News Bites

    Beyond certification: The next step for sustainable supply chains


    Using insight gained from managing supply chain sustainability at one of the UK’s largest retailers, Marks & Spencer, Mike Barry looks at the role of certification in maintaining and enforcing standards, as part of our Portfolio of Perspectives series. He challenges its ability in its current form to support new ambitions for increased sustainability, and explores what is needed to move supply chains towards enduring excellence. Mike advocates a new way of working that links markets, producers, policy makers, civil society and campaigners to deliver a whole landscape approach to managing commodity production, and brings this to life through case studies of initiatives underway in the UK, the Amazon and Kenya.

    Mike is Director of Sustainable Business at the retailer Marks & Spencer. He was part of the small team that in 2007 developed and delivered the company’s ground-breaking Plan A, a 100 point, 5 year plan to address a wide range of environmental and social issues.  Mike is responsible for delivering M&S’ aspiration to be the world’s most sustainable retailer. His job is to work with the M&S leadership team to integrate sustainability into the heart of the business across its global retail channels and supply chains. In May 2011 Mike was named the Guardian’s inaugural Sustainable Business Innovator of the Year. He is Co-Chair of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Sustainability Steering Group, Chair of the World Environment Center, a Visiting Fellow at the Smith Centre for Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University, a Senior Associate at the Cambridge Programme for Sustainable Leadership and sits on BiTC’s Environment Leadership Team.

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