Chocolate and textiles – two important Swiss industries – often have to cope with negative reports about environmental and social problems in their supply chains. Critics claim that new, additional standards do not lead to real changes, but rather increase suppliers’ and sub-suppliers’ conflict between “sustainable” and “cheap”. The aim of this project is to identify ways in which supply chains in the chocolate and textiles sectors can be made more sustainable. Using real company cases, we will quantitatively examine the potential of various measures to achieve long-term improvements in the sustainability of multiple supply chain members.This way we build a first scientifically sound basis for decisionmaking for a sustainable supply chain management.
Most Swiss companies engaged in production or trade are dependent on global supply chains. This includes companies in the chocolate and textile sectors. These important Swiss industries often struggle with environmental and social problems in their supply chains and associated negative coverage. In order to improve sustainability in global cocoa and textile supply chains, Swiss buyers are already investing a great deal: they are introducing ecological and social standards in their supply chains, auditing their suppliers and investing in their development. Despite all this effort, the desired effect in the supply chains is only occasionally observed.
The aim of this project is therefore to develop and analyse (new) strategies and approaches in cocoa and textile supply chains to improve sustainability. To this end and in close collaboration with companies, different innovative measures will be developed, implemented and then examined in a semi-quantitative way for their potential to achieve longer-term improvements in sustainability across several supply chain nodes. The concrete project activities include:
The results and recommendations for action of the project should serve as a decision-making basis for other Swiss companies in the chocolate and textiles sector as to how they can improve the efficiency of their supply chain sustainability management.