amfori and China Sustainability Tribune continued their long-term partnership and collaboration on their annual signature event during the pandemic. The 22nd Sino-European CSR Roundtable Forum took place online on 22 July and successfully gathered over 72,000 views across the globe within one week.
This forum invited representatives and speakers from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and leaders from businesses and sustainability sectors from Greater China and Europe to share their perspectives on how to combat short and long-term supply chain pressures, strengthen the flexibility and resilience of supply chains, and mitigate the impact and challenges brought by the pandemic.
amfori President Christian Ewert joined the event from Brussels and delivered the opening and closing remarks. He gave an overview on the impacts that COVID-19 has brought to amfori members with findings from a survey amfori conducted in April.
The survey revealed that the biggest challenges facing amfori members and their producers are order cancellation, blocked or delayed shipments and cashflow issues. In such a challenging time, he encouraged businesses to adopt Responsible Purchasing Practices (RPP) - which he calls a “vaccine” for sustainable supply chain development.
“In light of the high risk of CSR being neglected, amfori is urging our members to make CSR their top priority,” said Christian Ewert. “As such, we strongly encourage our members to adopt Responsible Purchasing Practices (RPP), not to cancel orders with producers, engage in dialogue with their business partners and to maintain long-term sustainable supply chain relationships.”
Two amfori members also joined to share their business challenges during the pandemic and their coping strategies as well as best practises.
Caroline G. Bouisset, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility at Fristads Kansas Group, a Scandinavian conglomerate of nine health and safety workwear brands, shared how they have implemented RPP during COVID-19 and provided short-term and long-term strategies and solutions. They see the pandemic as the, “Time to address a fragmented supply chain” and have worked on a restructuring across all tiers of producers. “Now buyers and producers should communicate with concern and purpose rather than only prices and products,” she said.
Dr Percy Chan, Corporate Quality Director at GP Batteries, one of the world's major suppliers of primary and rechargeable batteries, joined amfori as a new member early this year. He shared GP Batteries’ sustainability roadmap and the important role amfori BSCI is playing in cultivating and managing its responsible supply chains. Dr Percy also introduced an alternate virtual monitoring method they deploy amid pandemic-induced lockdowns.
Mr. Yu Zhihong, President and Editor-in-chief, China Sustainability Tribune, reviewed the important historical events and changes in the past 12 years since the first Sino-European CSR Roundtable Forum was held in 2008, focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inspired by the speakers, Mr. Yu summarized that, in response to the challenges caused by the pandemic, enterprises should consider all factors of supply chain construction. This includes the transition to digital supply chains, the improvement of transparency, and the possibility of flexible working hours and employee income. All of which will give the supply chain more resilience and may help shape a sustainable future.
To review the video of the Forum, please click:
For viewers in China: https://csr-china.net/ind/202006/gb2020/lives.php?l=1
For viewers outside China: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du1zbNgaphk