The Sustainable Supply Chain Problem

supchain.jpgYour company might be as responsible and sustainable as you can make it, but that means very little if you’ve got no idea about the practices of your suppliers. From Ethical Corporation:

Last week an article and editorial in the Financial Times newspaper highlighted the many methods that Chinese suppliers use to cover up poor health and safety practices. The revelations were sobering, if not surprising. The reality is that getting developing world suppliers to comply with international social and environmental standards remains a formidable problem.

Does the ultimate responsibility lie with the buyer? Perhaps, but it’s not easy to wade throught the maze of poorly documented information from suppliers of all shapes and sizes. One answer may be collaborative monitoring – wherein groups of buyers agree to demand a certain level of compliance from shared suppliers – this takes the burden off the buyers, and suppliers get a more streamlined system to work in. (more on

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.