On 21st and 28th October, 340+ delegates from suppliers to brands attended the AIM-PROGRESS Responsible Sourcing Virtual Supplier Forum to discuss common challenges around responsible sourcing and learn about practical tools and processes they can develop to improve their business practices. The forum was sponsored by five AIM-PROGRESS members: The Hershey Company, Kellogg’s, PepsiCo, Reckitt, SC Johnson, in partnership with Carnstone.
Day 1 kick-started with an introduction from co-sponsors to emphasize the importance of responsible sourcing for brands. Following an introduction to AIM-PROGRESS, the co-hosting organizations presented their commitments and progress on responsible sourcing and shared the value of mutual recognition. The session continued with a zoom on:
- Common non-compliances and how to tackle root causes, through key components of management systems, common non-compliances in Chinese factories, and root cause analysis using the '5 Why' method
- Worker engagement and worker voice, with an emphasis on global supply chain trends, as well as through case studies on improving worker engagement through worker engagement across topics ranging from product quality, EHS committee, worker welfare, female worker engagement and protection
- Health & safety and fire satefy: with a focus on H&S non-compliances in China, and fire safety: including on management systems, internal training, maintenance of fire safety facilities, emergency response and drills, as well as relevant regulations
- Sharing amongst peer suppliers: spotlighting their respective improvement journey on social compliance, covering: working hours, health and safety and chemical safety, and raw material supplier management
- Updates from AIM-Progress: through sharing the publicly available tools and resources on the website, including the supplier business toolkit and related training materials, RSJ, CSR/ESG legislative updates, and highlighting the dedicated "for suppliers" portal on the public website
Day 2 of the virtual forum also provided a series of practical deep-dive workshops on four major topics:
- Health and safety was covered through updates and trends of H&S legislations, common health and safety non-compliances found in audits, as well as key steps of health and safety management in factories
- Business ethics/management systems was emphasised through the importance of business ethics management, a deep dive into the AIM-Progress third-party anti-bribery and corruption risk management protocol toolkit, and through the topic of grievance mechanism
- Working hours was spotlighted by zooming in on key audit findings on working hours linked to recording system, overtime, and shift arrangements
- Social security was highlighted through the importance of enrolling workers into social insurance scheme (regulations, business risks), as well as on worker capability building, with a focus on how to deal with frequently asked questions by workers, in addition to regulation updates, and recommendations for suppliers
Following the two virtual days, participating suppliers confirmed that the overall event was adding value and inspiring them to further improve their practices. Feedback from the audience included:
To find out more about the details of the sessions, head over to our event section on our supplier portal here.