Risks in supply chains – required activity of shipowners, ports and financial institutions

By Marek Grzybowski

Think Lab on Just Transition experts postulate as their primary task the improvement of awareness of the risk of social disruptions and the negative impact of climate change on the functioning of supply chains. The social role of the entrepreneur is particularly emphasized.

“Businesses must minimize and address any adverse impacts on workers and communities that result from implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation measures by working with suppliers and social partners. Improving the qualifications of suppliers could increase awareness of these threats,” suggest the authors of the UN Global Compact report.

It is also proposed to improve the transparency of supply chains. They believe that “Businesses need to conduct materiality assessments and engage with suppliers to better understand the impacts of climate change and social risks across the supply chain.”

A poorly managed enterprise negative impact on the environment
The negative impact of a poorly managed enterprise on the environment and society should be taken into account. Transparency in the sourcing and use of resources, assets and processes in supply chains will enable companies to identify and avoid risks, threats and cost redundancy.
We have problems with the latter demands every day, as we observe the trade in Russian strategic raw materials, Russian and Ukrainian grain and weapons for both warring sides.
The UN Global Compact calls for integrating company management in risky conditions through the principles of just transition. According to experts, companies that efficiently manage their resources will be able to better use their supply chains in an integrated way.

Harmonization in companies and the environment is necessary
Karol Adamiecki, a Polish Engineer and professor of management in free Poland, said that such activities require harmonization. The postulate of harmonization meets both the need for optimal use of machines and maintaining the appropriate culture of organization and people management in the company in accordance with management principles consistent with human rights.
Harmonization is necessary not only in companies, but also globally and regionally. This is a necessary and indispensable condition for ensuring continuity of supplies and production in shipyards and offshore wind farms, managing ship fleets and reloading in ports, producing fish and seafood farms and transporting goods and passengers, etc.
“While adapting to the basic principles of a just transition, engaging in social dialogue and involving stakeholders, it is important to support the development of employees’ skills, respect for fundamental principles and rights at work and respect for human rights. This should be accompanied by due diligence in the field of environmental protection,” states the UN Global Compact.

To create market demand from the public sector is needed
It is also important to “create market demand from the public sector, because enterprises, together with employers and employees and other organizations, can cooperate in developing, implementing and improving policies by governments and local authorities.”

By reforming public procurement systems, governments and public authorities could leverage their large-scale actions to generate market demand for goods and services produced in a sustainable and socially responsible way.
An important area of activity is support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

UN Global Compact experts believe that they play an important role in supply chains. Therefore, the SME group must be supported not only by the public sector, “but also private sector entities must work with social partners to support SMEs with weaker institutional and financial capacities. And governments should build institutional capacity and financial instruments to help SMEs in their business activities. It is also suggested that larger companies support SMEs with financing and education.

The recession exposes the weaknesses of globalization
The “Just Transition In Supply Chains” report contains an extensive set of proposals for actions that are nowadays necessary to maintain not only climate security.

The postulates contained therein are so universal that they can be applied to ensure the energy, food and economic security of the country, and even the entire region. The economic recession exposes all the weaknesses of globalization, the exploitation of poor countries, the exploitation of children in mines and production plants in Asia and Africa.

The UN Global Compact report calls for fighting today to maintain the durability of supply chains. Their disruption or disruption could have disastrous consequences for rich and poor alike. The role of seaports and maritime transport as well as the cooperation of large and small entities operating in these sectors cannot be overestimated.