Sourcing from China is no more responsible or irresponsible than, say, Sweden. Oh, how so? Let me tell you.
Responsible sourcing is based on knowledge of supply chains. A product purchased from Sweden can also come from China, ie where the product is purchased does not define anything from the point of view of responsibility. In order to assess responsibility, the supply chain must first be clarified with sufficient precision. What, then, is sufficient accuracy depends on the requirements and expectations of the buyer, customers, and society.
Today, individual consumers also expect that the product they buy is produced responsibly and that the seller can say more than that the responsibility lies with the factory wherever it is. And should the seller know the full history of each product and component and raw material when there are thousands of products on offer? It may be an impossible task for many companies, but the responsibility of the product range should be felt with sufficient precision.
If the job sounds great, then it may be, but it’s easy to get started. The company can first find out which goods are being sold the most and find out the responsibility of the product in question. The next step may even be to ask the supplier how they have considered responsibility. Speeches can be a buzzword, so you can visit the factory yourself to see how things are or use an outside sourcing expert. Today, there are also various standards (e.g., SA8000) and corporate responsibility systems (e.g., amfori BSCI) that allow companies to be audited and information clarified. More and more companies are committed to the United Nations Global Compact corporate responsibility initiative and implementing its ten basic principles, to which responsible sourcing also contributes to.
Most companies in China, or elsewhere, have no sense of international responsibility standards, but that does not automatically mean that a company is particularly Irresponsible. It just means that when dealing with such a company, it is necessary to be more careful not to accidentally end up doing business with someone whose factory working conditions are dangerous to people, etc. Responsible sourcing is also about influencing suppliers’ operations so that they begin to take greater account of responsibility issues in their operations. Problems should not be ignored, as part of being responsible is to investigate and solve problems.
Is your company responsible? Corporate responsibility self-assessment is an electronic tool for the further development of your company’s responsible business. The free tool provides your company with a snapshot of the current level of corporate responsibility, helps identify areas for improvement, and allows you to compare performance to other companies. In addition, the tool provides practical tips for managing corporate responsibility. Do a self-assessment at (Finnish language only): https://www.vastuullisuusarviointi.fi/