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Responsible Sourcing across Industries – exploring more collaboration for impact

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Brussels, January 18, 2017

On January 18, 2017, the second roundtable of the Responsible Sourcing across Industries Platform was held in Brussels. The Roundtable gathered 17 different supply chain sector initiatives to discuss solutions to common challenges and was moderated by CSR Europe’s Executive Director Stefan Crets.

The meeting was divided into two parts, the first focusing on solutions to common challenges and the second concentrating on the way forward (including involving the EU in the discussions).

The morning session included presentations and discussions on good practices implemented by different sector associations to address some of the common challenges (see agenda).

The main lessons learned include:

  • Importance of a clear and focused commitment to align different companies towards a common goal
  • Trust-building as an essential element for effective multi-stakeholder collaboration
  • Increase focus on transparency and traceability to enhance sustainable supply chain efforts and allow for meaningful impact measurement and replication of good existing models across sectors
  • When building capacity along complex supply chains, it is important to send a common message to supply chain actors, but also to develop and apply common tools
  • Increasing importance of supply chain sustainability within the investor community

The afternoon session saw the participation of a member of the Cabinet of the Commissioner for Trade, providing an update on Supply Chain responsibility efforts:

  • The EU will increase its focus on transparency through the Trade for All strategy, and introduce an online database for companies to take-up work on conflict minerals
  • The role of consumers will be assessed by the European Commission followed by actions and projects
  • Furthermore, trade agreements are a way for the EU to foster sustainability outside EU and potentially could be used to improve specific issues

The policy recommendations presented to the EU in March 2016 were also reiterated:

  • Focus development efforts on local capacity building for suppliers
  • Support the creation of local sustainable development networks
  • Support for sectoral and cross-sectoral initiatives

While seeking a stronger alignment with the relevant EU institutions, the Responsible Sourcing across Industries Platform will continue to be a forum for sharing knowledge and practices on the topic of supply chain responsibility and also steer the way for collaboration on specific initiatives.

The meeting was seen as a great opportunity to network where participants expressed the value of discussing and learning from other sector initiatives.

Sector associations interested in engaging in the Responsible Sourcing across Industries platform can contact Alice Pedretti (