ARIZONA, USA, – November 8th, 2012 – The Sustainability Consortium was pleased to participate in the BSR Conference 2012 in New York October 23-26 which hosted over 1,000 attendees from 32 countries. BSR, an active member of The Consortium ¬since 2011, participates in the Civil Society Advisory Council and Food, Beverage, and Agriculture Sector. The conference featured a plenary speech by Marc Bolland, CEO of Mark’s and Spencer, another dedicated TSC member, where he discussed the importance of integrating sustainability into business. Christy Melhart Slay, Research Manager at The Sustainability Consortium participated in the two hour panel session titled “The Search for Sustainable Products: Collaboration and Competition”, where the participants discussed identifying and delivering the challenges and opportunities of more sustainable products – particularly how to define a more sustainable product and what tools and support are needed. Other panelists included Brittni Furrow and Carli Rosencranz, Walmart, Michael Murphy, Dell, and Roman Smith, AT&T. Both Walmart and Dell are founding members of TSC and have been active participants in both Sector and Consortium Working Groups.
The panel spent time discussing different perspectives on sustainability measurement and reporting along the global value chain, including buyers, multi-stakeholder initiatives, manufacturers, sustainability departments and consumer-facing businesses. Both Furrow and Murphy expressed the importance of sustainability measurement and data being based in science. The Sustainability Consortium, who is dedicated to the “science of sustainability” and producing credible and actionable data, has provided the desired science to its members. “Bringing science to the table can help pull new levers by creating a common, credible language,” mentioned Slay. Slay attributed transparency and inviting all stakeholders to the discussion as the key to identifying issues and how to solve them.
Both Walmart and Dell were able to give details about their organizations’ plans to implement sustainability and standardization, including TSC’s work, into their business operations. “Account managers are now addressing how the supplier sustainability profiles are managed, allowing us to have more active conversations and establishing understanding with suppliers,” said Murphy.
The Sustainability Consortium will produce knowledge products summarizing the key sustainability issues titled Category Sustainability Profiles (CSP) and provide questions to address those issues to be used in business-to-business conversations titled Key Performance Indicators (KPI), for over 150 products in 2012. For a full description of these categories, visit www.sustainabilityconsortium.org/product-categories.
About The Sustainability Consortium
The Sustainability Consortium is an independent organization of diverse global participants that work collaboratively to build a scientific foundation that drives innovation to improve consumer product sustainability. The Consortium develops transparent methodologies, tools, and strategies to drive a new generation of products and supply networks that address environmental, social, and economic imperatives. The Sustainability Consortium advocates for a credible, scalable, and transparent process and system. The organization boasts over 90 members from all corners of business employing over 57 million people and whose combined revenues total over $1.5 Trillion. Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas jointly administer The Sustainability Consortium, with additional operations at Wageningen University & Research Center in The Netherlands. Learn more at www.sustainabilityconsortium.org
Elizabeth Kessler, Marketing Coordinator
The Sustainability Consortium
Arizona State University
Elizabeth.Kessler.firstname.lastname@example.org | 480.965.3810