(New York, 28 November 2007) - On 22 October the US Network of the UN Global Compact convened in San Francisco for its second conference of 2007. Focusing of the topic of "Responsible Procurement", more than 50 participants representing business, civil society, academia and the public sector shared best and emerging practices related to the overall theme as well as specialized aspects of sustainable procurement, including supply chain, ethical sourcing, food services, building and construction, information technology, and travel.
Aron Cramer, chief executive of Business for Social Responsibility, delivered the keynote address, commenting that while much progress has been made in recent years with respect to companies developing various codes of conduct, a more comprehensive approach is needed -- one that goes "beyond monitoring" and includes the dimensions of worker empowerment, public policy, supplier ownership, and buyer-internal alignment. Panelists included senior representatives of Sun Microsystems, American Express, Ebay, Hewlett-Packard, Starbucks, Webcor, Bon Appétit Management Company, WWF, Community Alliance, Rainforest Alliance, and the City of San Francisco.
Sara Broadbent of Seagate Technology and Cecily Joseph of Symantec, both focal points of the US Network, emphasized the importance of companies developing strategic frameworks to address their unique sustainable procurement initiatives.
"It's clear that companies have an enormous opportunity to broaden and deepen their practices into such areas as ethical sourcing, responsible technology, food service as well as green construction and travel", said Gavin Power, manager of the US Network for the UN Global Compact Office. "At the same time, organizations, working individually and collectively, can begin to explore the ways in which responsible procurement practices can help foster economic and social growth in developing countries".
The next meeting of the US Network will take place on 28 April 2008 in Boston. The meeting is being planned to coincide with the Ceres Annual Conference, taking place on 29-30 April in Boston.
For more information, please contact Mr Gavin Power at firstname.lastname@example.org