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Corporate Social Responsibility: Training Workshops

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Earlier this year WhichPLM launched our latest training package, focused on Corporate Social Responsibility. With selected training days completed and additional workshops scheduled, our Editor uses this short article to express the importance of an education in CSR, to today’s vendors of PLM.

The 21st Century presents a number of unprecedented and interrelated global challenges. Population growth, climate change, resource depletion (including energy and water) and food security are no longer the sole concern of governments or fragile communities. Instead, corporates now recognize that what were once viewed as inconsequential ‘externalities’ increasingly represent a clear threat to their current and future viability, particularly where those businesses operate extended and complex supply chains.

These threats are no longer restricted solely to concerns of ‘reputational damage’, but are beginning to impact already narrow margins and challenge operational effectiveness. In addition, national and international bodies are introducing legislative burdens that require increasingly sophisticated responses from both national and international corporations.

Since most suppliers’ coverage of the product lifecycle is end-to-end, they are ideally positioned to augment or even drive the sustainability programmes of their clients. Product, manufacturer and brand are all encompassed within PLM, and further functionality development would provide customers with a unique product offer.

Chris McCann editorialCSR training courses are available for PLM vendors as well as retailers, brands and manufacturers from WhichPLM’s newest advisor, Chris McCann, who has an extensive background in compliance and sustainability.

Chris has over twenty years experience managing social and environmental programs for the supply chains of national and multi-national Fortune 500 companies in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia. He was named as one of a team representing international retailers, responsible for the creation of an international governance structure for labour standards in the international retail sector (the Global Social Compliance Programme).

In 2003 Chris was made UK Country Manager for Asda Wal-Mart; he developed and implemented Asda Wal-Mart’s global responsible sourcing program for over 80,000 suppliers, including Home & Leisure (suppliers in China/ India), Grocery (suppliers in UK/ Europe), and Produce (suppliers in UK/ Europe).

And, following a UK House of Lords recommendation that the UK government develop a new strategy on Business and Human Rights, Chris was appointed to the UK Ministry of Justice Human Rights steering committee. Chris has held multiple other prestigious positions throughout the years, including: board member of the UK Government’s Gangmaster Licencing Authority (GLA); Chairman of the GLA’s Audit Committee; member of DEFRA’s Gangmaster Consultative Committee; Director General of the UK’s Health and Safety Executive.

WhichPLM’s Training Course covers what we believe to be the most important aspects of any CSR programme, and how PLM can be used to compliment this.

The multi-day programme begins by covering some of the key global challenges of today (resource depletion, climate change to name just two) – an understanding of which will give PLM vendors the informed perspective needed to approach new customers, and will give those customers the education necessary to fulfil a myriad CSR requirements.

Following this, the programme delves into the impact of these global challenges on apparel retailers. Legislative burdens are increasing and implications for corporates and their supply chains are becoming more pronounced; the complexity of these impacts requires a deep understanding, and retailers have adopted a number of general approaches to the challenges faced. WhichPLM’s CSR training will explore some general and more specific responses (in the forms of legislation, directives etc.).

The training will also explore some responses in terms of case studies. Beyond this, the training will begin to map the industry responses/requirements, and understand the potential for developing sustainability functionality.

If you are interesting in joining other vendors taking this course, please contact us.

Lydia Mageean Lydia Mageean has been part of the WhichPLM team for over six years now. She has a creative and media background, and is responsible for maintaining and updating our website content, liaising with advertisers, working on special projects like the Annual Review, and more.Joining mid-2013 as our Online Editor, she has since become WhichPLM’s Editor. In addition to taking on writing and interviewing responsibilities, Lydia has also become the primary point of contact for news, events, features and other aspects of our ever-growing online content library and tools.