The virtual International Lieferkettengesetz (LKG) Conference 2021, “Guide to Lieferkettengesetz – Building Responsible Global Supply Chains” co-organized by PFI Fareast and cads was successfully held on Thursday 20th May. Over one hundred participants attended the event. Participants gleaned the status of the German Supply Chain Law, the potential challenges were discussed and evaluated as were opportunities for LKG implementation and how different supply chain stakeholders should prepare for the law.
Moderated by Managing Directors of PFI Fareast, Candice Wang and Ingo Bade, the virtual conference featured 10 speakers that ranged from advisors from the German government, NGOs, brands, traders, suppliers, and third-party service providers. Each speaker brought valuable insights of the opportunities and challenges the law will bring to global supply chain operations.
Carolin Seeger, Business and Human Rights Expert, who is part of the Helpdesk on Business and Human Rights, the advisory for the German Government, explained the growing expectations on companies in recent years from different parties. “The German Supply Chain Law will act as a management system, in which companies are expected to have a policy commitment to identify risks to people from operations and business relationships. Companies need to do something about those risks and should track how well the measures they have been taking are working and communicate externally”.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has decreased the sales of German footwear producers and brands by over 30 to 40%” noted Manfred Junkert, Managing Director of cads. He highlighted that the timing for LKG implementation is not perfect as it will bring more bureaucracy without impact and is likely to bring incalculable sanctions by developing countries, on top of the negative consequences brought by the pandemic.
Speaker Berndt Hinzmann, Spokesman of Change Your Shoes presented his topic “Due Diligence for Human Rights at Work and Environmental Protection in the Supply Chain”, explaining the fundamentals and importance of the law, risk analysis, and grievance mechanisms for the global footwear supply chain.
Our own Dr. Ines Anderie, Head of Chemical Analytics Department at PFI Germany shared what needs to be done by companies in response to the law; including better management systems for risk management, regular analysis and structured compliant mechanisms.
“The reality is that there will always be challenges that require trusted partnerships to help in achieving compliance goals. Whether that is a new consumer trend or demand, or a new piece of government legislation that will shift the foundations of our “business as usual”, said Kelly Cooper, Associate Director of Sustainability of PFI Fareast.
Juliane Michel, Head of Corporate Responsibility from ISA-TRESKO highlighted the importance to support the law, “our company believes that this new law is actually an opportunity for German companies to redefine quality and we will be able to get business advantages out of it eventually. ”
Thank you to everyone who participated in the virtual conference. Please stay tuned to the follow-up updates of the International LKG conference. See you at future events.
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