Brands To Buy Over Christmas?

By Dawn McGregor 15 December, 2015

CWR's McGregor shares the top & laggard brands from CITI 2015 report on brands' green supply chains in China

Round 2 of CITI report released by NGOs; 114 brands covered across Textiles, IT and F&B sectors
Top brand across 3 sectors: Adidas, Apple & Coca-Cola; Laggard brands include Victoria's Secret, IBM & KFC
Green supply chains gaining more focus but still need more action from brands but also from consumers

Round 2 of “Greening The Global Supply Chain – Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI)” report was released in October 2015 by the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) & the National Resources Defense Council (NDRC).  As like the first report, released last year, it ranks international and Chinese brands on their performance in environmental management of their supply chains in China. See my review of the first report here.

Christmas is just weeks away, which means so is MASS consumption (see why we can’t continue like this here). But, when you are eating, shopping, drinking and being merry why not support the brands that have the more ‘green’ supply chains in China. Below is a quick best and worst guide of brands for your Christmas purchases in Textiles, IT and F&B, according to the “Greening The Global Supply Chain – Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) Report 2015”.

Fashionistas take note – Adidas No. 1

  • Adidas No.1 textile brand;
  • Levi’s (#3), Uniqlo (#8) and Target (#10) make it into Top 10 for first time;
  • Meanwhile, GAP (#13) and C&A (#13) drop out of Top 10; and
  • All laggard brands scored 0/100.

Textile Brands CITI 2015
If you want to find out more about what top industry brands are doing to mitigate environmental impact and risks (or at least what they say they are doing – disclosing), see the results from my deep dive here. Also, catch my takeaways from the Global Leadership Award for Sustainable Apparel this year in Stockholm where China Water Risk was a finalist. Meanwhile, raw materials from China continue to be a significant risk to the fashion industry but little action is being taken.

Apple ranked the No.1 IT Brand

  • Apple is the leader of the pack with the highest score of any brand with 72/100 (but Apple didn’t get here without facing some challenges); and
  • There are two new brands to the group (Canon #9, GE #10) which replaced Siemens and Nokia in the Top 10 from last year.

 IT Top & Laggard Brands CITI Report 2015

Have you ever thought about what happens to your old phone/iPad when you get a new one? Do you sell it, throw it away? Electronic waste is a big challenge with hazardous & toxic chemicals and vast volumes, to list a few. Given this, do you really need the latest version 10.2Y vs. 10.1X – especially if your ‘old’ one is working just fine?

Coca-Cola No.1 in Food & Beverage

  • The F&B sector has a smaller coverage compared to Textiles and IT as it is a newer sector covered by the report authors but it is a growing one; and
  • There are seven new brands compared to last year (Dachan, Danone, Fonterra, General Mills, Junlebao, Modern Farming, Nonshim). Two of which feature in the Top 10.

F&B Top & Laggard Brands CITI Report 2015

Food and drink can be such a source of happiness but also unhappiness, with many still hungry and thirsty in the world or facing no choice but to consume polluted products. This can change with less waste, more regulations, more circular business models – like recycling & less packaging – and more informed consumer choices for example, opting for a refillable water bottle than a plastic water bottle.

Green supply chains are gaining more attention

I hope this quick look at how brands are faring will help you this festive period. But it doesn’t end here as I will be doing a deeper dive into the rankings, methodology and share key findings from year-on-year comparisons.  This will prove important given that green supply chains are getting more attention and focus internationally and in China, so stay tuned.

Remember that you have purchasing power, so use it for good

IPE Director Ma Jun said, “That green supply chain was written into the ‘Beijing Declaration’ at the APEC summit shows that green supply chain development has risen to become an important policy of the Chinese government, which will provide a greater opening for participation from different stakeholders and actions that promote the greening of procurement and production in China.” 
Also, remember that you have purchasing power so use it for good! And if you need some planet-friendly gifting ideas see here.

Further Reading

  • 8 Planet-Friendly Gifting Tips – Make this Christmas your best one yet for you but also the planet with China Water Risk’s McGregor & Thieriot’s 8 planet-friendly gift & lifestyle tips that Santa & Rudolph will approve of
  • Hotels: Giant Leaps For Water Scarcity – The hotel industry ranked water as the No. 2 most important issue. International Tourism Partnership’s Hughes on work ahead with a new tool to standardise measurement of water across 30,000 hotels
  • Something Fishy This Christmas? – Some may opt for fish as a healthier option but not all is well in the oceans. With depleting stocks of some species close to 60%, Sophie le Clue explains why seafood needs to be sustainable. See which to pick & avoid
  • Winter is Not Coming – Game of Thrones’ Ygritte might be right; Jon Snow, you know nothing. Tan mulls over the impact of findings from China’s Third National Assessment Report on Climate Change on the future of white Christmases, the Winter Olympics, skiing holidays and why find our inner-Yoda we must

Brand & consumer action

  • Brand Rankings Through A Chinese Lens – See how global and local brands rank across 8 sectors in terms of their supply chain’s environmental impact in this review of the new Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) report by IPE & NRDC
  • Are You A Responsible Consumer? – With waste levels already sky high and set to grow China Water Risk’s Dawn McGregor mulls over the challenges of being a responsible consumer from fashion to food to plastic. Be it as an individual or corporate, see what action you can take
  • Corporate Water Reporting in China – CDP’s report shows potentially inadequate water risk assessment by Chinese companies & those with HQ’s in China. CDP’s Gillespy on their latest report and why it’s time to report on water risks
Dawn McGregor
Author: Dawn McGregor
Dawn leads CWR’s work to help corporates navigate increasingly disruptive & material risks from water & climate threats, as well as transitional risks in the supply chain arising from new regulations in China. Here, Dawn engages extensively with the global fashion industry delivering on-ground workshops in China to keynotes and strategic input at European HQs. She has written at length on the end of dirty and thirsty fast fashion and her report to overcome gaps between brands and manufacturers for a clean and circular future inspired the industry to create a new wastewater tool. Dawn also works closely with the property and tourism sectors where she not only conducts strategic assessments of their exposure but builds collective action toward resilience via closed door working groups and invite-only events. Having helped build CWR, Dawn is a frequent keynote, panellist & moderator at events, including being twice selected as the lead-rapporteur at World Water Week. Her articles are cited in various industry publications including the UN’s ‘World Without Water’. Dawn previously worked in a global investment bank assessing geo-political risk, crisis management and business resiliency. She was born and bred in Hong Kong and has lived in France, England, Singapore and Beijing.
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