Responsible Business – Sustainable Supply Chains as driver for Global Competitiveness
Sustainable supply chains as driver for global competitiveness
Sustainability and profitability are no longer mutually exclusive. Today, transnational sustainability laws are legislated across the world to regulate global value chains. Regulations such as the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act that will enter into force on 01 January 2023 oblige companies to comply with business due diligence and compliance standards across the supply chain within their business sector and goes beyond the existing legislations at national level.
The European Union (EU) is the largest single trading bloc for Sri Lankan exports. Sri Lankas’ reliance on key markets such as the European Union make it increasingly important to comply with the necessary due diligence and sustainability laws and provide assurances of compliance with due diligence requirements, including human rights and environmental protection.
The ‘Responsible Business’ Sustainable Supply Chain initiative, implemented by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Sri Lanka, in partnership with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) and Löning – Human Rights & Responsible Business first commenced in the year 2020 and offered guidance to over 60 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the essential technical know-how and a holistic approach towards mapping their own business due diligence processes, supporting them in complying with international sustainable supply chain requirements. A series of trainings towards SMEs in apparel and textile, food and agriculture, and rubber sectors in Sri Lanka were organized with the objective to raise awareness for the need of sustainability related documentation among Sri Lankan exporters in order to increase global competitiveness of companies and facilitate market access to the EU. In 2021, the second edition of the initiative ‘Responsible Business – Sustainable supply chains as driver for global competitiveness’ was organized and the training series focused on how EU & US companies conduct due diligence and its’ implications for Sri Lankan businesses, approaches to comply with EU and US company requirements, core standards and certifications, and practical insights and best practices from the industry. The online training series that took place over 3 days attracted over 100 registrants.
Within the framework of the Sustainable Supply Chains initiative, the aim was to strengthen human rights in Sri Lanka by enhancing the capacity of the private sector companies to both identify and act upon actual and potential risks for workers in its’ supply chain. For export-oriented companies extending their operations beyond domestic boundaries, the initiative underlined how companies are more and more impacted by consumer driven sustainability requirements, and the need to conform to UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) and due diligence processes across global value chains.
Manager – Marketing and Communications
Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka)
161A, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka