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New open data platform aims to bring transparency to global supply chains

The Open Supply Hub is to provide information on every facility in a business's supply chain, in a bid to help tackle carbon emissions and child labor.

Open Supply Hub

Image courtesy of Open Supply Hub.

An open data platform, which allows companies to disclose their supplier lists and showcase their commitment to supply chain transparency, has launched its beta phase.

Open Supply Hub aims to improve insights around production facilities and global supply chains, allowing organizations, civil society and other stakeholders to work collaboratively with suppliers and manufacturers to enhance supply chain sustainability.

Experts have long argued that the lack of open, accessible and standardized supplier data is a longstanding bottleneck for efforts to cut supply chain carbon emissions and tackle issues such as deforestation and child labor. Open Supply Hub launched with a view to cleaning and opening up access to supply chain data for entire sectors, with the aim of facilitating data sharing and collaboration between businesses.

The data provided through the hub should also aid corporates' climate and environmental, social and government reporting processes.

"Globally, organizations are preparing for a wave of new ESG reporting requirements," said Natalie Grillon, executive director of Open Supply Hub. "The volume of data shared will be enormous. It's therefore absolutely critical that reporting is built on a reliable and collaborative foundation in order to bring about the supply chain improvements we desperately need. 

It's absolutely critical that reporting is built on a reliable and collaborative foundation in order to bring about the supply chain improvements.

"Supply chain data is notoriously opaque, siloed and inaccessible, which has historically benefitted very few," she added. "Opening up this data is the solution. Not only can we create a single source of truth for identifying facilities, but this model also encourages collaboration and helps users progress their work, be it ESG reporting, worker's rights advocacy, research or climate risk decisions."

Open Supply Hub provides standardized name and address data and universal IDs for production facilities around the world. The unique IDs enable connections to other databases, "driving interoperability between datasets that are typically siloed" and allowing organizations to find those connected to the same facilities, the organization said.

The Open Supply Hub platform is an extension of the Open Apparel Registry, which first launched for the apparel sector in 2019 with support from the Laudes Foundation. After increased demand from its users, the organization made the decision to expand the approach into other sectors with large global supply chains. 

"We've contributed to the Open Apparel Registry since 2020 given our shared mission to foster transparency across supply chains," said Leigh Anne DeWine, director of social responsibility at Amazon, which is taking part in the beta phase of the new hub. "We know that Open Supply Hub and its standardized supply chain data will be a key piece in identifying areas where we can collectively focus our attention, with the goal that products and services are being provided in a way that respects human rights and the environment."

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