Presentation of the guidelines on preventing corruption in the supply chain

Presentation of the guidelines on preventing corruption in the supply chain

In spring, the expert group ‘Corruption prevention in the supply chain’ took up its work under the umbrella of the Alliance for Integrity (AfIn). The group is comprised of compliance managers and anti-corruption experts from member companies and organisations of the Textiles Partnership, the AfIn, the German Global Compact Network (DGCN) and Transparency International Germany e.V.

In recent months, the expert group developed practical guidelines for preventing corruption in the supply chain. The cross-sectoral guidelines focus on the challenges and dilemmas that companies face in the implementation of corruption measures. With practical solutions and good practice examples to strengthen integrity, transparency and compliance along the supply chain, the guidelines make an important contribution to supporting supply chain management of Partnership members.

The guidelines will be officially launched at a joint event of the AfIn and the Textile Partnership together with the representatives of the expert group:

Preventing corruption in the supply chain

– How companies deal with challenges
Thursday, 7 December 2017 │ 2 pm to 7 pm
GIZ Representation, Reichpietschufer 20,
10785 Berlin, Germany

The detailed programme for the event as well as information on how to register can be found here on the AfIn website.

Deadline and volume targets adopted

On 28 September 2017, the Steering Committee decided that there will be three types of Roadmap targets in the future:

  1. Binding targets that must be pursued by all members at a given point in time.
  2. Recommended targets that should be pursued by all members.
  3. Voluntary targets based on the content and structure of the question grid, but that can largely be freely structured by the members.

At the 16th Steering Committee meeting on 22 November 2017, the Steering Committee conclusively addressed the content of the targets and the requirements for the wording and number of Roadmap targets for the period 2018 – 2020.

The Steering Committee adopted

  • 26 individual binding targets
  • eight recommended targets
  • two overarching Partnership cotton goals

All targets can be found here.

The deadlines specified for the targets relate to existing members. In the year specified, the target – if it has not already been reached – must be defined as a Roadmap target. Future new members must set the goals in the same chronological order in their Roadmaps. This means they have to address the targets for 2018 in their first Roadmap after becoming members and the targets for 2019 in the second Roadmap.

Members who have already fulfilled most of the binding targets for a year can individually define whether they want to set other targets beyond the mandatory targets.

The indicator grid (also broken down by groups of actors) can be found here.

 

 

 

Report from the strategic meeting: More focus, more efficiency, more internationalisation

The Steering Committee met at a strategic meeting on 22 and 23 November 2017. After a brief look back at what had already been accomplished, the focus was on decisions about the next phase of the Partnership.

Thanks to the lessons learned in the first round of the Roadmap process, the process was improved and refined accordingly for 2018. This means that the Textiles Partnership now has a solid basic structure and can enter a new phase with great strides: in the next three years, the goal is to strengthen implementation, explore existing issues in greater depth and, if necessary, highlight new aspects as well as expand international partnerships. The Partnership aims to make a stronger impact, especially through the interaction of the three pillars ‘Individual responsibility of members’, ‘Collective engagement in producing countries’ and ‘Learning and dialogue’.

At the same time, the Steering Committee decided on several areas of focus for 2018: in addition to living wages, these include further support for the Review Process, results measurement in the Partnership and the continued pursuit of the Partnership Initiatives.

To ensure that these issues are addressed successfully in the future, the Steering Committee also decided to reorganise the existing processes and structures.

The goal is to design structures and processes in such a way that members can be involved in developing solutions more efficiently, more flexibly and with a stronger focus on goals.

This also ultimately affects the structure of the existing working groups: as the mandates of the five working groups are set to expire at the end of this year, it is currently being determined how their tasks can continue to be addressed in a modified, more efficient structure. We are currently considering shifting individual issues to smaller expert groups set up for a limited period of time which are made up of representatives of member organisations and can concentrate more on the issues and challenges at hand.

We will keep you updated on how processes and structures will be shaped in the future. For its next meeting on 25 January 2018, the Steering Committee tasked the Partnership Secretariat with further developing an initial existing proposal on the reorganisation of the Partnership. The Steering Committee also once again invited Ms Heike Hess from the Internationaler Verband für Naturtextilwirtschaft (International Association of Natural Textiles – IVN) as a guest to the Steering Committee meetings of the current term.

Finally, the Steering Committee also emphasised the issue of internationalisation of the Partnership: The Partnership Secretariat will continue to pursue in 2018 the strategic cooperation currently being initiated with the Dutch Agreement on Garment and Textile (AGT) and Action, Collaboration, Transformation (ACT). The Steering Committee also decided to sign a ‘Letter of Intent’ with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, paving the way for further collaboration.

 

2018 reporting period

Roadmap creation from 2 January 2018 to 30 April 2018

As already communicated in the members area, TexPerT was made accessible later than anticipated because the adoption of the deadline and volume targets was postponed until 2 January 2018. TexPerT will remain accessible for the creation of Roadmaps in the coming year until 30 April 2018. In subsequent years, the reporting period will always start on 2 January and end on 31 March of each year.

As in the past year, the Partnership Secretariat will offer guidelines and webinars on how to create a Roadmap. The guidelines as well as webinar dates will be announced in the members area. You can also direct your questions to review@textilbuendnis.com.

The question grid (also broken down by stakeholder groups) can be found here.

 

 

MEMBERS AREA

New structure for the Members area

The A-Z search can now be found in the horizontal menu bar. Here you will find the most important information, arranged by keywords. This will make navigation easier and help you to find the folder and documents you are searching for more quickly. English speaking users can now find an overview of the site navigation by clicking on the `English´ button in the top menu.

The vertical menu bar has also been restructured.

Under the section entitled Information for Members of the Partnership, you will find the latest information on the work carried out by the Partnership bodies (News from the Partnership’s Bodies), such as decisions of the Steering Committee and minutes of the Working Group meetings, as well as on Public Relations, with information on reporting and materials for public relations work.

The section entitled Pillars of the Partnership features the three core elements of the Partnership:

 

  • the Partnership Initiatives group includes all information about planned Partnership Initiatives or Initiatives that have already been started;
  • the Review Process group provides guidance and instructions relating to the roadmap process and reporting;
  • and the Tools & Assistance group contains information about the newly structured question grid, organised by topic.
  • From now on, the work of the Partnership’s individual bodies (e.g. specialist working groups, Steering Committee, etc.) will be pooled under the section entitled Bodies. Only the members of the respective body may access these groups.

 

Don’t forget to also read the other articles in this newsletter

Review process: decisions of the Steering Committee

Implementation and internationalisation: decisions of the Steering Committee

Members’ Meeting 2017

MEMBERS’ MEETING 2017

Around 150 participants gathered in Berlin on 11 October 2017.

The Members’ Meeting began with some welcoming remarks by Dr Felmberg. In his address, he underlined the successes of the Partnership and highlighted the milestones that have already been achieved, despite the challenges faced. On the basis of the annual report for 2016-2017, the Partnership Secretariat gave a detailed insight into the results of the Partnership’s work and the lessons it has learned. The Steering Committee and the Partnership Secretariat then fielded questions from the Partnership’s members. A web-tool was used to help draw up a whole host of questions, not all of which could be answered – a summary of all of the questions and answers will be available shortly in the members area. In the afternoon, Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), welcomed those members present. In his speech, he set out the reasons why your commitment to the Textiles Partnership is worthwhile. In four parallel workshops, participants were then given the opportunity to discuss various issues and to draw up possible joint courses of action.

 

Workshop 1: Understanding and implementing duties of care – an introduction to the due diligence process

Following a brief introduction to the restructured question grid for 2018, workshop 1 focused on how companies implement their duty of care in practice. Using four case studies on the supply chain and procurement, participants discussed and devised solutions and shared information regarding their own experiences and instruments.

 

Workshop 2: Getting to know your chain – Implementing supply chain transparency in practice

Knowing one’s own supply chain is essential for managing sustainability effectively. Following a theoretical overview by Professor Freise from Reutlingen University, we heard from two of our members – 3Freunde and H&M – on how they approach the issue of supply chain transparency in practice. Using the ‘Dutch Agreement on a Sustainable Garment and Textile Sector’ as an example, discussions were also held on whether, and in what form, the Textiles Partnership should continue to deal with supply chain transparency in future. Many of the participants were in favour of adopting a similar approach to that of the Dutch textiles covenant, but instead building on existing systems. The participants also stressed repeatedly that supply chain transparency was not an end in itself but a deciding factor in how the data which is collected will be used further.

 

Workshop 3: Vocational training in the textile industry– combining challenge and motivation

The workshop began with a presentation of the approaches used for vocational education and training in the textile sector in Bangladesh and Ethiopia. In keeping with the various approaches, four cornerstones to a Partnership Initiative on vocational education and training in the textile sector were drawn up: (1) Promoting awareness of intercultural challenges and involving vulnerable groups; (2) Developing a uniform training programme with standardised courses, taking into account basic education in schools; (3) Promoting the business case through needs-oriented training; and (4) Focusing on the dual system of education through theoretical and practical course units, work placements and exchange programmes.

 

Workshop 4: Fair play in the textile sector – Opportunities for preventing corruption

The ‘Fair play in the textile sector’ workshop looked at ways of preventing corruption along textile delivery chains. Using specific challenges – including corruption among government labour inspectorates in Cambodia – potential approaches to finding solutions were discussed together with experts, namely Florian Lair (Allianz für Integrität – AfIn) and Thorben Glaser (KfW Group). It became clear that corruption, as a ‘problem of collective action’ (Lair) requires corresponding ‘collective solutions’, which is why the discussion focused on the possibility of joint action by members of the Partnership, for example as part of a Partnership Initiative. A set of guidelines entitled ‘Corruption in the Delivery Chain’ is currently being developed by a group of experts comprising Partnership members and AfIn-affiliated enterprises. The aim is for the publication, scheduled for December, to incorporate and set out in greater detail the ideas generated by the discussion.

 

A keynote speech on challenges and existing approaches for the payment of higher wages served as an introduction to the panel debate entitled ‘Living wages – Do we just need to pay more?’ Together with the Partnership members, those taking part in the panel debate then discussed ways in which the Textiles Partnership can do more in future to promote the payment of living wages. The debate highlighted the individual responsibility of each and every Partnership member and stressed the importance of collective approaches with a broad-based impact.

In the evening, Barbara Meier, BMZ’s textile ambassador, was available for a brief interview, followed by a photo campaign with members. Pictures from the Members’ Meeting can be viewed here. Documentation from the Members’ Meeting can be found here.

 

Don’t forget to also read the other articles in this newsletter

Review process: decisions of the Steering Committee

Implementation and Internationalisation: decisions of the Steering Committee

New structure for the members’ area

 

REVIEW PROCESS: DECISIONS OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE

Question grid

The lessons learned in creating roadmaps have been incorporated into an extensive review process. The Review Process Working Group, specialist working groups and the Partnership Secretariat have joined forces to review the question grid. Following an additional set of corrections by the Steering Committee, the body adopted the question grid for the 2018 review process in September. The grid lays the foundation for annual reporting in the Partnership and is currently being incorporated into the Textile Partnership Performance Tool (TexPerT). Your access to TexPerT from the previous year is maintained. In the event of any changes, please send an email to review@textilbuendnis.com.

The start of the Review-Process 2018 has been postponed from 1 December 2017 to 2 January 2018, due to difficulties in scheduling a meeting for the Steering Committee to decide on the mandatory and recommended targets. The decision will be taken at the next meeting of the Steering Committee from 22 to 23 November 2017. Along with this, the Steering Committee will also decide whether the submission date for your roadmap and progress report will remain 31 March 2018 or whether it will also be postponed by four weeks to 30 April 2018.

 

Deadlines and volume targets

The Steering Committee also agreed on new specifications for roadmap goals in the 2018 review process. In future, the Partnership will have individual, binding as well as recommended goals. Setting binding and recommended goals not only strengthens the credibility of the Textiles Partnership but also provides you with a more tangible framework providing guidance for your activities and your involvement with the Partnership. The Partnership Secretariat will give priority to developing a range of support for those issues which are addressed by the binding goals.

The Steering Committee is currently holding final discussions on what the binding goals should encompass and a resolution will be passed in the next meeting from 22 to 23 November. We will notify you promptly of the decision reached.

 

Progress reports

In addition to drawing up the second roadmap, all members will next year report for the first time on their progress in implementing the roadmap goals. The Steering Committee has now decided on the extent to which progress reports will be checked and how this will be done. Guidelines stipulating the evidence which is required in the progress reports have been adopted too. The amount of data which is to be taken from the progress reports for the purposes of publication has also been determined. Should the checker and member fail to reach an agreement on the examination opinion, they shall nevertheless agree to a conciliation procedure. We shall notify you as soon as this conciliation panel has been appointed and is able to begin its work.

 

Measurement of results

The Steering Committee discussed at length the Partnership’s approach to measuring results. An external service provider has been commissioned to devise an approach to measuring results in the Partnership in line with the requirements of the Steering Committee. The results are to be presented to the Steering Committee in early 2018.

 

Accreditation mechanism

The Partnership Secretariat continues to collect data as part of the planned recognition and comparison measures in relation to existing standards. The system criteria for eight standards are currently being ascertained and a comparison based on content is being made with 16 standards. The Steering Committee adopted the recommendation of the Natural Fibres Working Group on the minimum requirements for new wool. In terms of their content, the following standard systems and initiatives are therefore recognised for the field of new wool: Responsible Wool Standard Implementation Manual, The IFOAM Norms for Organic Production and Processing, the EU regulation on organic farming, and the ZQ Merino Accreditation Programme. The IWTO Specifications for Wool Sheep Welfare also cover the minimum requirements of the Partnership in terms of content, although a non-mulesing or ceased-mulesing certificate is additionally required for Australian wool.

The standard systems and initiatives have been recognised in terms of their contents. However, they also need to meet the minimum systemic requirements and are now examined accordingly.

 

Partnership goals

The Steering Committee adopted the consolidation paper on environmental goals and standards, which summarises the Partnership goals in this topic area, as well as the Partnership goals on sheep farming which supplement the existing Partnership goals in the area of natural fibres.

 

Preventing corruption

The expert group for Corruption Prevention and Compliance is currently drawing up a set of guidelines with a particular focus on textiles. This is to be presented in early December for International Anti-Corruption Day and will be made available to you. There are also plans to make the content of the guidelines available for training in the form of webinars within the next year.

 

Don’t forget to also read the other articles in this newsletter

Implementation and internationalisation: decisions of the Steering Committee

New structure for the members’ area

Members’ Meeting 2017

IMPLEMENTATION AND INTERNATIONALISATION: DECISIONS OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE

Interview with Dr. Jürgen Janssen: What is better now than it was 3 years ago? | gemeinfrei

Seed propagation for sustainable cotton growing – Central Asia

The availability of cotton seeds and the risk of contamination are major challenges to sustainable cotton growing. Non-GMO seeds for certified organic and Fairtrade farmers is not only scarce but often much more expensive too. Moreover, purchased seeds need to be tested regularly to check that they have not become contaminated. The risk of contamination also makes it more difficult for farmers to produce seeds themselves on an individual basis. As a result, the Natural Fibres Working Group and the Implementation and Internationalisation Working Group developed the Partnership Initiative entitled ‘Empowering small holding farmers and improving quality and supply of non-genetically modified cotton from Central Asia’, which the Steering Committee adopted as the fourth Partnership Initiative.

Building on the existing expertise and structures in farmers’ cooperatives, the aim is to develop capacities so as to be able to multiply non-GMO cotton seeds. Smallholders are to be strengthened and sustainable supply relationships developed. Other measures include the setting-up and training of a ‘Seed Task Force’ and competence centres, the provision of funding for technical equipment and GMO testing, as well as awareness-raising and information measures on how to prevent seed contamination. Although the Initiative is initially focusing on Central Asia, plans are also in place to expand it to another country.

 

Status of other Partnership Initiatives

Kick-off workshop 2017 in Tamil Nadu, India

Improvement in social standards at spinning plants in India: The Initiative was launched on 19 September 2017 with a workshop held in Coimbatore, attended by representatives of the state government, civil society and local businesses. The delegation from the Textiles Partnership, comprising representatives of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Tchibo, Hugo Boss, Fairtrade, FEMNET and the Partnership Secretariat held a series of talks in Chennai, including with high-ranking government representatives.

 

Environmental and chemicals management in Bangladesh and China: To date, training materials have been compiled, translated into the required languages and tested during an initial pilot training course held in Myanmar in August in cooperation with sequa gGmbH. In September, an initial stakeholder meeting took place in Bangladesh, discussions were held with representatives of the chemical industry at Tchibo in Hamburg, and the University of Stuttgart hosted a colloquium on academic exchange.

Improvement of water management for a sustainable supply in the cotton sector in Pakistan: A work plan has been finalised together with partners in Lahore. Contractual negotiations are currently underway. More companies are being urgently sought to support the Initiative.

The implementation agreements between the stakeholders for the three Partnership Initiatives already in place are in the process of being harmonised. This will complete the joint strategy development phase, and the contributions – either financial or in-kind – to be made by the parties will be clearly stated. The Textiles Partnership is dependent on the voluntary participation of a sufficient number of members.

 

Internationalisation of the Textiles Partnership

In order to improve the mainstreaming of the Partnership goals in the delivery chain, raise the profile of the Textiles Partnership in production countries and support the implementation of Partnership Initiatives, the Steering Committee approved a model aimed at involving national actors in the production countries. In the production countries, national actors that are actively involved in the Partnership Initiatives will in future be designated as ‘textile partners’. To promote the international networking of the Textiles Partnership in the area of chemicals management, the Steering Committee decided that the Textiles Partnership will join the Chemicals in Products Programme (CiP) under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). SAICM is a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral, voluntary strategy under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme. Its goal is to minimise the adverse effects of chemicals on human health and the environment by 2020.

 

 

Don’t forget to also read the other articles in this newsletter

Review process: decisions of the Steering Committee

New structure for the members’ area

Members’ Meeting 2017