Global Supply Chain

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Global supply chains are the frontlines of the globalization process. While consumers see the final product, they do not see all that may be involved in getting their product to market nor do they understand all the social, political, and ethical decisions that are being made on their behalf at every step in the supply chain.

They may not realize that children may be producing the garments they wear; that slaves on fishing boats in the Pacific harvested the fish they are eating; that native communities in South America lost their water supply to a mining company that provides the lithium in the battery of their electric vehicle; or that farmers growing the fine coffee they drink are paid $0.08 for the pound of coffee they just bought for $11.

For all these reasons, investors and consumers are demonstrating greater interest in the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles of the companies they invest in and purchase from.  Complex metrics have been developed to measure corporate social performance and companies are having to undergo a mindset shift to adapt these new voluntary and legal compliance standards. New divisions and staffing roles are being created to accommodate this new reality.

Why is the McKenna Center focused on this topic?

Industry leaders are recognizing that the most competitive companies in the 21st century are those that see beyond profitability as their sole purpose. These CEOs are looking to universities for guidance on sustainability, human rights, and diversity, as well as scrutiny of their internal policies in these areas.

The McKenna Center is positioning itself to be a leader on ESG principles and practice within global supply chains.  In addition to sponsoring cutting-edge research on supply chain performance principles, the McKenna Center will also devote itself to training next-generation leaders to assume roles in companies in leading ethical supply chain management. The McKenna Center will focus its work on studying the performance and impacts, both positive and negative, of supply chains in delivering real value to poor nations and working families across the world.