Ethics: ‘Future of Procurement’ in The Times

New writing..Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Procurement.

The piece explores how  workers are often the victims when there are gaps between legal and ethical procurement. Figures from the International Labour Organization (ILO), released most recently in 2017, revealed that more than 40 million people worldwide were in modern slavery in 2016, including around 25 million in forced labour. Of those in forced labour, some 16 million were being exploited in the private sector. Furthermore, there were more than 152 million estimated victims of child labour, almost half of whom were aged between 5 and 11.

The heat is on, however. Businesses nowadays have a lot to lose if they neglect their responsibilities and the lines between profit and social conscience are no longer so easily defined. Brands are playing with fire when it comes to ethical procurement and those that muddy transparency, frustrate traceability and neglect communications get burned.

To read the article in full, complete with expert insights, comment and analysis, please click here:

‘Human rights falter in grey areas of procurement policy’.

The full 16-page Future of Prcurement report is available to view/download here.



SUSTMEME: Get the Susty Story Straight!

Sustainability win-win: ‘Future of Procurement’ in The Times

New writing…. Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Procurement.

Reconciling best-value procurement and sustainability need not be a problem, since the two carry the promise of a real win-win.  The potential synergy is clear, at least in principle. In practice, however, is where the challenge starts. Exploring how best to track and target supply-chain performance, my article takes us beyond the old backside-covering box-ticking and bare-minimum compliance of yesteryear, into the brave new world of holistic and proactive procurement, that is smart, balanced and sustainable. It is not easy, especially in an industry like construction, notorious for its aggressive contracting model and adversarial business culture. However, times are changing and so too is the sector, albeit slowly. The future of procurement will be different, and better:

‘How sustainability can build value in construction’.

The full 20-page Future of Procurement report is available to view/download here.

No Plan B: ‘Supply Chain Strategies’ in The Times

New writing... Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on Supply Chain Strategies.

High street giant Marks & Spencer is leading the charge against abuses in the global supply chain with a long-term commitment to sustainability. With 35,000 different product lines and 32M customers, it is a big task. In this piece I look at the challenges and achievements of pursuing with purpose a strategic and systemic approach over the course of a decade since the launch of its flagship programme Plan A. In particular, the article also discusses the ongoing battle against the criminal elements involved in modern slavery and the need to collaborate widely in a bid to tackle this scourge of the supply chain. You can read the full story here (with no paywall), on:

‘The need for a sustainable global supply chain’.

The full 16-page Supply Chain Strategies report is available to view/download here.

Ethics & Fast Fashion: ‘Supply Chain Strategies’ in The Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had another piece published in The Times newspaper today, as part of a special report on Supply Chain Strategies by Raconteur. It looks at the reasons why, despite numerous and worthy initiatives, keeping track of ethical standards in fashion supply chains is still such a challenge:

‘Slow progress in fast fashion’.

There is also a case study (please scroll down): ‘Plight of supply chain refugees’.

The full 16-page Supply Chain Strategies report is available to view/download here.

Green Hotels + Biophilia, to IoT + Modern Slavery

More of my journalism and blogging pieces have been published in the last few months and I have provided a brief update menu of Built Environment, Real Estate and Construction articles below, with links to original copy. (Additional writings on Environment, Energy and Education topics will follow.)


Hotels-check-in-to-greener-thinkingHotels Check in to Greener Thinking

Summary: Enter a hotel room anywhere in the world and the chances are you’ll find a polite-but-prescriptive card by the bed or bath, advising of the benefits of ‘eco-friendly’ behaviors such as living with linen longer and reusing towels. Commendable as it may be, however, this consumer-facing front really represents only the tip of the iceberg for environmental impacts in the hospitality industry where fast-growing equates to resource-hungry.

Published in: JLL ‘Real Views’ (12 Apr, 2016)

Working-with-nature-to-create-better-buildingsWorking with Nature to Create Better Buildings

Summary: For centuries, nature and the built environment have not been on good terms as humans build upwards, downwards and outwards. Now, however, a more harmonious relationship is developing – which benefits both sides, and, crucially, the health and wellbeing of the people in the middle. The belief system behind this shift is ‘biophilia’ and it’s changing the way we think about and design our buildings.

Published in: JLL ‘Real Views’ (30 Mar, 2016)


supply-chain-760x428Modern Slavery and the Supply Chain

The UK construction industry must ensure its global supply chains comply with new legislation clamping down on the use of forced and slave labour.

Published in: ‘Future of Construction’ Special Report, ‘The Sunday Times’‘  (27 Mar, 2016)


Construction-is-facing-a-new-era-of-green-builds-760x428Construction is Facing a New Era of Green Builds

As the UK construction industry strives to rebuild itself to deliver the new homes and infrastructure the country needs, new money and new metrics apply.

Published in: ‘Future of Construction’ Special Report, ‘The Sunday Times’‘  (27 Mar, 2016)


Why-buildings-will-become-sensorsationalWhy Buildings Will Become ‘Sensorsational’

Summary: In many small ways, we are becoming accustomed to buildings responding to our physical presence, almost without realizing: doors open and lighting comes on in hallways, toilets flush automatically in restrooms and water flows into basins when our hands approach. Slowly but surely, we have entered a whole new wireless world of sensors.

Published in: JLL ‘Real Views’ (29 Feb, 2016)

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