Shutterstock Tinnakorn jorruang Close Authorship A child picks up recyclable waste in a landfill. This article originally appeared in the State of Green Business 2021. You can download the entire report here . As the circular economy ramps up, we’ve seen impressive innovation in materials, products, models and processes — but innovation on how we treat people has been notably absent. However, as companies, cities and countries alike adopt a more holistic lens and embrace circular principles, they are recognizing the opportunity to drive social change in lockstep with an economic transformation that puts people at the center. In the context of sourcing and supply chains, we’ve seen this movie before. Facing legal pressure from governments, reputational risk from consumers and pushback from NGOs, the past two decades have seen a dramatic shift in sourcing protocols and upstream supplier engagement in an attempt to eradicate forced and child labor, conflict minerals and other human rights violations in supply chains. Yet, these efforts traditionally have acknowledged only one phase of a material’s life. In a circular supply chain, sourcing no longer focuses exclusively on virgin materials. As companies take responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products, hazardous conditions in […]


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