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TAPA EMEA IIS infographic - 2013 crime trendsNEWPORT, UK: Since 2008, losses from cargo theft have risen from €58,000 to €235,000 per event according to the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

In its latest annual report TAPA says there was a 66 percent rise in incidents last year and it wants greater collaboration between European law enforcement agencies in a bid to reverse the trend.

Last year association members in Europe, the Middle East and Africa reported 1,145 thefts of high-value goods with 165 events producing losses of over €100,000.

The 10 biggest thefts in 2013 featured combined losses in excess of €55 million as thieves stole diamonds, gold, silver, smartphones and tablets, currency, electronics, cigarettes and bicycle parts. Pharmaceuticals were another prime target as well as metal, clothing, cosmetics, food and drink.

Thorsten Neumann, TAPA EMEA chairman, said attacks on his members' supply chains are becoming more sophisticated and violent. "We know that manufacturers and logistics service providers that adopt TAPA's security standards as part of their supply chain security programmes are three times less likely to suffer cargo crime. Nonetheless, the trend is clear."

The association says over half of the crimes last year involved thefts from vehicles and the association says there's a growing trend of criminals boarding moving trucks to steal goods on motorways as well as thefts from facilities, fraudulent pick-ups, fake police stops and violent hijackings.

Neumann added: "TAPA EMEA is receiving strong support from the Dutch and Belgian police, who are sharing their incident data with us to help our members gain a better understanding of the volume and locations of incidents and the tactics being used by criminals. We also have good dialogue and cooperation with Europol and Interpol. This is all essential intelligence when it comes to planning a resilient supply chain."

LONDON: As part of its "Vision 2035" initiative, the UK-based Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) has launched a report detailing the challenges facing the growth of logistics in Britain.

Produced by a team of experts headed by Professor Alan Braithwaite from the Cranfield School of Management, the report says Britain "need[s] to think radically about freight and logistics or find ourselves falling down the World Bank rankings, experiencing supply chain shocks, declining economic performance and missed carbon targets."

Port of FelixstoweIn a month when the European Commission announced it is to fine Britain £300 million for not achieving agreed carbon reduction targets by 2010, the report notes a new vision for UK freight and logistics must be based on a "dramatically increased" private and government investment in major road and rail infrastructure, ports, interchanges and warehouses. "At the same time supply chain structures and networks will need to change fundamentally if the economic and carbon goals are to be met, and this will involve leveraging new technologies and new locations alongside existing modes," adds the authors.

The report recommends commercial vehicle taxation should be re-examined and ideally be replaced by a lorry-user charging system based on road occupancy; planning for urban hubs should be made a priority and local authorities given powers to purchase land and determine its use for such schemes to relieve congestion in Britain's cities and major towns; all major distribution parks should be planned with a presumption of rail connection and suitable sites identified nationally and facilitated by local authorities; and planning for new infrastructure should be considered as of national importance and take precedence over local agendas.

Commenting on the report CILT chief executive Steve Agg said: 'The UK is already congested and we cannot rely on market-driven solutions alone, we need direct policy input to facilitate engagement. This is about giving industry the confidence to invest to serve supply chains and meet the needs of local communities and national interests."

The CILT calculates the UK logistics sector employs 1.7 to 2.2 million people, depending on research definitions, producing a collective turnover of £770 billion.

The association claims that without an efficient freight transport network the UK will be increasingly exposed, relative to its global competition, to rising commodity, energy and consumer prices, reduced availability of goods and more expensive services. In 2011, Britain exported £298 billion and imported £399 billion of merchandise all of which was handled by the freight and logistics sector with a direct impact on UK value-add and competitiveness.

NEW DELHI: The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) says results from its fourth quarter survey (January-March 2014) suggest "marginal improvement in growth [but it is] too early to call it a recovery."

The FICCI surveyed 330 manufacturers and associations from both large companies and SMEs covering 14 sectors - textiles, capital goods, metals, chemicals, petrochemicals, cement, electronics, automotive, leather and footwear, machine tools, food processing, textile machinery, paper and tire – with a combined turnover of over US$100 billion.

The survey noted that a slight improvement in the export outlook could be offset by "domestic factors [that] continue to be a major cause of concern." Respondents expect an upturn in leather, textiles and chemical production for the quarter while growth in automotive, capital goods and electronics will remain "sluggish".

ficciThe FICCI says export manufacturing remains positive and "seems to have improved as the percentage of respondents expecting higher exports has risen to 58 percent compared to 48 percent in Q3 and 52 percent in Q2."

Based on expectations in different sectors, the FICCI says seven out of 14 sectors were likely to witness less than five percent growth in Q4 with only leather and textile sectors growing more than 10 percent.

Commenting on the Indian economy, FICCI business leaders think sustainable development should be in the DNA of an organization and adoption of sustainable measures should not be seen as an expense but as an investment for the future.

Vipul Shah, president, CEO and chairman of Dow Chemical in India, said there was an unprecedented need for collaboration between business, government, academia and civil society. Noting the world needs solutions to challenges such as climate change, energy and water shortages, he suggested sustainable development is the answer.

Ranganath N K, CEO of Grundfos India, added: "Passion is the most important ingredient for achieving both sustainability and business excellence." Atul Jain, joint managing director of Jain Irrigation Systems, thought "inclusiveness" was the most basic requirement for sustainability because it leads to innovation and sustainable growth. Manish Sharma, managing director of Panasonic India, noted his organization is in the process of addressing the issues faced by the supply chain by creating, storing, saving and managing energy.

Ranganath's comments concide with a U.S. discrimination complaint to the World Trade Organisation that India is requiring solar power developers to use Indian-manufactured thin-film technology instead of U.S. equipment. Trade representative Michael Froman commented: "These types of 'localization' measures not only are an unfair barrier to U.S. exports, but also raise the cost of solar energy, hindering deployment of solar energy around the world, including in India."

According to the FICCI, some of its CEO members think "sustainability should be a way of life for companies, it does not need to be mandated."

Founded in 1927, the FICCI is India's oldest business association.

LONDON: A new business trends survey finds logistics companies think sustainable business is "recognized but not a priority" – the lowest level of engagement on sustainable business within any sector.

Produced by 2Degrees, an online collaboration platform with 33,000 members, the survey canvassed 700 respondents from small
and medium-sized enterprises with up to 250 employees to multinational businesses with more than 5,000 personnel.
For the purpose of the survey, sustainable business was defined as "initiatives which help businesses cut costs, reduce risk and grow by being more sustainable".

Results by industry sector suggest retail, heavy industry, government/NGOs, telecoms/media and utilities have the highest levels of engagement, with around 40 percent saying that sustainability is central to their business strategy.

coca cola greenpeace2Degrees says the response from the logistics industry is "surprising given the sector's significant contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, and the scale of the potential benefits associated with addressing it."

The organization adds, however, that with 52 percent of respondents in this sector acknowledging sustainability as an increasing priority, "we would expect this sector to focus more intently on this issue in the future."

The survey found that engaging senior management or colleagues remains at the top of most sustainable business priorities – whether it is energy efficiency, waste, water or raw materials.

According to 2Degrees, with less than 40 percent of all respondents integrating sustainable business practices into strategic decision-making, there is "still progress to be made in responding to the shifting realities of an increasingly resource-constrained world."

And with few companies setting sustainable business targets for 10 years or more, it says there is still a tendency to view sustainability measures not as long-term strategic drivers but items against which short-term progress can be made.

Businesses in the UK and Ireland comprised 55 percent of respondents, with companies in the US and Continental Europe making up 18 percent and 11 percent respectively. The remaining 17 percent were from the rest of world. Companies that participated in the survey included Unilever, Tesco, Coca-Cola, Centrica, Royal Bank of Scotland, Britvic, The Body Shop, BT and McDonald's.

AP Moller-MaerskSAN FRANCISCO: A new survey of 700 members of the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) network (including A.P. Moller-Maersk) has highlighted the importance of collaboration among business and external stakeholders to address climate change.

“The survey reveals both the sense of urgency to address climate change, and the sense that meaningful progress goes well beyond the steps a single company can take,” observed Aron Cramer, president and CEO of BSR.  “No one sector—not business, government, civil society, or consumers—can ‘save us’ from climate change. The survey demonstrates a maturing understanding of this truth, and the need to generate truly collaborative solutions through creativity and new approaches.”

Other survey results suggest only 20 percent of respondents have fully integrated sustainability into their businesses, while engagement between sustainability functions and corporate functions such as marketing, R&D, and finance remains very low. However a majority said that their company is either about halfway to integration (51 percent), or is just getting started (22 percent).

When asked about the most important leadership challenge today, 62 percent of those surveyed noted the integration of sustainability into core business operations. This was far higher than the next most frequently cited challenge, convincing investors about the value of sustainability (28 percent).

The challenge of integrating sustainability throughout the business is reinforced by evidence that sustainability professionals continue to have low levels of engagement with their colleagues in other functions.

Chris Coulter, CEO of GlobeScan, which carried out the annual survey on behalf of the BSR, noted: “The trend toward weaker engagement between sustainability functions and core functions such as finance, marketing, HR, investor relations, and R&D, is concerning. Not only is engagement limited with these strategic areas, but collaboration between them and sustainability teams has declined—in some cases by a significant margin. While there is a clear need for external collaboration, there is an equally important case to be made for greater internal collaboration.”

The survey revealed continued high levels of engagement between sustainability functions and their counterparts in corporate communications. A majority of those surveyed said they engage regularly with corporate communications (75 percent, down two points from 2011), public affairs (66 percent, down two points), supply chain (64 percent, no change), and the CEO’s office (59 percent, down one point).

BSR members said their most frequent type of external stakeholder collaboration is with NGOs at 76 percent while 75 percent collaborate with industry associations and 70 percent with other companies. Government and the Media are seen as the most difficult to work with at 46 percent and 27 percent respectively.

LONDON: British Telecom and a number of other multinationals have launched a campaign to encourage businesses to become "Net Positive" – going beyond a zero carbon footprint to replenishing natural resources.

Richard Gillies, group Sustainability director at Kingfisher plc explains: "People want businesses to be about more than profit. Net positive provides a framework to help the business community become a force for good - positive for people, planet and profit.

"We believe it's a win, win, win formula. Indeed we believe it's the only formula for securing a sustainable business over the long term, which is why we have launched our Net Positive approach to business. We don't have all the answers and we can't do it alone so we are delighted to be a part of this unique collaboration of partners, aspiring to accelerate the transition towards a wider Net Positive movement."

Kingfisher says by becoming "Net Positive" it can secure the resources it uses and provide access to a large new market for in-home energy efficiency estimated at €70 billion in Europe by 2020. In addition, by harnessing closed-loop approaches the kingfisher BQcompany thinks it can take advantage of a Europe-wide cost-saving opportunity it estimates at US$630 billion a year.

The company's B&Q subsidiary has already committed to a 50 percent reduction in CO2 across business travel and haulage by 2023 against a 2006/07 baseline. Progress towards this target is reportedly at 36 percent.

Together with NGOS Forum for the Future, the Climate Group and WWF-UK, Kingfisher and the other multinationals want to create a step-change in how companies approach sustainability by promoting the acceleration of global resource replacement.

The group says it aims to grow the number of businesses that are going "Net Positive" by promoting the triple bottom-line benefits of this approach and will also explore how customer and supplier innovations can open up new markets for businesses that have a positive impact on value chains, systems and society.

Sally Uren, CEO of Forum for the Future comments: "This group is absolutely critical for a sustainable future. The businesses involved all share the ambition not just to be a little less harmful – not even to get to 'zero harm' – but to be a positive force."

Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group adds: "Net positive can be the basis of a new positive circle, where innovation and sustainability are translated into new business practices and tangible benefit to communities everywhere. It also offers real business benefits: in a tough market environment net positive leaders can better connect with consumers and better protect their brand and their bottom-line."

SKF director of Corporate Responsibility Rob Jenkinson says his company is participating in Net Positive in order to draw attention to the way businesses can contribute to positive environmental development. James Robey, group Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability director at Capgemini notes: "Net Positive signals a step change in how a business addresses its undisputed obligations to corporate responsibility and sustainability."

In confirming his company's involvement Joe Franses, director of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) explains: "We recognise that the sustainability agenda is not just about reducing business impact. It is about the positive social, economic and environmental contribution that businesses can make to the communities in which they operate. We welcome the opportunity to work with other like-minded businesses to develop a definition of net positive and to explore the benefits of setting net positive commitments."

fedex-truckWASHINGTON DC: A group of leaders from government, industry, academia, standards organizations and NGOs have formed the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) to solve a lack of standardization in sustainable purchasing.

The Council says it will help its members optimize their purchasing for maximum benefit to themselves, society and the planet.

SPLC's founding members include FedEx, Office Depot, Dell, Waste Management, Ecolab, the cities of San Francisco and Washington DC, the states of California and Minnesota, Arizona State and Michigan State universities, UL Environment, and FairTradeUSA.

Founding partners include the American National Standards Institute, Institute for Supply Management, National Association of State Procurement Officers, Practice GreenHealth and the Product Stewardship Institute.

SPLC has released tools for use by procurement and sustainability professionals including a set of principles for leadership in sustainable purchasing.

By the end of the year the council will release an analytics buyer guide and training curricula to help organizations measure the social and environmental impacts associated with their spending. This will be followed by 2014 by action-planning guidance for redirecting spending to lower-impact solutions and solicitation-ready templates for a number of high priority product and service categories.

Kevin Lyons, professor of supply chain management at Rutgers University and its former Chief Procurement Officer commented: "Many long-timers in the sustainable purchasing movement have dreamed of having a multi-stakeholder, multi-sector space for collaborating to refine our efforts. I'm thrilled to be able to say that dream is becoming a reality."

Alison Kinn Bennett, EPA's senior advisor for product sustainability added: "Sustainable purchasing touches on nearly every environmental and public health issue confronted by EPA. We recognize these aren't issues that can be solved by scientists and policymakers alone. EPA is thrilled to see such a diverse group of stakeholders coming together to bring greater clarity, consistency, and recognition to sustainable purchasing."

Jason Pearson, the SPLC executive director noted: "The average procurement professional facilitates hundreds of dollars in spending for every one dollar spent by the average consumer. By removing confusion and providing credible standards, guidance and recognition, we will empower purchasers to lead our economy's transition to sustainability.

"Some categories of purchasing cause way more supply chain environmental impacts than others," Pearson said. "It is our job, as a council, to help purchasers to understand the relative importance of different actions in order to help them to prioritize effectively—to be leaders—in meeting their sustainability objectives."

Accountants SustainabilityLONDON: The CFOs of some of Europe's leading corporations have launched a network to embed environmental and social issues into a company's strategy and finances.

The Chief Financial Officer Leadership Network, established by the Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Project - founded by HRH The Prince of Wales - is the first of its kind to focus on the role CFOs play in integrating environmental and social issues into financial decision-making.

The move follows a speech at A4S last year by World Business Council for Sustainable Development CEO Peter Bakker who suggested "accountants would save the world. In simple terms we need to ensure that reporting makes clear: how a company is planning to make its money, not just how much money it has made."

According to A4S, there is a growing commercial imperative for businesses to take these factors into account if they are to future-proof their organisations. The organization adds: "There is now clear evidence that companies which address environmental and social issues deliver improved commercial returns."

In welcoming the new network the Prince said: "CFOs have a vital role to play in making sure their businesses thrive, not just today, but tomorrow and into the future. The bottom line is that sustainable business equals good business. I am therefore delighted that the A4S Chief Financial Officer Leadership Network will play a key role not only in communicating why sustainability makes business sense, but how to start accounting for it. Our children and grandchildren are depending on it."

Network members include Anglian Water, BUPA, Burberry Group, British Land, The Crown Estate, Danone, Royal DSM, Marks & Spencer, National Grid, Sainsbury's, SSE, South West Water, Unilever, United Utilities, Walmart (EMEA) and Yorkshire Water.

The new network says it will focus on developing and sharing successful strategies to improve modelling of future risk and uncertainty, as well as engagement with investors and other stakeholders to increase their understanding of the commercial benefits of sustainable business models.

John Rogers, co-chair of the A4S CFO Leadership Network and CFO of Sainsbury's noted: "HRH The Prince of Wales has rightly recognised the vital importance of bringing sustainability issues into the very heart of corporate governance and accounting.

"What used to be seen as greenwash needs to become as natural to company finance teams as it is to CR departments or even NGOs. I'm pleased to be co-chairing this significant new initiative and urge my counterparts in business and public organisations to contribute their skills and experience to the A4S CFO Leadership Network."

Logo for invoice-WebsiteLONDON: Research funded by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) says 80 percent of consumers think corporations should fix the problem of climate change and its effects on the environment.

Crucially for logistics suppliers, the FSC says consumers are more likely to trust companies’ environmental claims when they are backed up by certification marks indicating products are responsibly sourced. Similarly, certification marks are more compelling to consumers when they are endorsed by every day, trusted brands it claims.

The report concludes that “above average” concern was shown in Brazil, South Africa and India; while below average concern was found in China, Hong Kong and Japan. European and Australian consumers set the average for belief in the seriousness of environmental pollution and climate change.

The FSC study concludes that most consumers believe their purchases could make a difference and many intend to increase their eco-spending in the next year. Most consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products and are less likely to switch from a green brand to one that was not green, says the FSC.

FSC’s business development director Marcelle Peuckert commented: “With this research, FSC has gained crucial insights that demonstrate what we can all be doing to better reach global consumers and encourage more sustainable consumption habits. Ensuring the health of our forests is the planet's best defense against climate change, and consumers have told us clearly that partnering with for-profit brands to share this message can be good for people, the planet and the bottom line,” she adds.

FSC was created in 1993 to help consumers and businesses identify products from well-managed forests. FSC sets standards by which forests are certified, offering credible verification to people who are buying wood and wood products. Currently more than 183 million hectares and 27,000 companies are certified to FSC standards worldwide.

Ecco shoesSAN FRANCISCO: The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), representing more than a third of the global apparel and footwear market, has released an online version of the Higg Index, a  measurement tool for the industry's supply chain.

The Higg Index was introduced in 2012 to better measure the comprehensive environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products, and since then has allowed more than 100 companies to identify opportunities to reduce impacts and improve long-term sustainability.

"We are very excited to share this new version of the Higg Index with our members. Not only have we expanded the Index to be more comprehensive, but we've also added a new level of engagement where our members can interact and share knowledge and assessments on a level that hasn't been done before, and speed the adoption of sustainable measures within the value chain," said Sustainable Apparel Coalition executive director Jason Kibbey.

" We understand that successfully addressing sustainability requires a new form of collaboration, and the [new index] facilitates the engagement process. For the first time ever, users can interact through our platform and share sustainability information with each other in a very quick and simple way. With this new tool, we have the leverage to reach the tens of thousands of organizations in the supply chain who may not even know what sustainability is," added Kibbey.

The SAC is a trade association comprised of brands, retailers, manufacturers, government, NGOs and academia to address current social and environmental challenges. Manufacturers include:

wbcsd lgGENEVA: According to a new study by the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), members of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), representing US$35 trillion in assets, are taking sustainability seriously as a business and investment issue.

The WBCSD says the PRI doesn't see sustainability "as a magic bullet to transform investment performance" but acknowledges that over the medium to long-term companies face significant risks and opportunities from resource constraints, demographic changes, poverty and climate change.

The 1,000 members of the PRI believe that the companies factoring these issues into business strategies will ultimately outperform. As a result they want to see evidence in corporate reporting that managements understand this and are responding appropriately.

The WBCSD says it wants companies to introduce effective reporting and disclosure so that investors can support business strategies that create sustainable outcomes.

"The pressing environmental and social issues the world is now seeing means that businesses need to act now to transform sustainability reporting so that it meets these needs. Engage with peers and the leading thinkers who are pushing this concept forward. Integrate sustainability into business thinking. And tell the world what you have done in ways that engage, inform, and stimulate action," says the WBCSD study.

Earlier this month, Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, was appointed the new WBCSD chairman. Polman joins fellow Dutchman WBCSD CEO Peter Bakker, former head of TNT.

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