The UN Global Compact and BSR are pleased to issue this guide to help companies and stakeholders understand and advance supply chain traceability, which is the process of identifying and tracking a product or component’s path from raw material to finished good. This guide represents more than a year of work in preparation, research and interviews.
The purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of the importance of traceability for sustainability purposes, outline the global opportunities and challenges it represents and summarize practical steps for implementing traceability programmes within companies. Research for this guide revealed that traceability is a tremendously impactful tool for advancing sustainability objectives, but it still has a long way to go before it is an integral part of sustainable supply chain management and is used widely by companies. At present, only a very small percentage of commodities are traceable on sustainability attributes. Traceability must be a collaborative effort. This guide aims to show companies and stakeholders the benefits of working together to implement a common approach to traceability across commodities.
Summary of the Guide
This guide is divided into three sections:
In Part 1, the guide defines traceability and explores its history, benefits and challenges, including an overview of current collaborative schemes on traceability.
In Part 2, the guide demonstrates a model for best practice in traceability, and provides an overview of the different models of traceability and the global initiatives operating in the arena.
In Part 3, the guide provides guidance to companies around the world, large and small, on how to effectively engage in traceability.