Articles, posts and podcasts about sustainable supply chains, mostly


Supply chain stats

October’s edition of Ethical Corporation, out in the next few days, has a long briefing on some of the latest work being done in the field of more sustainable supply chains.

Here’s a few compelling stats and facts from the articles:

– In 2010, the latest year for which the World Trade Organisation has crunched the data, world exports of manufactured goods were worth $9.96tn, 18% more than in 2009. Asian exports of manufactured products grew by 30%. There was huge growth in some sectors and countries. Exports of car parts from Thailand grew by 61%. China sold 57% more integrated circuits. India exported 40% more textiles than in 2009

– 80% of world clothing exports are shipped to developed economies, according to the World Trade Organisation

– Wal-Mart counts about 60,000 suppliers. Tesco has some 6,000 in Britain alone. IBM’s network is made up of 28,000 suppliers spread across 90 countries. Unilever has a solid claim to the biggest supply network, with 160,000 companies providing it with goods and services.

– Under the Dodd-Frank act, about 6,000 companies that report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission are now required to disclose their use of conflict minerals, defined as gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten from the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighbouring countries.

– The Sedex platform now covers about 500 brands and retailers, 26,000 suppliers and 150 countries

– The Fair Factories Clearinghouse boasts impressive statistics: it covers more than 30,000 factories in 142 countries, has a total of about 90,000 compliance documents, including more than 70,000 audits, and is used by nearly 6,000 buyers, including major names such as Nike, Starbucks and Timberland.

You can sign up to get the whole briefing at