Traceability

GOAL

To create and maintain integrated and transparent supply chains that ensure the traceability of raw materials from their origin through to the final product. This will involve supporting the direction of incentives to those that apply best practices so as to optimise environmental, social and economic performance.

SCOPE

This Work Stream addresses the development and implementation of international traceability systems. These systems provide essential information and controls along the entire supply and regulatory chain to ensure the legality, sustainability, stability and continuity of supply of natural resources in a timely, accessible, economically feasible, transparent and verifiable way.

The traceability and knowledge components that fall within this work stream include:

•    ID carrier technology, which creates the means to trace a given material 
•    data capture devices, which enable the control and validation of data between the identification carrier and the material
•    information management systems, which store, manage and disseminate the information generated, using specific access and manipulation rights and securities

VALUE

Traceability systems are fundamental in ensuring the legality and transparency of supply chains. These systems provide information on the entire lifecycle of a product, and are crucial to understanding what happens at each point of the supply chain.

The information they collect should result in better management of supply and regulatory chains and their associated risks and opportunities. They provide a useful tool for the effective engagement of stakeholders and the facilitation of commercial exchange of materials all along the value chain, increasing productivity and reducing lead times and transaction costs.

In addition they allow for the documentation of practices that demonstrate the contribution of business and policy to sustainable development by offering relevant data to support the measurement and monitoring of impacts along the entire chain, as well as the analysis of biodiversity and habitat conservation at the source.

BENEFITS

•    Local communities

Traceability will provide recognition to those communities that apply best practices, creating direct channels for them to be rewarded for their performance and efforts while giving visibility to the value that they add to the rest of the supply chain. At the same time, it will help communities better understand the preferences of the rest of the supply chain allowing them to plan and enhance their offer, rendering them more competitive.

•    Industry

Traceability will enhance the transparency and visibility of operations and supply chains, helping the industry to demonstrate the link between their products and their sustainability efforts. This should result in an improved ability to address key issues in the more complex parts of the supply chain, placing companies in a better position to react to potential media attacks while enhancing their corporate image and reputation.

•    Governments (policy makers and regulators)

Traceability will provide valuable information to allow for better natural resources management and support government entities in the application and enforcement of local and international laws, facilitating and accelerating the internal and trans-boundary movement of materials and products.

•    Nature (biodiversity)

Traceability will enable timely and more accurate information on the utilisation rates of natural resources in specific regions, supporting improved management and control of these rates to keep them at sustainable levels.

By providing useful information to support the assessment and measurement of the real impacts on nature and the valuation of natural capital, traceability will support the uptake and mainstreaming of conservation and sustainability activities.