3M’s Pulp and Paper Sourcing Policy Progress Report

James Barsimantov

April 01, 2017

“In March 2015, 3M revised its Pulp and Paper Sourcing Policy, which formalizes 3M’s and our suppliers’ responsibilities to comply with global regulations and further the causes of sustainable forestry and transparent, responsible supply chains.” In their fourth semiannual report on progress against policy commitments, 3M provides perspectives on work this year, and what’s yet to come. Read the full report here: http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/1074001O/pulp-and-paper-sourcing-policy-progress-report.pdf and read on for excerpts focused on supplier assessment and multi-tier data management systems.

“We are partnering with TFT for their expertise in responsible sourcing policies and improving forest management practices across global supply chains. They help us review the information we obtain from our suppliers, and combine that with geography and industry-specific knowledge to conduct risk assessments of our supply chains. We use these assessments to prioritize further engagement to learn more about our suppliers’ responsible sourcing and sustainable forestry practices.

Historically, we’ve done this using Excel-based workbook surveys and data tools, but our data set is growing quite large and is difficult to manage in this way. In summer and fall 2016, 3M began using a cloud-based platform called SupplyShift to deliver improved efficiency and supply chain visibility for both 3M and our suppliers. The SupplyShift platform allows suppliers to respond to information requests via online surveys in a highly secure format. Our suppliers can complete supply chain information all the way to the forest sources, or they can easily forward parts of the online survey to their suppliers for completion (paper or pulp mills, for example). SupplyShift makes it easy to collaborate with others within their organization by allowing the creation of accounts for coworkers or other contributors. Guidance documents, pop-up information boxes and videos are available throughout the platform to assist in navigating through the surveys. 3M and SupplyShift provide support as needed throughout the response process.

Overall, participants have had a positive experience and have been complimentary about the platform and the support from SupplyShift. Based on feedback sessions with our pilot participants, 3M and SupplyShift have made usability enhancements to the platform and survey question sets. We plan to expand our use of SupplyShift throughout 2017, ultimately eliminating the use of Excel workbooks to gather information from our suppliers. Further, we are encouraging our suppliers and other companies like 3M who are looking to manage their paper supply chain information in a cloud-based platform to consider SupplyShift. The more global companies using a common system to document their supply chains and sustainability performance, the more we will all benefit from the shared information.”

James Barsimantov

April 01, 2017