Q&A with Bobby Varanasi

Q&A with Bobby Varanasi

Varanasi_Headshot100x100

A PUBLISHED author, sought-after-speaker and commentator, Bobby Varanasi (pic above), Matryzel Consulting Inc chairman and chief executive officer, is also one of the world’s leading consultants on global business services (GBS) as a business model.

He is also the latest speaker to join the stellar cast at Digital News Asia’s (DNA) What’s Next conference, where he will join a panel discussion on Disruptive Technology: What’s Going To Hit/Boost Your Business with Red Dot Ventures managing director Leslie Loh.

While he is familiar with the latest technologies adopted in business, describing the next wave of human labour substitution by machines and software as a “capital deepening,” Varanasi has always urged organisations to focus on revenue growth, building resilience, and strengthening their sustainability.

Technologies, whatever form and shape they take, however sexy or mundane they may be, must always play a supporting role and not lead the business goals of an organisation.

In the following Q&A, Varanasi shares what’s disruptive, including the shift from transactional to intelligent workflows with not just technology playing a role but governance as well.

DNA: You are an interesting mix for a panel that talks about disruptive technology, as the GBS space is all about the interlink between people, process and technology. What’s so disruptive in your space?

Varanasi: Well, the corporate world has come a long way over the past five decades, particularly in its quest to leverage competencies and practices.

While the outsourcing world itself morphed into the GBS world we see today, this increasing maturity has not been as much a function of input factors (people, process, technologies) as much as the inability to deal with uncertain futures and ever-changing marketplace conditions.

This ‘disruption,’ as one would like to term it, isn’t about or because of technology. Today’s complex relationships amongst organisations are typically built around collaboration, mutuality, and co-creation. End goals may be many and distinct between partnering entities.

However, the common thread binding them cohesively is an agreed objective to build value for the future.

Outcome-centric collaborative endeavours have, and continue to deliver, substantial (and at times unimaginable) value to customers, employees and shareholders.

To remain now at the forefront of such gains, organisations look continually toward enhancing their own view to the marketplace, while remaining cognisant of competition, changing consumer preferences, and inherent dependencies that may manifest as hidden opportunities from within their supply chains.

The principal disruption is happening with the entire premise of moving from being a ‘competitive organisation’ to a ‘cognitive organisation.’

Intelligence, information, workflows and integrated management of functions within and outside the organisation are the key pivots. Technologies may be seen as one key set of inputs to enable such fundamental shifts.

To that extent, the GBS industry is clear in its understanding of the applicability of such technologies.

DNA: The business model has moved from being described as Shared Services to Shared Services and Outsourcing (SSO) to now being called Global Business Services (GBS). Is this the sign of a sector still trying to find its niche and relevancy, or is there sound basis for the changing descriptions?

Varanasi: Twenty years of rigorous adoption of sourcing has seen progressive creation of new service lines and delivery models, alongside rigour and discipline across the entire life-cycle.

However the primary premise – of leveraging human resources as capital and inputs – remained unchanged.

Was value created or eroded? This is a question that is beginning to gain traction, both in terms of defining what value actually meant, and what it doesn’t.

Progressive pursuits, from discrete to integrated services, have opened up a plethora of opportunities for organisations to transform their rigid command-n-control models.

Consequently, many organisations that were at the cutting edge of adopting sourcing began to see the limitations the traditional models (SSO) continued to pose, particularly in the face of an increasingly complex marketplace where consumer needs changed quickly.

Three distinct trends (among many) are pivotal to appreciate the nature of the GBS world:

1) Aggressive commoditisation

Of (hitherto) innovative services allowed organisations to transcend borders and fuel growth in many nations. Of course, a price needed to be paid and that took the form of de-leverage. Control, ownership and predictability gave way to interoperability, open standards and ubiquity that transcended experience or size. The consequential discrete nature of provisioning imposed inherent limitations that providers couldn’t do much about, while customers saw through the limitations.

2) Replacing labour as key input

A resource revolution has been waiting to happen to satisfy the needs of over 2.5 billion new middle-class people worldwide. Meanwhile, smart machines have become increasingly able to perform advanced pattern-recognition tasks (that hitherto required human intelligence).

The evidence of ‘capital deepening’ is undeniable, where robots, computers and software (as capital) are increasingly substituting human labour. The contributing factors for such capital deepening have been increasingly cheap processing power, sophisticated software, cheap and ubiquitous sensors, and a much better understanding of human intelligence (in the form of cognitive sciences).

On the flip side, input factors have equalised to the point that any sophistication among them is nothing more than marginal value. This facet is precisely the reason for the increasing irrelevance of traditional sourcing models.

3) Pursuing cognition and predictability

Fundamental shifts are noticeable across all layers within organisations. The biggest shifts are observed in the operational and tactical layers.

The former is seeing a shift from transactional to intelligent workflows, where technologies and other innovations across data science, artificial intelligence and other trends with governance and collaborative partnering are influencing traditional resource-heavy delivery.

Intelligence is being created continuously instead of keeping the lights up. The fallouts are the irrelevance of job-centric and transactional models.

Meanwhile at the tactical layer, traditional service delivery that guaranteed efficiency-based endeavours within functions began to be replaced by an integrated multi-functional and cross-organisational view.

The endeavour isn’t as much about enhancing efficiencies of operational inputs through structure and rigour. Rather, the emphasis is co-creation and predictive approaches that aim to build resilience within the larger organisation.

DNA: Is there any single technology that you feel is disrupting large businesses? What can or is being done by early adopters to deal with its impact?

Varanasi: No, I firmly believe that there is no silver bullet. I don’t even subscribe to the fact that technologies are disrupting businesses.

Growing networks and globalisation have helped organisations build resilience through collaborative partnering, for a variety of reasons, spread across the entire gamut of activities within.

Today’s technologies continue to surprise many, not just because they are new, but because they are helping us – finally – find answers to vexing questions that have been around for too long.

I would therefore be quite sanguine in pronouncing adverse absolutes for companies which aren’t perceived as early adopters. Relevance and utility value supersede the modernity of any technology.

Hence ‘backcasting’ the business model, starting with outcomes in mind and then tracing back into the organization, would enable the identification of the right combination of input-factors (labour, capital, technologies, tools, systems, infrastructure, policies, operating models, workflows, etc.).

Eventually, the strategic pursuits of an organisation are about revenue growth, resilience and sustainability. To that end, any and all inputs have to pass the test in being able to contribute directly to these goals.

What’s Next

You can hear more from Varanasi and other speakers at What’s Next: The Business Impact of Disruptive Technology on July 28 at the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Register directly at http://digitalnewsasia.com/whats-next-2016 or call Suraini Sarip at 6013 295-3498 for details.

SDG 17

Partner for Success with #SDG17 – [GSC 17/17, Week 17]

The Global Sourcing Council
 Share Your Success Story to Drive Action for the SDGs
Contact us to showcase your sustainable practices
transforming business and the world!
The Global Challenge
The SDGs are estimated to cost US$3 trillion per year to achieve, and much of this will need to come from private resources. Long-term investments are needed in sustainable energy, infrastructure, transport, and information and communications technologies, among other sectors.
Your Business Opportunity
For businesses to succeed, they require access to energy, good governance and sustainable economic development, to name a few fundamentals. Companies can do much to build this foundation and create long-term value. UBS has said the SDGs create opportunities for “financially attractive investments.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently echoed this idea, pointing to the need for infrastructure investments and calling the SDGs, along with the Paris Agreement on climate change, an “unprecedented opportunity” for the private. Speaking at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit on 22 June, Ban added, “we are at a decisive moment in the shift to sustainable and inclusive markets.”
What’s next for GSC on the Global Goals?
GSC advocates for profit with purpose through sustainable supply chains. In 2015, GSC aligned its mission with the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.
In the coming weeks, stay connected with GSC for news on: 

Half Billion Challenge

  • In the spirit of partnership to achieve the SDGs, GSC is launching a challenge to the global sourcing community to allocate US$500,000,000 to turn their supply chains into socially and environmentally responsible supply chains.
  • Target Date: September 25, 2017, the second anniversary of the 2030 Agenda’s signing
  • The funds are to be used  by pledging entities to build capacity in supply chains in the form of outreach, training, administrative support, organization support, to reach out to new suppliers and support existing suppliers aligned with SDGs and to report on the progress with transparency and accountability.
  • Why Partiicpate? Challenge participants will gain global visibility and recognition, provide inspiration to supply chain managers, and showcase their leadership in aligning their companies with the SDGs.
  • Contact Angeline Judex, GSC Executive Director to learn more

How Business are Demystifying the SDGs for Success

  • This forthcoming publication compiles tools, resources, case studies, and examples of business leadership on each of the 17 SDGs. It will serve as a roadmap for companies and investors wondering how their work is aligned with the SDGs, how they can contribute in a meaningful way, and how to measure their impacts. 
  • Contact: Lou Coppola at 646.430.8230 ext 14 OR louis.coppola@gscouncil.org

Call for Nominations for 3S Awards 2016

  • Participate in the 2016 3S (Sustainable and Socially Responsible Sourcing) Awards and Gala taking place in New York in November.
  • Contact Angeline Judex, GSC Executive Director to learn more.
Make a Difference with Action on Goal 17
SDG 17 calls to “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.” Its targets address five areas: Finance; Technology; Capacity-building; Trade; and Systemic issues, such as Policy and institutional coherence, and Data, monitoring and accountability.
Find a Partner

The UN Global Compact Business Partnership Hub is an interactive online “matchmaking” platform that connects businesses with potential partners and projects. Search for partnerships within each SDG. See UN-Business Action Hub
Resources on Investment Policies

The 2015 Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development, from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), consists of an overarching set of Core Principles for Investment Policymaking that serve as design criteria for three sets of operational guidelines or action menus:

 

  • Guidelines for national investment policies,
  • Guidance for the design and use of international investment agreements (IIAs),
  • An action menu for the promotion of investment in sectors related to the sustainable development goals.
Learn from Leaders Taking Action on SDG 17

NASDAQ
Adena Friedman, president and COO of stock exchange operator NASDAQ, said capital markets can act as a “source and force” for sustainable growth, including through sustainability-related indexes, exchange-traded-funds (ETFs), green bonds and other financial instruments. In 2015 NASDAQ led an effort within the World Federation of Exchanges to agree on a set of environmental, social and governance metrics that companies should report to help investors gauge their long-term financial health. Learn more.

 

Calvert, TIAA-CREF, Pax World Management
Calvert and other Fund managers are lowering management fees on actively-managed ESG funds, in response to competition in the mutual fund industry. Bloomberg reports that more investors are seeking investments that align with their values, and increasing their scrutiny of fees on ESG funds, which can drag on performance. TIAA-CREF Social Choice Equity Fund has a particularly low expense ratio, and Pax World Management made recent announcements about dropping and lowering fees. ESG funds direct financial resources towards companies that are well managed, forward looking, and meet high standards of corporate responsibility, among other criteria. Learn more.
UBS
UBS’ chair Axel Weber said this week that the financial products are “becoming ready to make it happen.” UBS plans to launch a new index and a set of related products based on the Global Compact 100, a stock index representing the 13,000 members of the UN’s voluntary corporate sustainability initiative.
Saturna Capital
Saturna Sdn is a unit of the company that runs the biggest Shariah-compliant share fund in the U.S. The unit is looking into a green investment vehicle in Malaysia. Bloomberg reports that Malaysia introduced guidelines to promote environmentally and socially responsible investing in late 2014, and the country has a supportive environment for sustainable investments. Saturna’s announcement indicates that Islamic asset managers are beginning to tap demand for more environmentally conscious investing, says Bloomberg. Learn more.
MSCI
MSCI, whose ESG Research division is the world’s largest provider of ESG ratings, research and data for investment decision making, announced that it will measure the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) characteristics of portfolio holdings and rank or screen funds based on a diverse set of factors including sustainable impact, values alignment and ESG risks, including carbon footprint. MSCI has categorized the SDGs into five sections, as part of its new initiative to rate mutual funds for ESG. Means of Implementation and Global Partnership (Goal 17) is listed in a section on Governance. Learn more.
Amplify your Impact: Collaborate with NGOs and Other Companies

Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
The Principles for Responsible Investment is a global coalition of investors who believe that environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors affect the long-term performance of investment portfolios. The investor group, led by F&C Asset Management and Hermes Equity Ownership Services, collectively manages more than $1.7 trillion in assets. Learn more.

Sustainable Stock Exchanges
The Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative is a peer-to-peer learning platform for exploring how exchanges, in collaboration with investors, regulators, and companies, can enhance corporate transparency – and ultimately performance – on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues and encourage sustainable investment. The SSE is organized by UNCTAD, the UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and the PRI. NASDAQ is among the partner exchanges. Learn more.

GeSI
The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) has made the SDGs its “central framework for action” and defined an implementation roadmap to support member organizations in meeting the Goals. Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom AG expressed their support for GeSI in order to apply digital technology to solving challenges including in education, healthcare, environmental sustainability, and urban planning. In collaboration with other companies, like Ericsson, GeSI provides information, resources and best practices for achieving integrated social and environmental sustainability through ICT. Learn more.
Join the Sustainable Sourcing Community:
Become a GSC Member to Drive Results
Download 17/17 Prospectus

As a GSC member, you will gain global exposure for your sustainability efforts and benefit from the ability to demonstrate leadership, educate and inspire more action in sourcing, supply chains and procurement.
As part of your GSC membership, you will also have the opportunity to communicate your SDG support of the 17 Weeks / 17 SDGs initiative and sponsor the 3S Awards.
   GSC 17/17 Media Partners   
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More of the Latest News on SDG 17

Advocate Peace and Stability with #SDG16 – [GSC 17/17, Week 16]

The Global Sourcing Council
 Share Your Success Story to Drive Action for the SDGs
Contact us to showcase your sustainable practices
transforming business and the world!
The Global Challenge
Corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost US$1.26 trillion for developing countries per year, enough to relieve all people of extreme poverty for six years. Goal 16 also addresses peace and fragility, the rule of law, and quality of governance, all of which affect business’ operating environments.
Your Business Opportunity
Conflict and instability pose risks to all parts of the business sector. Anti-corruption engagement increasingly is being used as a litmus test for the overall quality of companies’ business practices and management. Firms also stand to benefit from working with community leaders and other stakeholders to create trust and transparency, thus reducing risk.
Make a Difference with Action on Goal 16
SDG 16 calls to “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”
SDG 16 addresses: reducing violence, ending violence against children (including trafficking), promoting rule of law and access to justice, reducing illicit flows and combating organized crime, reducing corruption and bribery, developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions, ensuring inclusive, representative decision-making, and ensuring public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms.
  Identify Conflict and Governance Challenges in your Supply Chain

Worldwide Governance Indicators
 The World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators Project (WGI) informs companies in maintaining lists of Permitted Sourcing Countries. The project reports aggregate and individual governance indicators for 215 economies over the period 1996–2014, for six dimensions of governance: Voice and Accountability; Political Stability and Absence of Violence; Government Effectiveness; Regulatory Quality; Rule of Law and Control of Corruption. Disney removed Pakistan from its list of Textile Raw Material providers in 2014, reportedly using the WGI. Learn more.

Global Compact Local Networks
The UN Global Compact’s Local Networks enable members to ensure local ownership of issues related to peace. Companies are invited to work alongside participating Local Networks to advance peace in: Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Ukraine.
In Colombia, the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá helped to launch the Business for Peace Working Table, which seeks to build collective participation and learning. Learn more.
Rule of Law Index
The 2015 Rule of Law Index from the World Justice Project shows how each country scores and ranks on eight factors: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice. Learn more.
Align your Company/Workplace with Best Practices

Good Governance for Extractive Industries
The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network provides a variety of resources on good governance of extractive and land resources. Learn more.
Six Ways to Promote Transparency and Accountability
The UN Global Compact reports that companies are increasingly taking action to stop corruption. It suggests the following six steps to promote transparency and accountability in your company.
  1. Commit: Make anti-corruption part of your company culture and operations. Show your employees, customers and suppliers that your company has a zero-tolerance policy on bribery & corruption.
  2. Assess: Know your risks and prepare for them. Recognize opportunities to improve your business by improving compliance.
  3. Define: Define what success means for your company. Develop goals, strategies and policies and get buy-in from colleagues by clearly showing the importance of these policies.
  4. Implement: Make anti-corruption programmes and policies integral throughout your company, including your value chain.
  5. Measure: What gets measured gets done. Monitor and measure the impact of your anti-corruption policies to identify what’s working and what still needs work.
  6. Communicate: Consistently communicate your progress to stakeholders, always striving for continuous improvement.
Your company can also join UNGC’s Anti-Corruption Working Group and sign the Anti-Corruption Call to Action.
Reporting Guidance on Anti-Corruption (10th Principle)
This principle, that “Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery,” is considered the most difficult to implement. The reporting guidance from Transparency International aims to help businesses achieve it. Learn about Transparency International.
Learn from Leaders Taking Action on SDG 16

Apple
Apple audits all of its suppliers for the use of “conflict minerals” that may support militia groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It says the supply chains of its iPhones and other products includes 242 smelters and refiners of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, and auditing 100% of these suppliers is aimed at ensuring that no conflict minerals are used, while making a positive impact in the smelters’ communities.
According to Bloomberg, only a few companies fully audit their supply chains for conflict minerals. To reach a fully audited supply chain, Apple had to remove 35 smelters from its supply chain because they objected to the audits; “we felt they were at risk of continuing to buy metals from armed groups,” according to Apple. Learn more.
Amplify your Impact: Collaborate with NGOs and Other Companies
Business for Peace
Business for Peace is a platform of over 130 leading companies from 37 countries working to catalyze collaborative action to advance peace. Members can manage business risks and reduce operational costs, share best practices, and demonstrate leadership. They also commit to pay heightened attention to implementing the UN Global Compact Ten Principles in high-risk and conflict-affected areas. Learn more.
Business Action Pledge in Response to Refugee Crisis
The Business Action Pledge in Response to the Refugee Crisis encourages the private sector to support existing efforts and provide solutions to widespread societal disruption. Launched by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in partnership with the UN Global Compact in September 2015, the Pledge calls on companies with operations or supply chains in countries that are producing, transiting and receiving refugees to determine how to best support, based on their own assets and capabilities. Share your company’s actions.

UNDP Innovation Labs
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is working to devise low-cost tools to address corruption and build peace. Learn more.
Colombia: Vodaphone and Microsoft
Working with Vodafone, Microsoft and other companies, UNDP crowdsourced ideas for innovations to support the peace and reconciliation process in Colombia. The project supports initiatives on: drones for mine clearance; a crowdfunding platform for financing rapid responses for peace; peace education in conflict-affected regions; and Obras de Paz, a job matching platform for ex-combatants specialized in the construction sector.
Papua New Guinea: MobiMedia and Digicel
An estimated 40% of PNG’s annual budget is lost to corruption and mismanagement. These Australian telecom companies partnered with UNDP to develop an SMS-based reporting system that allows civil servants in PNG to anonymously report corruption. The “Phones against Corruption” initiative was tested with 1,200 staff in the Department of Finance, leading to the arrest of two public officials for fund mismanagement of over US$ 2 million. The service may be expanded to Fiji, Bangladesh, and other countries.
Join the Sustainable Sourcing Community:
Become a GSC Member to Drive Results
Download 17/17 Prospectus

As a GSC member, you will gain global exposure for your sustainability efforts and benefit from the ability to demonstrate leadership, educate and inspire more action in sourcing, supply chains and procurement.
As part of your GSC membership, you will also have the opportunity to communicate your SDG support of the 17 Weeks / 17 SDGs initiative and sponsor the 3S Awards.
   GSC 17/17 Media Partners   
GA Institute SIG 3BL Media 2Degrees Network
Highlight your Work for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Apply Today for 2016 3S Awards
3S Contact Form

Are you a supplier supporting good governance and rule of law in your supply chain? Do you know of others working to address social and governmental challenges?
Contact Angeline Judex, GSC Executive Director to learn how to participate in the 2016 3S (Sustainable and Socially Responsible Sourcing) Awards and Gala taking place in New York in November.
Join the Conversation and Share your SDG 16 Story: Follow GSC
@GlobalSourcing

Tweet GSC1717 to share your sustainability story and highlight your support of SDG14 actions and commitments. Follow @GlobalSourcing
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More of the Latest News on SDG 16

Take a Stand With Your Life on Land #SDG15 – [GSC 17/17, Week 15]

The Global Sourcing Council

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Contact us to showcase your sustainable practices
transforming business and the world!

GSC - SDG - Week 15 - Life on Land

The Global Challenge
People need nature to thrive. Deforestation – which takes place around the world at a rate of 13 million hectares per year – is due largely to commercial agriculture. The loss of forest also causes loss of biodiversity, leading to low crop productivity and value, in a vicious cycle. At the same time, deforestation drives climate change. Where drought and desertification degrades land, 20 million tons of grains could have been grown each year. These interlocking causes and effects are the focus of SDG 15: Life on Land.
Your Business Opportunity
Businesses can begin working on SDG 15 by finding out how suppliers source materials. (Here are lists of key products to avoid and question.) Businesses can go beyond assessing their environmental impacts, and find pressure points to connect across supply chains and industries to sustain the natural habitats that enable their businesses to thrive.
Make a Difference with Action on Goal 15
SDG 15 calls to “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.”
  Align your Company or Institution with Best Practices on Biodiversity

Responsible Down Standard
The Responsible Down Standard was developed by The North Face and is managed by the non-profit Textile Exchange. It is a global animal-welfare and traceability standard using an established chain-of-custody process to help companies source down from ducks and geese that haven’t been force-fed or live-plucked for their feathers. Supporters include Adidas, REI and Timberland. Learn more.

Biodiversity for Banks
Financial institutions face risks associated with biodiversity and ecosystem services in their lending decisions. To help them overcome the challenge of incorporating these risks, the Equator Principles Association – along with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP) – has launched the “Biodiversity for Banks” program (B4B). Learn more.
Club De Excelencia en Sostenibilidad
The Club de Excelencia en Sostenibilidad has collected Best Business Practices in Biodiversity Management in a catalogue of 40 projects carried out by large Spanish companies and SMEs to preserve the flora, fauna, habitats and water resources. Club members include BASF, Cemex, and Vodaphone. Learn more.
 Identify Biodiversity Hotspots in your Supply Chain
SDG 15

Biodiversity hotspots hold especially high numbers of unique species. Healthy ecosystems provide important services for human well-being, such as clean air and water, flood and climate control, and soil regeneration, as well as food, medicines and raw materials.
Identify biodiversity hot spots in your supply chain in: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, North and Central America and South America. Learn more.

Biodiversity Hotspots

Learn from Leaders Taking Action on SDG 15
Unilever
Unilever has achieved its target of only sourcing from sustainable palm oil, and is now pursuing “total traceability” to certified sustainable sources. Any prospective supplier to Unilever must ensure that their environmental practices are up to date. Learn more.
EcoPlanet Bamboo 
This company seeks to industrialize bamboo as a viable and environmentally attractive alternative fiber for timber manufacturing industries. EcoPlanet Bamboo seeks to provide bamboo-based replacements for products that contribute to deforestation. By using only degraded land for its bamboo plantations, the company avoids competing with food production, and restores land into fully functioning ecosystems. The plantations are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) to ensure responsible management.
In June 2016 EcoPlanet Bamboo tripled the size of its Ghana operations, allowing it to create its first closed-loop, low-footprint, bamboo-based bio-refinary, while restoring an entire forest ecosystem and providing 1,500 jobs in an area of extreme rural poverty. The agreement is signed under a public-private partnership with the Government of Ghana, through the Ghana Forestry Commission. Learn more.
Ralph Lauren and Etsy 
These companies are among the 16 who recently made commitments to combat wildlife crime, both trafficking and consumer demand, which “is urgently threatening our planet’s most iconic species,” according to WWF. WWF adds that companies can “have a direct impact on the wildlife crime crisis by securing their supply chains and empowering consumers to make responsible purchases.”
JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase is the founding sponsor of NatureVest, an initiative of The Nature Conservancy to drive investment in conservation. NatureVest brings together conservation leaders, communities, policymakers and investors to build the field of conservation finance. Learn more.
LVMH Group
The wealth of biodiversity is “absolutely indispensable” to LVMH’s brands, the Group says, explaining its commitment to regulatory compliance and “well beyond.”  LVMH is the first private sector enterprise to hold a seat on the board of the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB), and is a member of the Responsible Ecosystems Sourcing Platform (RESP), which brings together luxury industry stakeholders to develop and promote sustainable practices for the sourcing of raw materials and natural resources. Learn more.
Amplify your Impact: Collaborate with NGOs and Other Companies
Forest Stewardship Certified 
FSC certification ensures that products come from well-managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits. Along the supply chain, FSC certification can provide benefits such as access to new markets. Learn more.
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
RSPO collaborates with all links in the global palm oil supply chain to transform markets and make sustainable palm oil the norm. The RSPO has developed a set of environmental and social criteria which companies must comply with in order to produce Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), which can help to minimize the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment and communities in palm oil-producing regions. Learn more.
Conservation International 
CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of humanity, including by supporting protection of biodiversity hotspots around the world. Learn more.
European Business and Biodiversity Platform
The European Business and Biodiversity (B@B) Platform provides an EU level forum for sustained and strategic dialogue about the links between business and biodiversity. B@B works with business to develop tools and approaches that integrate biodiversity considerations into business practice. The Platform also helps to coordinate and to raise awareness of innovative national and international initiatives, and showcase business best practices at EU level. Learn more.
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
GRSB is a global, multi-stakeholder initiative to improve sustainability of the global beef value chain through leadership, science and multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration. The GRSB “envisions a world in which all aspects of the beef value chain are environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable.” See GRSB’s membership, comprising producers, commerce and processing, retail, civil society, and roundtables. McDonald’s is a founding member.
Join the Sustainable Sourcing Community:
Become a GSC Member to Drive Results
Download 17/17 Prospectus

As a GSC member, you will gain global exposure for your sustainability efforts and benefit from the ability to demonstrate leadership, educate and inspire more action in sourcing, supply chains and procurement.
As part of your GSC membership, you will also have the opportunity to communicate your SDG support of the 17 Weeks / 17 SDGs initiative and sponsor the 3S Awards.
   GSC 17/17 Media Partners   
GA Institute SIG 3BL Media 2Degrees Network
Highlight your Work for Goal 15:
Apply Today for 2016 3S Awards
2015 Employee Engagement Nominee: Cookswell Jikos
Cookswell Jikos is exploring the seed-to-ash cycle of sustainable forestry based biomass energy. Their woodfuel security system uses locally sourced, recycled materials, local labor, and provides for a comprehensive closed-loop renewable wood energy system.

2015 Employee Engagement Nominee: Cookswell Jikos

3S Contact Form

3S Awards 2016
Are you a supplier supporting marine conservation in your supply chain? Do you know of others working to address ocean and coastal challenges?
Contact Angeline Judex, GSC Executive Director to learn how to participate in the 2016 3S (Sustainable and Socially Responsible Sourcing) Awards and Gala taking place in New York in November.
Join the Conversation and Share your SDG 15 Story: Follow GSC
@GlobalSourcing

Tweet GSC1717 to share your sustainability story and highlight your support of SDG14 actions and commitments. Follow @GlobalSourcing
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More of the Latest News on SDG 15

How These Companies are Showing Leadership for Protecting Life Below the Water #SDG14

The Global Sourcing Council

 Share Your Success Story to Drive Action for the SDGs
Contact us to showcase your sustainable practices
transforming business and the world!

GSC SDG 14

The Global Challenge
Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and the oxygen we breathe, are ultimately provided and regulated by the sea. But ocean acidification has risen 26% since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic litter can be found on every square kilometer of ocean. Currently, 30% of the world’s fish stocks are overexploited compromising their ability to produce sustainable yields.
Your Business Opportunity
The oceans are estimated to have financial worth of US$24 trillion, including the jobs they generate in tourism, biotechnology, fishing and shipping. Given the scale of the oceans and ocean-related challenges, collaborative platforms are necessary for each actor to have an impact.
CDP

GSC Expert Webinar Featuring CDP Supply Chains Program
Wednesday, June 8th, 12:00 pm ET
This joint webinar with CDP will highlight how global companies are: Integrating CDP data into their procurement processes; Using CDP data to set targets for GHG emissions and water conservation; and Collaborating with suppliers on climate change initiatives that drive carbon and cost savings. Register Here.
Make a Difference on SDG 14
SDG 14 calls to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” Its targets address marine pollution (target 14.1), conserving, restoring marine and coastal ecosystems and building their resilience (14.2 and 14.5), minimizing acidification (14.3), ending overfishing and destructive fishing and restoring fish stocks (14.4 and 14.6), and increasing economic benefits of marine sources for developing countries, including small islands.
  Learn from Leaders Taking Action on SDG 14
Marks and Spencer image

Boots, King of Shaves, Marks and Spencer, Unilever
Target 14.1
By the end of 2016, these four companies will stop producing items that contain plastic microbeads. Marks and Spencer reports that it has reformulated all products six months ahead of that commitment, to ensure nothing is made using microplastics. In addition, L’Oréal, Johnson & Johnson, and Reckitt Benckiser will stop making products with plastic microbeads by 2017. Learn more.
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Saltwater Brewery
Targets 14.1, 14.2
The Saltwater Brewery, a craft microbrewery in in Florida, US, has designed and produced biodegradable, edible, compostable beer six-pack rings, to protect marine life. The rings are made with beer-making byproducts. The Brewery says the rings do not trap marine life such as ducks, turtles and fish, nor cause them to die from ingesting plastic. The NGO PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – has awarded the Brewery its Compassionate Business Award in recognition of the invention, and advises beer drinkers to crush used cans flat and cut up plastic six-pack rings. Saltwater says its goal is to “maintain the world’s greatest wonder by giving back to the ocean,” through collaboration with Surfrider, Ocean Foundation, MOTE Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and other NGOs. Learn more.
Jet Blue
Targets 14.2, 14.5
Through a partnership with the Ocean Foundation, Jet Blue is quantifying the economic value of coastal conservation. Jet Blue says that “by attempting to attach actual dollar values to unspoiled shorelines,” it aims to strengthen interest in protecting destinations’ ecosystems and promote the economic importance of shoreline conservation. The project is part of Jet Blue’s commitment with the Clinton Global Initiative.  In another partnership, the airline works with the Surfrider Foundation to protect, preserve and clean the world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Learn more.
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Tiffany & Co.
Target 14.2
The Tiffany & Co. Foundation opposes the removal of coral from the oceans for use in jewelry or home décor, a “simple business decision” to eliminate coral from its products and invest in efforts to protect coral reefs. The Foundation has invested over $10 million since 2000 in Mission Blue, Pew Environment Group and Oceans 5, among other organizations, to support research, preservation and management of coral reefs, and educate consumers, marine tourism providers and others of the importance of corals and marine ecosystems. Learn more.
Google
In collaboration with Global Fishing Watch and Oceana, technology being developed by Google has the potential to stem illegal fishing, by tracking fishing vessels and mapping activity. Learn more.
Amplify your Impact: Collaborate with NGOs
and Other Companies
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Our Oceans Challenge
Our Oceans Challenge (OOC) is a partner network of companies, such as KPMG, committed to generating innovative business models that promote clean and healthy oceans, through financial support as well as sharing expertise and know-how with entrepreneurs and start-ups. Learn more.
Evaluate Certification Options
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade issued a report showing that the percentage of seafood certified as sustainable has increased from 0.5% of global production in 2005, to 14% in 2015. The majority of certification schemes, however, do not address protection of worker’s rights, the groups reported.  Learn more.
Join the Sustainable Sourcing Community:
Become a GSC Member to Drive Results
Download 17/17 Prospectus

As a GSC member, you will gain global exposure for your sustainability efforts and benefit from the ability to demonstrate leadership, educate and inspire more action in sourcing, supply chains and procurement.
As part of your GSC membership, you will also have the opportunity to communicate your SDG support of the 17 Weeks / 17 SDGs initiative and sponsor the 3S Awards.
   GSC 17/17 Media Partners   
GA Institute SIG 3BL Media 2Degrees Network
Highlight your Work for Goal 14:
Apply Today for 2016 3S Awards
3S Contact Form

3S Awards 2016
Are you a supplier supporting marine conservation in your supply chain? Do you know of others working to address ocean and coastal challenges?
Contact Angeline Judex, GSC Executive Director to learn how to participate in the 2016 3S (Sustainable and Socially Responsible Sourcing) Awards and Gala taking place in New York in November.
Join the Conversation and Share your SDG 14 Story: Follow GSC  
@GlobalSourcing

Tweet GSC1717 to share your sustainability story and highlight your support of SDG14 actions and commitments. Follow @GlobalSourcing
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Attend an Upcoming Event on Sustainable Business and SDGs
GSCS 2016

The Global Sourcing & Cloud Summit presented by The World BPO/ITO Forum
June 13 – June 14
This exclusive executive summit is tailored for C-suite and senior decision-makers from mid to large-cap U.S. enterprise companies, currently using sourcing and cloud services or are interested in evaluating these opportunities.
As a partner of The World BPO/ITO Forum, GSC community members that qualify” will receive a complimentary pass. Register with code: VIPGSC. 
*To qualify for this VIP invitation, you must be a senior-level executive from an enterprise company that is not a BPO/ITO service/solution provider or consultant/advisory firm.
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To add your event, contact us at info@gscouncil.org for listing opportunities and sponsorship packages.
More of the Latest News on SDG 14