Sixty-five percent of business leaders identify sustainability as an “even bigger” priority post-COVID-19, according to global materials science company Avery Dennison — and that’s why the firm launched “A Portrait of a Supply Chain,” a short film that “envisions a new era of supply chain transparency.”

The three-minute film drives home the idea that technology “can be a force for good” with brevity, clarity and intention. Digital supply chains, and Avery Dennison’s digital identity technology, can be a panacea to supply chain traceability and transparency as it allows for unique traceable identities to be assigned to every product, from raw materials to the end product itself.

Its documentary-style film features three contributors who discuss the importance of traceability in their respective industries, best practices and why transparency is a steady pillar of their businesses. “Each are owners of their business and outline how long they have been working in the industry they work in, how they came to do it, and why as the camera follows them during their day at work,” the firm said.

Produced by The Smalls, a video creation platform, the content was shot with local film crews on location in Mexico, South Africa and London.

Dan Northover, chief executive officer, The Smalls, said “Our intention with the shoot was to illustrate how to make supply chains personal, real and relatable. This is why we have worked with Avery Dennison to champion the diverse people in supply chains across apparel, food, beauty and logistics to show why technology matters and how ultimately it plays a pivotal role within business, society and our planet.”

Avery Dennison added that the film “emphasizes what transparency means to the people working at the heart of supply chains. From deep connections to the land, to safer and more sustainable practices — the viewers get an insight into their work and commitment to the community and the environment.”

Businesses featured in the film include Camaste, a Mexican cocoa butter producer, that “has developed a very close working relationship with a network of growers in Tabasco enabling trust and traceability in their supply chain.” Camaste connects raw materials at source with a unique digital identity, which is critical to its business as it supplies cocoa to beauty companies from the U.S., and its reach is as far as New Zealand.

Also featured is Greenfish, a seafood business based in South Africa committed to “ensuring that all their seafood is sourced from legal fishing operations and is traceable back to its point of origin.” Avery Dennison noted that every single package from Greenfish includes information about the species, origin, and production method.

And from a fashion perspective, the film homes in on U.K.-based Emma Bonar, owner of 69b Boutique, a sustainable clothing store in London. With a vision “to bring together designers who are socially and environmentally responsible,” the sustainable brands it works with must adhere to its strict policies on transparency and accountability. Bonar said, “Our customers rely on us to know where the products that they’re buying are coming from.”

Tyler Chaffo, Manager Global Sustainability, Avery Dennison Intelligent Labels, said “There is a critical need from governments, [non-governmental organizations] and consumers for more transparency throughout the global supply chain. This means moving beyond just tier one suppliers [to move] throughout the chain to empower people as well as products and build a more sustainable planet. Many organizations are using the current crisis to rethink and transform their global supply chain model. ‘A Portrait of a Supply Chain’ is our initiative to ‘hero’ some of the individuals and companies that are committed to making this happen.”

Chaffo added that while organizations indeed have a vested interest in delivering supply chain transparency, consumers, too, are championing the growth of sustainability in business. The company said its film confirms findings of its recent market reports, which includes analyzation of key sectors, including apparel, food, beauty and logistics that are establishing best practices in transparency: Its data says 83 percent of business leaders believe supply chains and associated technologies can support sustainability objectives, and 70 percent of consumers feel trust in a brand is more important than it was in the past.

“As well as the reputational cost of failing to meet these demands, researchers at the MIT Sloan School of Management found that consumers may be willing to pay up to 10 percent more for products from companies that provide greater supply chain transparency. Over the coming months we look forward to developing these themes further and encouraging an industry-wide debate as to what needs to happen within a sustainable supply chain to deliver the planet, we all want.”

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