Responsible business in a crisis

Responsible business in a crisis

Source: MODINT

This unexpected, extraordinary and unprecedented tough time doing trade associations urge all players in the chain to be there for each other. Together, we must consider how we can overcome, compensate for and divide the problems and risks in the supply chain. Now and in the future. There is flexibility, understanding, vision, necessary responsibility and solidarity.

We call on all parties to us to do the maximum that lies within each individual's ability.

Many companies have developed a CSR policy over the years where Due Diligence is the starting point. It is a continuous process of scanning and addressing potential risks in the chain of violating human rights and harming the environment. Now in times of Corona is the first to keep it alive in the sector and maintain jobs and supply chain partners, both customers and suppliers, so that the jobs of the people remain in the producing countries.

Because the world is upside down the industry, some checks and measures are no longer possible. This requires understanding and practical solutions from the various stakeholders in this field. So Modint has been in consultation with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Water and the Secretariat of the Covenant Sustainable Garments & Textiles for the current business in the current context to place.

Due Diligence

John Ruggie (Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at Harvard University) for the UN established a human rights framework with three principles that businesses, government and employees engage in all times:

Protect: The government must provide protection against the violation of rights by third parties.

Respect: The business must respect human rights

Remedy: Victims should have access to redress

While the business press with liquidity crisis talks, personnel and discuss the risks and costs with supply chain partners to uphold to the case, it is especially time for protection by the authorities. That does not mean that companies should have no eye to abuses in the chain, especially when it is associated with its own measures. CSR policy remains where it can be supply chain / CSR managers help recalibrating responsibility in times of crisis, what will be different for each individual company and will depend on capacity. Support for international responsibility is still there and it will be irreversible. Respecting chain partners is paramount and therefore the respect for all people working in the chai. As an industry we do our best,


Procurement practice

To what extent can now guarantee the company that employment and good working conditions in your chain sustains while you actually moratorium should ask or cancel deliveries to maintain the continuity of your business? What have you included in your policy on purchasing? To what extent can you still comply with existing agreements? It is important can not be complied with to go with your manufacturer and customer as existing agreements call. Think about payment and delivery arrangements, but also to the next production. Where costs responsibly can be cut or divided and creatively must act immediately even sales can be made. We can look with chain partners to (credit) insurance and aid in countries where employers and employees are located. (Refer to the OECD report below). Modint also exploring opportunities for international support.

At all times we must have in order to avoid a one-sided approach to each situation. Where the need is greatest chain partners must give each other every possible assistance and space. What truly can not otherwise be given to a responsible way of winding down, with an eye for the entrepreneur, but also for employees.

We would like to get Darwin here briefly. Those companies survive who can best adapt to current trends, not the strongest or the smartest. This requires strengthening of partnership, open communication, cut costs where possible and a lot of creativity and enlightened solidarity.

What can a Supply Chain / CSR manager do?

The role of the CSR manager (or CSR management) changes in times of crisis. It is now much more to facilitate dialogue with their partners than control the next audit. Explore the situation with your supply chain partners and put your own problems. Listen to each other and find out where there is a little space. This creates a better understanding of each person's situation and collective creativity to come to some solutions. This may involve paying extend payments spread, credit insurance, state aids, human resources (in the chain working conditions). Talk what it means for employers and employees and create a phase-out plan. Try to arrive at the causes and consequences and to prevent the worst.

Open communication and collaboration

agreements between partners are established in an agreement, which is different for each case. This is basically the starting point for appointments in this exceptional situation.


We want to stress the importance that it is important to come in mutual consultation arrangements. Unilateral imposition leads to great frustration. In particular, major market have an extra responsibility to show solidarity and courtesy. Everyone understands that sacrifices must be made, but consultation and should thereby be the starting together searching for space.  

We need all our might occur that we will drown in litigation with each other.  

We should also remember the period after Corona. The call Modint is that the core is about peace and leniency in the branches regarding trading. This will be repeated continuously. Many industry associations have jointly called upon here.  

Modint unfortunately shows that the parties in their response set the short-term self-interest above that of the industries and sectors. This while other parties, fueled by interpersonal contact, but able to turn out to be seeking dialogue. For this reason, we call once again to act from partnership. 

The situation is much loose in all parts of society. So in business relationships. The majority of the questions we receive at this time in one way or another related to the delivery of goods. And thus concerns the relationship between you and your customer or supplier. This particular situation is that there are far from clear-cut answers.

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