EHS+ Network Activates Supplier Leadership in Environmental and Social Compliance
Institute for Sustainable Communities Holds Summit 18-19 March in Hong Kong
Guangzhou, China – April 3, 2015 – The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) convened a successful EHS+ Network Summit on 18th and 19th March, 2015 in Hong Kong. The theme of this very first summit was Activating Supplier Leadership in Environmental and Social Compliance. The intimate, invitation-only event brought together a select group of senior executives and experts to share their best practices in supplier chain environmental, health and safety (EHS) compliance, to discuss how to activate supplier leadership in EHS performance, and to brainstorm collaborative strategies to transform supply chains in Asia.
The rapid growth of manufacturing in developing countries has created a significant gap in local EHS expertise. To fill this gap, the Institute for Sustainable Communities first initiated EHS centers in China, followed by Centers in Bangladesh and India. The EHS+ Network brings those professionals together, along with international brands, suppliers and academic experts to address the key issues found in providing training for factory managers in the environment, health and safety skills needed to ensure EHS practice. In planning for the Summit, ISC surveyed brands and EHS experts to understand some of the most challenging issues they face. Survey responses indicated that current training and scaling interventions should be improved in order to accelerate EHS leadership and performance in the industrial level.
“I’d like to share why I’ve been so engaged in the EHS+ Network from its inception. The evolution and expansion of the EHS+ Centers is a hugely positive thing for supply chains across the region. It is helping to build sustainable manufacturing capacity at a technical level, by looking into factories, identifying larger obstacles and developing appropriate training programs. For brands here today, we really need to get out there and share the EHS+ Network success story with others. To me, we are at the start of a very bright future,” stated Bill Anderson, Vice President, Social & Environmental Affairs, Asia Pacific, at adidas Group, as he discussed why his company has partnered with ISC.
Designed to provide a peer-learning opportunity in addressing current EHS practice challenges, much of the sessions in the two-day summit were focused on brand experience and sharing of best practices, learnings from training programs, brainstorming new ideas, and creating dialogue between different brands to promote better EHS performance at the industrial level.
Noted David Monkman, ISC’s EHS+ Network Director, “Brands are critical allies on the path to supplier sustainability, and industrial level sustainability can’t be achieved by a single brand or supplier acting alone. ISC’s EHS+ Network provides EHS, energy and carbon management training to supplier EHS professionals across sectors so they can be more effective as a group. At this event, we looked at training and non-training methods that together can improve brand effectiveness and improve factories’ achievement of sustainable manufacturing.”
The Summit included representatives from leading international brands such as Apple, Adidas Group, Bristol-Myers Squibb, C&A Foundation, the Walt Disney Company, Fossil Group, Gap, H&M, Lindex, Walmart, and Target, EHS experts from Nanjing University and Sun Yat-Sen University, and EHS+ Network program representatives from the EHS+ Centers in China, Bangladesh and India.
ISC’s innovative EHS programs began in the heavily industrialized region of Guangdong, China, in 2009; their second Center opened in Jiangsu in 2011. ISC launched two more Centers in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Pune, India in 2014. Each EHS+ Center is a public-private partnership that pairs international nonprofit ISC with a local host organization, provides technical training in essential skills forEHS management and sustainability leadership. After completing the training,factory managers work to improve health and safety on the job and drive improvements in environmental health, energy efficiency, and greenhouse gas management. Hundreds of global brands have sent their local EHS managers and suppliers to the EHS+ Centers, and consider the program an integral part of achieving their global sustainability goals.
An international nonprofit organization, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has 24 years of practical experience working with local leaders to accelerate climate change and sustainability solutions. ISC’s programs are designed to facilitate peer learning and engagement among local leaders charged with the work of making their communities more sustainable. ISC has led more than 100 projects in 30 countries, and currently works in China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand and the United States.