learning tools. The courses have been described as fun (when was the last time you heard of an eLearning procurement course call described as fun!); they are time efficient (from 10 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the course); and they offer a consistent message as part of an enterprise wide communication program. And by drawing on the experience of Reeve Consulting’s twenty years of experience of working with hundreds of private, public and non-profit organizations, learners receive relevant information, delivered at their own pace, without ever having to leave their own desks.

The Green Learning Centre courses are effective as a stand-alone primer for sustainable purchasing, but can also be blended with in-person seminars for an even more immersive experience. In the end, employees will come away grounded in the fundamental concepts of environmental purchasing, ethical sourcing and sustainable procurement.

The Green Learning Centre has already helped organizations such as the University of British Columbia, the BC Lottery Corporation, and London Drugs take their teams to the next level in terms of awareness and understanding of green and sustainable purchasing.

Take advantage of an exclusive offer to get a 50% discount on any Green Learning Centre course in next 30 days. Offer available to the first 100 visitors using the promotion code: 92FABD68. Simply click on this link to get started.

Supplier Engagement and Collaboration: McDonalds Releases 2014 “Best of Sustainable Supply” Report

We’ve long been advocates of the idea of working collaboratively with suppliers to scale up social and environmental performance, and a recent report released by McDonalds shows just how much can be achieved when organizations look to their suppliers for solutions to sustainability challenges. In their new report entitled, “Best of Sustainable Supply”,  McDonalds honours 36 suppliers and 51 projects that represent significant innovation towards more sustainable supply chains. McDonalds believes that innovation is key to their sustainability journey and their suppliers have a pretty impressive track record of innovating in the area of the three E’s: ethics, environment, and economics.

According to Jose Amario, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Supply Chain, one of the goals of the report is to share that innovations and knowledge with other suppliers,

“Every year, our suppliers focus even more attention on sustainability, applying innovation to make a real difference for the people, communities, animals and environment that touch our supply chain. And the benefits don’t end with us. Many of these innovations can bring about more widespread change in our suppliers’ own industries and in broader society”.

In a call for nominations McDonalds received 585 submissions, almost 40 percent more than the last time they engaged suppliers in this program. Stay tuned for information from Reeve Consulting on Supplier Collaboration and best practices as we work with one of our major retail clients on a supplier recognition program aimed to roll out in the fall of 2014.

Growing the Market for Fairtrade Products in Canada

 Did you know that Fairtrade Certification is the most widely recognized consumer eco-label in  the world? It’s not surprising given that Fairtrade certification includes minimum environmental, social and economic standards, all related to the production and distribution to a growing range of consumer products. The high recognition rate is good news for both ourselves and our friends at Fairtrade Canada, who have recently engaged Reeve Consulting to help them develop and execute a major Retail Engagement Strategy aimed at growing the availability of certified Fairtrade products in major Canadian Grocery Stores such as Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, Whole Foods and Federated Cooperative Limited [PDF]. We’ll be working as key partner to the Fairtrade Canada Commercial team for the next 4 months as part of a new focus within the organization on the retail sector. If you’re a certified Fairtrade brand, a Fairtrade supplier or a friend of Fairtrade, we’d love to hear your ideas on how we can grow the market for Fairtrade products in Canada and beyond.

Same Great Team – Great New Space!

After spending most of the last 10 years located in the downtown core Reeve Consulting has recently moved into a fantastic new office near City Hall in Vancouver. We’re thrilled to be in a new location that comes equipped with video conferencing technology for servicing remote clients, has stunning views of the City and as an added bonus comes with a LEED Gold Rating for Interior Design and Renovation. We’re also really excited to be sharing the office space with MHPM Project Managers,  who were a strategic partner to us on a recent Buying Green Guide we produced for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Located on the 5th floor of the City Square building at 555 West 12th – we invite you to drop by to check out the new space or join us on a Friday afternoon after 4:00 PM when we typically loosen the strings and join with our MHPM friends in celebrating the end of the week. We look forward to hosting you soon.

Now Released: Report on the State of Municipal Sustainable Procurement in Canada

The fourth annual report on the State of Municipal Sustainable Procurement in Canada from Reeve Consulting, co-authored with the representatives from the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Purchasing (MCSP), is now available for public distribution. This latest report documents current trends, best practices and the major challenges faced by municipalities as they implement sustainable and ethical procurement. It presents a best practices framework for sustainable purchasing leadership and a snapshot of how major Canadian municipalities are progressing at implementing their programs
 
If you are an MCSP participant, make the most of your report by sharing it with your City Council as an example of the value of peer-to-peer collaborations.
 
>> Download the full 2013 report [PDF]
 
Please note that preparation of the 2014 annual report will be starting in September 2014 and will be using an enhanced self-evaluation framework that allows for more precise self-reporting.

Green Sports Alliance Summit

Sustainability at the 4th Green Sports Alliance Summit

I am excited to speak at the 4th Green Sports Alliance Summit http://summit.greensportsalliance.org/ on July 21-22 in Santa Clara, California. More than 600 industry stakeholders will be listening to 80+ industry leaders, discussing how companies can promote better environmental sustainability, engage in community outreach, and advance the green sports movement. Pivotal issues to be explored by a wide selection of dedicated individuals.

Throughout history, sports have proven an effective way to bring people together in camaraderie. Whether it’s the baseball field, the hockey rink, or the ski slope, the environment is an important participant in any sport. This gives the industry strong motivation to preserve natural spaces, not only for athletes but for the children of future generations eager to experience the games themselves.

As a strategic advisor for ethical and sustainable business practices, I am always enthusiastic about industries making the green choice. It’s not just great for the environment but makes smart business sense as well. Sustainable purchasing helps you become a leading sports organization by eliminating waste and creating more efficient use of resources. For example, by forming partnerships with sustainable food providers, you have steady access to an efficient quality food source and by avoiding sweat-shop labour, you are selling better products to your clients, ones produced with skill and care.

That so many dedicated sports professionals have come together for the Green Sports Alliance is incredibly heartening, hopefully a prophecy of things to come. I look forward to helping the Alliance transform the whole sports environment and look forward to seeing you at the summit.

Environmental Sustainability at Putin’s 2014 Russian Olympics

Like other Canadians, I was excited about all the gold medals we won at the Sochi 2014 Olympics, especially in hockey, our national sport, and in giant slalom, a personal favourite of mine. It was an honour to be involved in the event’s development. After serving as a Strategic Advisor for Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics, I was approached by Russian authorities for advice on how to minimize the 2014 Olympics’ effect on the environment.

This wasn’t a minor issue. Sochi is a popular choice for eco-tourism because of its biodiversity and breathtaking natural wonders, and the International Olympic Committee had concerns about the Sochi environment and potential environmental impacts from its role as Olympic host. It was a great opportunity to be able to work with the Sochi environmental team. Many plans and initiative were incorporated into the country’s preparations, which can be seen in detail on the Sochi 2014 website < http://www.sochi2014.com/en/development-harmony>. These changes included habitat restoration, animal resettlement, compensation of the Games’ carbon footprint, innovative waste management systems, and using only wood and paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Many of the Olympic sponsors did their part as well, such as Dow Chemical, who provided a new technology and resources to keep the 2014 Olympics carbon neutral.

Companies such as Dow Chemical recognize the value of associating their brand with an environmentally sustainable Olympics. Of course promoting green practices and sustainability preserves the environment, a priceless goal, but it makes good business sense as well. Sustainable methods create less waste and are therefore more efficient. Furthermore, by getting involved, companies such as Dow show to the world that they’re industry leaders, and that their brand philosophy is about more than simply making a quick buck. It earns them respect, which can be invaluable.

The results of the Sochi 2014 sustainability sadly weren’t perfect. The Russian marketplace was not well-prepared for the demands of a green Olympics and many initiatives weren’t implemented as comprehensively as they could have been. However, it was a definite step in the right direction. Hopefully it will give Russians inspiration for further sustainability initiatives in the future. Certainly the Olympics’ marketing campaign frequently mentioned its use of FSC-approved materials and hopefully that idea has resonated with suppliers. Perhaps in the near future, people will look back on the 2014 Olympics and say that that was a catalyst for a new green movement in Russia.

Event Notice

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Reeve Consulting is participating in a panel at Sustainability Applied 2013 next week. Read more about the panel content & panelists here. Tim will be moderator for the panel “Sourcing and Procurement: Driving Sustainability in Canada and the Role of Supply Chain and Procurement.”