#Blog: Talent Nation Working With The Australian Supply Chain Sustainability School

Here at Talent Nation we are often provided with exciting opportunities to work alongside some incredible organisations, the missions and values of which truly align with our own. Our commitment to providing sustainable recruitment and executive search services allows us to not only pair talent with impactful roles, but also has our finger on the pulse, constantly connecting with purpose driven organisations emerging from a vast range of industries.

We strongly believe that knowledge is power, and that education is not only key to recognising the core issues prevalent within business practices today, but also in finding sustainable solutions for the future. An initiative which really exemplifies this is the Australian Supply Chain Sustainability School who are working to integrate ethical standards within an already established industry. So who are they?

The Australian Supply Chain Sustainability School, a for-purpose organisation, responds to increasing demands within the construction industry for cleaner, greener operating practices, acknowledging that sustainability presents both a challenge and an opportunity for this sector. The Sustainability School states that their objective is to increase knowledge and competency among the supply chain in the Australian construction and infrastructure fields, with a focus on small to medium enterprises. They aim to aid suppliers in meeting Australia’s construction and infrastructure requirements, supplying the knowledge necessary to implement more cost effective and sustainable practices.

The resources provided by the School are free to all supply chain members. A self-assessment is required upon registration, developing a prioritised 10 point action plan, providing the resources needed to inform and create changes in areas that need the most attention. Areas of interest span main sustainability issues, including materials, carbon, environmental management, waste, water, biodiversity, ethics, community, and procurement. The free resources complement existing standards within the construction industry, rating schemes and frameworks developed by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia, the Green Building Council of Australia and Federal and State Government Departments. Additionally, face to face training and supplier days are an option, providing further support beyond the digital medium.

At Talent Nation we recognise that the pathway to a sustainable future involves the constant reviewing and re-working of industries in order for them to operate at best practice. The School calls for transparency within the supply chain, shedding light on issues such as outsourced low-skilled labour, often utilised at the production stage of global supply chains (Global Slavery Index 2016).  Talent Nation aims to not only operate a business, but to have the effects of our work in place long after we’re gone. The engagement of Talent Nation with the School means that we are able to utilise our skill set within the environmental and sustainability sectors to connect exceptional talent with their organisation. The very ethos of Talent Nation is to assist in building strong communities within our area of expertise, the Australian Supply Chain Sustainability School is an endeavour that we are excited and proud to be involved with. Our overall objective has always been to use the power of business to do good, tackling larger societal issues in the process, and achieving this by aligning amazing people with purpose driven roles.

If you’d like more information on the School please visit them here; alternatively if you are interested in opportunities with them, or some of our other clients, you can connect with us.

Funds Without Ethical Lens Risk Being Left On Shelf

As ethical investment continues to enter the mainstream, super funds and managers that do not incorporate ethics into their decision-making risk being left behind, Banking and Finance Oath founding director Clare Payne has warned.

Speaking at the Portfolio Construction Forum Strategies Conference 2017 in Sydney on Thursday, August 24, Payne observed there has been a shift in the way people think about businesses and their purpose. Businesses that lack moral and ethical awareness are now viewed unfavourably.

Payne attributed this shift to three main factors: the public’s concern about the future of the planet, the need to hold the business community responsible for causing some of those concerns, and the public having better access to information that enables people to make good ethical decisions.

An expanding market

“There is a growing movement around calling things out and saying what is a legitimate way of making money and what’s not,” Payne said.

Currently, $622 billion is invested via “responsible investment” strategies in Australia and it is predicted that, in the next three to five years, the ethical investment sector will add an extra $50 billion and about 700,000 new investors, Payne said.

The potential for getting into this lucrative market depends solely on asset owners and portfolio managers “prioritising ethics”, Payne said.

“We have, as humans, what I’d like to call ‘unreliable gut, reliable bias’. We can’t presume we know what everyone is thinking or cares about. We have to find out, and we also have to get awareness of our own position.”

She argued that for investment managers to improve their ethical awareness, they need to outline the purpose of their business and be prepared for clients to hold different views. It is key to understand the values that matter most to clients, be it gender equality, diversity, innovation or sustainability. It is also important for managers to define their position and their clients’ positions on big issues such as wealth inequality and climate change.

She also advised money managers to keep abreast of ethical trends that could affect their future investment decisions. For example, a growing number of super funds have divested from tobacco products, and it is important to know what other industries the public considers undesirable for investment, she said. (Payne is also the chief operating officer of Tobacco Free Portfolios, a group that agitates for major institutional investors to divest from tobacco products.)

Women’s increasing wealth

Another factor that it’s important for funds and managers to recognise is the increase in women’s wealth, because women, who are expected to control $72.1 trillion globally by 2020, are twice as likely as men to invest ethically, Payne said.

“Currently, our financial system is oriented towards men and the majority of clients have been men in the past, but they won’t be in the future,” she said.

Another trend Payne said presents an opportunity for portfolio managers is the “rise of the individual”, meaning people are more likely to trust an individual than the company for which they work.

“It’s a time to reveal your own ethics and to understand other people’s ethics,” she said.

 Payne encouraged money managers to take three steps to make ethics part of their portfolios: become a signatory to the Banking and Finance Oath, remove all tobacco products from portfolios and “look at the news with an ethical lens” to become actively aware of how ethical issues are likely to affect the businesses in which they invest.

Source: Professional Planner