Managing Global Supply Chains in a Post-COVID-19 World—Current Challenge or Future Opportunity?
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for businesses. As they struggle to remain profitable, they also face the imperative of becoming more sustainable and preventing exploitation within their operations, including in their supply chains.
The pandemic has highlighted existing inequalities within the global economy and seen increased calls to strengthen legislation holding even small businesses to account for supply chain compliance.
Current legislation in the UK requires business with an annual turnover of £36 million to submit a statement outlining the steps they take to prevent modern slavery in their supply chains. Industry groups and businesses, including ASOS, have called on the UK government to introduce tighter legislation to hold businesses and leaders to account if they fail to do enough to stop human rights abuses, and while the UK government has announced measures to strengthen the Modern Slavery Act, other countries are already going further. The underlying issues remain global, and across all sectors of commerce and industry.The discussion will address both the challenges and the opportunities for business in managing their global supply chains in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- What are businesses' responsibilities to prevent exploitation in their value chains?
- How do companies ensure sustainability and support human rights within their supply chains while remaining accessible to customers and providing value for money?
- Do we need a global playing field (and then a levelling of that playing field) to make real progress?
- What are the potential regulatory options beyond mere disclosure requirements?
- Does technology add complexity to supply chains or create solutions?
Harriet Territt, partner, Jones Day
Nick Beighton – CEO, ASOS
Baroness Lola Young, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion