ASCM releases ethical supply chain standards

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

CHICAGO – The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) has released standards that will help companies assess the ethical, ecological and economic aspects of their supply chain.

Companies that meet the standards are eligible to apply for the ASCM Enterprise Certification, a designation that demonstrates supply chain excellence and transparency—a growing consumer value as they become more and more educated about supply chain practices supporting a circular economy.

“More than ever, consumers want to know that the products they buy are not only economically sound but also manufactured through practices that are ethically and environmentally conscious,” said ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi.

“Building these ‘triple E’ supply chains provide innovative companies with another platform to achieve competitive advantage, grow their market share and make the world better through supply chain – at the same time.”

For example, an ASCM report released earlier this year found that 83 percent of supply chain professionals surveyed considered supply chain ethical dimensions either extremely or very important to their organization. However, nearly four in ten companies aren’t monitoring their supply chains for ethical practices.

“This gap between mindset and action causes accountability to fall through the cracks, which can damage an organization’s reputation, affecting its overall bottom line,” added Eshkenazi.

The development of the ASCM Enterprise Certification leverages the entire APICS body of knowledge including the supply chain operations reference (SCOR) model and ASCM professional certifications – CPIM, CSCP and CLTD. The Standards Guide serves as a comprehensive checklist helping to strengthen supply chain strategy. The guide contains three sections.

Section 1: Organizes criteria and questions for each stage of the supply chain (Plan, Source, Make, Deliver, Return and Enable) across ethical, environmental and economical dimensions.

Section 2: Focuses on criteria and questions for key facilitators, which includes those involved in strategy, governance, workforce, and technology and knowledge management.

Section 3: Centers on effective stakeholder engagement including customers, suppliers, government and community.

The Standards Guide is now available to download for free on the ASCM website.

Early feedback on the benefits of the ASCM Enterprise Certification for companies include:

  • Serves as an unbiased standard demonstrating corporate commitment and accountability to building a circular economy
  • Provides a competitive advantage as consumers become more educated about ‘clean supply chains’ and technology advances make the data readily available
  • Addresses the entire spectrum of supplier capability from selection through management
  • Increases desirability among job candidates who hold high esteem for organizations committed to corporate social responsibility

ASCM Enterprise Certification will complement industry-specific endorsements such as the United Nations Global Compact and the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 26001, 14001, 9001 & 31000.