Reeve’s on the Road at the PMAC National Conference!

ottawa

Reeve Consulting has once again hit the road to attend the PMAC National Conference: Capitalizing on Supply Chain Solutions. It’s great to be back in Ottawa and to have the opportunity to lend our expertise to creating the sustainable supply chain solutions that will take us into a greener future.

Big things are in the works here as well. On Wednesday, June 12th, the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC) and Supply Chain and Logistics Association Canada (SCL) members voted to merge the two associations to form the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA). The new association is set to launch September 3rd and will retain the high standards set by both associations. We at Reeve would like to congratulate the SCMA and look forward to their continued dedication to Canadian Supply Chain professionals.

New Report Highlights Role of Supply Chain in Driving Corporate Strategy and Sustainability Initiatives

As a strategic advisor in the field of ethical and sustainable business practices for over 20 years, I have been fortunate to have been a part of a legacy of “firsts” that have helped shape sustainability and supply chain management awareness in Canada.  I find that the companies which achieve the greatest success in sustainability terms, such as Nature’s Path, Mountain Equipment Co-op or RBC are those that can integrate sustainability deep into their corporate culture and into their supply chains.

That’s what makes the recent release of OfficeMax Grand&Toy’s Insights Report on supply chain and procurement so timely. It presents a strong case that Canadian and global organizations are becoming more responsive to the fact that supply chain is one of the most significant organizational lever points for driving corporate sustainability. I couldn’t agree more, and I fully expect the report’s findings will continue to drive the conversation at the C-suite level regarding new opportunities and efficiencies to be gained via sustainable supply chains.

Overall, the findings are very positive about the depth of sustainability practices in Canadian business.

Canadian results are benchmarked with global findings and Canada compares quite favourably.  For example, 46% of Canadian enterprise-level organizations have a chief sustainability officer, compared to 26% globally, and 47% of respondents reported having one person in each department responsible for sustainability, compared to 22% globally. It further reveals that the number one driver of sustainability in Canadian business is cost-reduction.  Globally, the top three drivers of sustainability are fairly evenly distributed between cost, reputation, and alignment with values.

Are we over-emphasizing cost as the key driver of sustainability?

Operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness are generally an easy sell to business executives.  In Canada, sustainability initiatives have leveraged this easy buy-in and continue to do so.  But this singular focus on the bottom-line comes with risks. In our experience, high performing sustainable supply chain programs deliver more than just financial savings; they help reduce risk, build corporate brand, drive innovation and build stronger engagement with employees and suppliers.

However, as the report points out, this strategy leaves businesses at risk of stalling their sustainability programs as cost-reductions become “maxed” out.  Our work has shown that the most successful sustainability programs integrate sustainability into the corporate culture.  Growth must come from the bottom, but without C-Suite buy-in, the company culture will not change and current strategies will continue to rule.  This explains the rapid adoption of sustainability initiatives by Canadian business – they fit into reigning corporate models – and it also explains why they run the risk of stalling when the cost savings run out – precisely because the models have not changed.

Collaboration within and between all stakeholders is the key to driving the next wave of innovation.

OfficeMax Grand&Toy’s Insight Report found that collaboration between sustainability departments and supply chain & procurement is still quite limited. We expect this to change and foresee an increasing role for collaboration in promoting sustainability, both within an organization as well as up and down the supply chain.  As companies are forced to dig deeper for sustainability and supply chain cost-savings their internal and external communications and collaboration in their supply chain surrounding sustainability will increase.  These types of collaboration will result in better programs and improved impacts and, in fact, I see this playing out right now within the Municipal sector, where 20 large municipalities across the country are participating in regular networking webinars and teleconferences to share sustainable procurement best practices and product specifications. When Finance and Sustainability are allies at the executive table they can be a powerful force for change and innovation within an organization.

With the release of this Insights Report, OfficeMax Grand&Toy is making a significant contribution to the sustainability and supply chain movement.  Check out the full report at www.officemaxcanada.com/insights and stay tuned for future postings on more of the findings, as well as reaction from our contacts and stakeholders in the sustainable supply chain sector.

Green Ice for the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Chicago, LA, Pittsburg, or Boston: whichever team you’re rooting for in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs this year, the ice that they’ll be playing on during the tournament will be green!

No, Boston hasn’t decided to dye the ice green in a late St. Patrick’s Day celebration. This year, the NHL has enlisted offset provider Sterling Planet to both purchase wind energy to power the games as well as purchase verified carbon offsets to balance the teams’ air travel.

Better still, this isn’t the first time the NHL has stepped up to reduce the league’s environmental impact. As the abbreviated 2013 regular season drew to a close, the NHL made good on their promise to plant 50 trees for every hat trick scored this year. In all, the league donated 1,600 trees to The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign.

The NHL is far from alone in their fight to make the games that we all know and love greener. They are collaborating off the ice to work towards a more sustainable sports future as part of the Green Sports Alliance, along with six other professional sports leagues, nearly a hundred venues, and dozens of individual teams in nearly every sport. Reeve Consulting will be getting in the game too! We’ll be making the trip to attend the Green Sports Alliance Summit in New York City and sharing our success to help drive the change.

Bangladesh Factory Tragedy Triggers Reform in Garment Industry

It took the tragic collapse of Rana Plaza and the deaths of over 1,100 garment workers, but consumers and industry experts alike have been spurred to action. More than one million consumers around the world voiced their concern for worker safety by signing petitions advocating that brands improve their accountability for supply chain practices; meanwhile, thanks to the good work of people like our friends Linda and Kevin at Maquila Solidarity Network and Bob Walker at Ethical Funds, labour rights groups and socially responsible investment groups are successfully pressuring retailers and manufacturing companies to ensure continuous improvement to working conditions by getting them to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety.

Under the terms of the Accord, brands and retailers are required to guarantee independent safety inspections, safety training, mandatory repairs and renovations to the factories in their supply chain and to terminate business with non-compliant suppliers. Before the collapse at Rana Plaza, only PVH and Tchibo had signed the Accord; since the collapse, 38 companies, including Loblaws, have signed on.

If the deaths of the workers in the Rana Plaza collapse are not to be in vain, we must ensure that the Bangladesh Accord is strong and successful and we must build on that success until all workers can feel safe and secure on the job.

Back by Popular Demand: Buy Smart Network Workshop – June 19, Vancouver

Back by popular demand, the next half-day session of Maximizing the Impact of Sustainable Purchasing will be held Wednesday, June 19 at the Tides Canada building in Vancouver.

Are you committed to sustainability but unsure of how it can be realized within procurement? Take away practical tools, approaches and learn of real-world case examples in sustainable purchasing during this practical and inspiring half-day session on sustainable purchasing!

Who is this workshop meant for?

The BuySmart workshops have been designed for staff in public, private and non-profit organizations who are responsible for purchasing, sustainability or corporate responsibility in their organizations — and anyone else with an interest in sustainable purchasing and its associated social, environmental and financial benefits.

Why is this workshop useful to you and your organization?

This BuySmart workshop will show you how to leverage your purchasing power using simple tools such as scorecards and product guidelines. It can provide you with the knowledge and resources to:

  • Maximize the strategic impact of your sustainable purchasing program
  • Send clear sustainability performance signals to the market and enhance relationships with your suppliers
  • Refine your procurement process to:
  1. Integrate sustainability into bid documents
  2. Introduce supplier sustainability performance scorecards
  3. Consider the different methods of evaluating supplier proposals
  4. Establish sustainability standards and clauses for different commodity groups
  • Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure sustainable purchasing program impacts.

Have your questions answered first-hand by people with a wealth of experience in sustainable purchasing. The workshop is facilitated by Tim Reeve, co-founder of the BuySmart network and President of Reeve Consulting, along with Cora Strandberg. They will be joined by guest speakers Shelley Morrison, MBA, SCMP, CMP who is the Strategic Procurement Programs Manager at BC Hydro.

Where can I sign up?

To register, please visit maximizingimpactjun2013.eventbrite.ca.

A 20% discount is offered for organizations sending two or more participants (email bpurdy@fraserbasin.bc.ca for details).

For more details, feel free to call Bob Purdy at 604-488-5355.

Register soon as spaces are limited!

View the full workshop flier. [PDF]

Spring Growth at Reeve Consulting

We are thrilled to announce two new staffing changes at Reeve Consulting.

Thomas Moore, who has been working with us since December 2012, recently became a full-time member of our team.

We’ve also welcomed a new team mate, Skye Lee, a recent MBA graduate from the Sauder School of Business, who will be joining us until the end of the summer as a sustainability consultant.

We’re looking forward to an active and fulfilling summer.

We’re Heading to Dallas: ISM Conference 2013

This week Reeve Consulting will be in Dallas, Texas presenting at the 98th Annual Institute for Supply Management Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is “Be the Solution”. Reeve’s presentation will be providing insight on some of our strategies and leading work on building innovative supply chains to add value to a company’s brand and strengthen its bottom line.

Professional sports organizations are establishing emerging trends and industry standards with regards to incorporating sustainable principles within their business model. Reeve will be highlighting leading players in sustainability in sports. For example, NASCAR is in its 5th year of conducting substantial green campaign called NASCAR GREEN. Through this initiative NASCAR is changing the way that the sport interacts with the environment; by leading one of the largest recycling programs in the United States, leading tree planting campaigns to capture all the carbon produced on race day, and running all race vehicles on renewable fuel. Not only have these initiatives added value to the brand of NASCAR, they have also helped increase the sport’s popularity; capturing lucrative television contracts and sponsorship deals.

Reeve Consulting looks forward to the opportunity to facilitate more companies in bolstering their supply chains through sustainability.

Loblaws and Joe Fresh waking up to more bad news

Every CEO wants to sit down with their coffee and open the paper to find their company making headlines – but not like this.

Joe Fresh Image

Consumers across Canada are looking at the labels in their clothing and wondering if the t-shirt they put on this morning was made in Bangladesh and if the person that made it died yesterday in the catastrophic collapse of a garment factory in Dhakar.  Loblaws, the parent company of the Joe Fresh brand is scrambling to contain a public relations nightmare as word spreads that some of their garments were, in fact, made in that factory.

Loblaws had done its homework, they had audit systems in place to ensure that their clothing was made without child labour and with fair pay and decent working conditions.  But they forgot about the building.  No one thought to ask if the building itself was safe.  Creating comprehensive audits to protect the workers in your supply chain and your brand is what Reeve Consulting specializes in; it is our hope that by encouraging companies to engage in this dialogue and practice that future disasters can be avoided.

Joe Fresh and other Canadian Brands caught up in Bangladesh Ethical Sourcing Tragedy

Today we learned of the devastating collapse of a factory building in Bangladesh, in which some well-known Western brands, such as Joe Fresh, were having their clothing manufactured.  While our sympathies are with the victims and their families, this tragedy brings into focus how important it is for companies who are manufacturing items overseas and domestically to have robust auditing and sustainable and ethical purchasing practices.

This is not the first such tragedy in Dhaka. Just five months ago, a fire killed 112 people in another garment factory. Faulty electrical wiring combined with few and narrow exits were to blame for the deaths. A year before the incident, the factory was purportedly flagged with an “orange” grade by a Walmart ethical sourcing official for “violations and/or conditions which were deemed to be high risk”.  Yet, major brands such as Benetton, Children’s Place, Mango and Walmart were all associated with this tragedy.

Here at home we’ve also seen the effects of poor working conditions ending in tragic situations. Examples such as the mushroom farm in Langley, BC where three people died and two suffered permanent brain damage when entering a pump shed where toxic gas had accumulated. The farm’s composting facility had been operating without an occupancy permit and the Township of Langley had reportedly been trying to shut it down for two years. When manufacturers cut corners and ignore warnings about safety for the sake of their profit margin, they endanger their employees.

Factors like fair pay, good working conditions, health benefits and banning child labour are strategic supply chain issues. Making sure that buildings are in safe and operational condition with no violations is just as imperative as banning child labour, or ensuring fair pay. Responsible sourcing across a supply chain is a process of continual improvement. Working to put the right steps and measures in place takes effort. But the downside risk to a brand when things go bad can sometimes be too much to recover from. Too often, a public relations department is left scrambling after unfortunate events such as this one in Bangladesh, and in 2013 we are still hearing far too often of families left destitute and grieving.

Reeve Consulting is a boutique consultancy that helps clients enhance their brand, their profitability, and their social license by working with them to strategically re-think how they approach the ethical and environmental issues affecting their supply chain.

We’re hiring (Vancouver)

We’re excited to announce a new position with Reeve Consulting in Vancouver, BC.

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

The deadline for applications is May 3, 2013.

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.