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Ryerson CSR Institute Talk: Supply Chain Sustainability Certifications - The Evolving Story

March 29, 2019
10:00 AM EDT - 12:00 PM EDT
Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, 55 Dundas St. West, Toronto [9th floor, room TRS 3-119]

To view the video recording of this session, click here.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Ryerson Corporate Social Responsibility Student Association, the Ryerson Commerce and Government Association, and the Ryerson Law and Business Student Association, and is supported by the Trade Commissioner Service of Global Affairs Canada.

The use by companies of sustainability standards for supply chain partners, pertaining to treatment of workers, the environment, animals, the community, etc. -- and with it, the use of some form of third party verification (certification) that the standards are being followed -- has grown exponentially from the late 1980s, when programs such as Fairtrade-type coffee certifications and labelling were first introduced. Today, there are hundreds of certification programs in place. Many questions can be raised about certification in the supply chain, including: who benefits (workers, communities, retailers, suppliers), and how much of a difference they make? Are some more effective than others, and if so, why? What are their weaknesses and limitations as well as their positive attributes? How have certification initiatives evolved over time? What are the likely next steps likely to transpire in the evolution of sustainability certifications in the supply chain?

Harvey Chan has an extensive background in supply chain sustainability. He was former Chief of Accountability & Innovation at the Fair Labor Association. He led the ethical sourcing programs for Mountain Equipment Co-op and the Bay, and worked on human rights for Global Affairs Canada. Harvey has lived and worked in Washington, DC, Brussels, Hong Kong and Johannesburg. He resides in Toronto with his lovely wife and daughter.