An industrial worker operating a machine.

Ensuring sustainability in global supply chains

Sector project: Sustainability Standards and Public-Private Responsibility

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  • Client

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Country
  • Runtime

    2022 to 2025

  • Involved

    UN Global Compact

  • Products and expertise

    Economic development and employment

Context

Some 160 million children are subjected to child labour. Many working people do not have social protection. Natural habitats are being destroyed. Sexual violence and discrimination in the workplace are realities of life. These are just a few examples of human rights violations and environmental damage in global supply and value chains that occur because internationally agreed standards regarding human rights, working conditions and environmental protection are not always upheld.

States and businesses can create better working and living conditions worldwide through sustainable economic activity. Legal frameworks, minimum standards, incentive systems and support measures for companies play an important role in this. In addition, public procurement processes provide an opportunity to lead the way in sustainable business practices.

Objective

Public and private actors take responsibility for sustainable procurement. Companies take responsible action along global supply and value chains.

Plantation workers harvesting tea leaves.

Approach

The project supports the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in analysing political processes in Germany and abroad. These processes aim to make global supply chains more sustainable – be it at national, European or international level. It advises on fundamental principles for responsible action and provides ideas for environmentally friendly public procurement. The project runs the Secretariats of the Team Europe Initiative ‘Sustainability in Global Supply Chains’ and the UN Global Compact Network Germany (UN GCG).

Important cooperation arrangements for implementing the project have been established with the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the German Institute for Human Rights (DIMR).

Last update: August 2023

Additional information