The code now includes all US and Canadian contracts managed by Quality Supply Chain Cooperative and suppliers that provide a “significant stream” of goods or services to Wendy’s on an annual basis. In addition to suppliers’ environmentally sustainable business practices, the code covers these four topics: food safety and food ingredients, farm animal health and well-being, human rights and labor practices and business ethics and integrity.
Wendy’s says it will also will also require third-party reviews related to the human rights and labor practices of certain produce suppliers.
The language of the code itself, however, is vague when it comes to specific environmental management metrics. It says suppliers are encouraged to “address, document and make continuous improvement efforts” in several areas such as water usage, wastewater management, waste reduction and recycling efforts, emissions and energy use, and responsible sourcing of raw materials.
But under the heading of Wendy’s “specific expectations,” the document doesn’t provide any set-in-stone targets or requirements.
“Suppliers are expected to comply with applicable legal environmental requirements and regulations, including securing and renewing all related permits,” the code reads. “In developing sustainable business practices, Wendy’s encourages suppliers to consider developing and deploying an environmental management system, based on international standards such as ISO 14001:2004, in an effort to identify, document, manage and/or mitigate any environmental issues or concerns.”
Wendy’s established its Supplier Code of Conduct in 2015 and it took effect in 2016. It initially applied only to US suppliers of food, paper and packaging. With the new expansion, the code now covers the vast majority and QSCC managed annual spending, the company says.
Wendy’s news follows several other sustainable supply chain initiatives from major companies.
Last week VF Corporation, whose brands include The North Face, Timberland, Wrangler and Lee, published its first-ever Forest Derived Materials Policy, which sets purchasing guidelines and commits the company and its suppliers to using sustainable forest materials and products.
Also in February, Gore Fabrics said it will eliminate perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) of environmental concern from its products by 2023 and it is working with its suppliers to accomplish this.
Additionally, Walmart is working with its suppliers to reduce CO2e emissions from upstream and downstream scope 3 sources by 1 billion metric tons (1 gigaton) between 2015 and 2030. The retail giant’s supply chain emissions represent about 95 percent of Walmart’s overall carbon footprint.