Pandemic adds to ethical issues in supply chains

Covid-19 topped a list of pressing supply chain issues.

The Australasian Supply Chain Institute (ASCI) urges Australian business leaders to heed its poll results and encourages staff to be registered under its scheme for access to an ethics management program.

Supply chain leaders participated in a poll this month for Global Ethics Day and 94 per cent cited at least one unethical issue in their supply chain when presented with the following options:

  • Covid-19 (68 per cent)
  • Misconduct (19 per cent)
  • Black Market (16 per cent)
  • Bribery (13 per cent)
  • Modern slavery (9 per cent)
  • Discrimination (6 per cent)
  • Child labour (9 per cent)
  • Food fraud (9 per cent)

ASCI President, Alexandra Riha, said Covid-19 has exacerbated pre-existing unethical issues, leaving supply chain managers feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities for their end to end global supply chains.

“While 60 per cent said they had access to resources such as experts, supplier visibility, external assistance and legal advice, 16 per cent said the resources did not allow appropriate confidentiality to protect them and 40 per cent said did not have adequate access to resources.

“As the professional accreditation body for supply chain management, ASCI offers those who are registered under its Professional Accreditation Scheme access to an Ethics Management Program, including a Code of Conduct, for confidential third party resources to be well informed and help de-escalate unethical behaviour in supply chains,” she said.

In line with the Global Ethics Day theme ‘Ethics In Action’, Riha encourages business leaders to empower their supply chain staff to be registered under the ASCI Professional Accreditation Scheme for free access to the Ethics Management Program which comprises the ASCI Code of Ethics and supported by a comprehensive complaints management process that provides guidance.

ASCI’s Professional Accreditation Scheme is reported to provide industry-wide standards and consistency in the profession. This Professional Accreditation Scheme, through which individuals can register as Professionals, Practitioners and Associates, provides recognition of professional achievement against a globally aligned, industry accepted set of standards, on par with other professional disciplines.

In February 2021, ASCI will host its annual conference in Sydney which is expected to provide clarity around what is expected of supply chain managers particularly in relation to how to future-proof a global supply chain into the new decade.

The conference will also feature an international keynote from the United Nations.

“The United Nations’ ‘Decade for Action’ calls for accelerating sustainable solutions to all the world’s biggest challenges ranging from poverty and gender to climate change, inequality and closing the finance gap,” said Riha. “ASCI is committed to its mission to professionalise supply chain management and invites all supply chain practitioners to be registered by 2021.”