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NY Legislature considers supply chain transparency bills

A pathway cleared of snow leads to a large stone building.
File photo
Snow covers the ground outside the New York State Capitol building in Albany, N.Y.

New York State's Legislature is considering several bills to get the state to utilize ethical and sustainable supply chains.

One piece of legislation would establish the Supply Chain Transparency Assistance Program to help businesses across the state utilize more environmentally conscious supply chains.

A report from the Accountability Framework Initiative and the Carbon Disclosure Project finds 77% of companies surveyed do not have sufficient traceability across their supply chains to meet climate accountability commitments.

Leo Bonanni, CEO of the supply-chain mapping company Sourcemap, said companies can take additional action to ensure their supply chains aren't contributing to deforestation.

"We know that there are ways for industry to be monitoring for deforestation impact and to be preventing them or to be addressing them when they do find problems," Bonanni pointed out. "Now we're just waiting to scale that technology up to all of the other industries that could be involved in deforestation."

While this might be too much for companies to fit on their product's packaging, Bonanni added consumers can do their own research to ensure they are getting something ethically sourced. The report noted more than 200 companies surveyed identified almost $80 billion of forest-related risks. The bill is under consideration by the State Assembly's Economic Development Committee.

Another bill, the New York State Transparency in Supply Chains Act, would require companies to disclose efforts being taken to eradicate human trafficking in their supply chains to consumers. Bonanni described the importance of tracing from suppliers to the farms cultivating raw materials.

"Why do they have to go down to the farms? Because that's where the biggest risks present themselves," Bonanni explained. "Risks like forced labor or deforestation are happening the farthest away from the brands that we know and buy from. And, that's exactly why companies are mapping today."

According to Anti-Slavery International, about 27.6 million people are believed to be trapped in forced labor across the globe. This includes more than 17.3 million people exploited for forced labor in the private economy. The bill is under review by the state Senate's Consumer Protection Committee.

This story comes from the New York News Connection.