Webinar Blog: Embedding the Ten Principles into Supply Chain Management: Launch of the Q&A Resource Guide

On September 15th 2015, members of a multi-sector working group led by Simon Jimenez and Jonathan Drimmer from Barrick Gold, and supported by the Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC), launched the Q&A Resource Guide via an interactive webinar. This Q&A resource document assists practitioners as they work to embed the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into their supply and value chain. The document is a great introduction to responsible supply chain management, especially for those who are trying to establish a business case, and need a basic understanding of some of the key issues related to scoping the program as well as implementation and monitoring.

Simon Jimenez from Barrick Gold started the webinar by giving an introduction about the supply chain working group established in February 2014. The GCNC Working Group members, who created the document came from a diverse array of sectors and industries – Barrick Gold Corporation, Bell, BMO Financial Group, Suncor Energy Inc., Enbridge Pipelines Inc., Save the Children, O Trade and Teck Resources.

Following Simon’s presentation, Helle Bank Jorgensen, the Head of the Global Compact Network Canada gave a brief overview of her own experience on supply chain management processes, giving examples of how internal engagement can be created through external pressure, consumer and investor demand, and the snowball effect. The snowball effect can in itself have a huge impact and this can be done by asking your suppliers and their suppliers to become a UN Global Signatory and embed the Ten Principles, therefore unleashing widespread engagement.

Monica Ospina from O Trade, started by giving a comprehensive overview of how suppliers should embed the Ten Principles into their supply and value chain management and emphasized the importance of the section on “Scoping and Onboarding of Suppliers” in the Q&A Resource Guide. Monica highlighted that it is especially important to consider the reality that the company is in when making decision about the company’s supply chain engagement, e.g., about the extent to which a company should engage with suppliers and how best to do so.

Following this, Jonathan Drimmer from Barrick Gold provided an overview of the implementation and monitoring of the Ten Principles into the supply chain and broke the content down into four different components, starting with the importance of integrating the Ten Principles into the existing systems by effectively embedding the concepts that the principles cover in the day to day business. The second component pertains to the front end of the supply chain, the onboarding process. TRAC, a third party due-diligence platform was mentioned here as a very useful resource, which asks suppliers a variety of questions related to human rights, labour trafficking, and anti-corruption and otherwise encompasses aspects of the Ten Principles. The third component or the “back end” is about implementing assessments and audits, such as the self-assessment processes or use of external assurance. The fourth and final point is the demonstrated commitment towards implementing the Ten Principles around the company’s operations, expressed at the top and permeated throughout the company.

Key takeaways and concluding thoughts of the webinar:

  • Acknowledge the Ten Principles
  • Ask suppliers to sign up to the UNGC and demand the same from their sub-suppliers
  • Create a Supplier Code of Conduct
  • Use a third-party questionnaire or screening mechanism that encompasses the 10 principles (e.g. Trace international’s TRAC platform)
  • Set the tone from the top – global email from the CEO, article in internal newsletter, etc.

For more information about discussing about Supply Chain issues with other Global Compact Network Canada Participants please contact Aparna Venkatachalam (aparna@unglobalcompact.ca).