Verité and Mars, Incorporated are pleased to announce the formation of a long-term, strategic partnership to advance human rights throughout Mars’ global business. The partnership launched last week at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England. The announcement came during the panel, “Building Bridges: Partnerships in Responsible Supply Chains,” which featured Shawn MacDonald, Verité’s CEO; Marika McCauley Sine, Human Rights Director at Mars, Incorporated; and Dan Viederman, Managing Director at Humanity United.
Despite a weakening of conflict minerals due diligence requirements in the U.S., legislation continues to advance in other countries. Leading brands are committed to working towards eliminating minerals and metals linked to conflict, criminality, environmental degradation, and human trafficking and other labor abuses from their supply chains.
Our friends at .eco are very close to an important milestone: the launch of a new web address ending for the environmental movement, which has potential for better alignment between groups like Verité that promote the human elements of sustainability with those addressing challenges to the natural world. Founded by two environmentalists and former United Nations Environment Programme staffers, .eco is a new domain name ending—also known as a top-level domain (TLD)—for those committed to positive change for the planet. The .eco ending is only available to companies, governments, organizations, or individuals working toward a sustainable future. To secure a domain, registrants pledge their commitment to .eco’s principles and purpose, as well as continuously affirm this pledge by sharing information on their environmentally-friendly actions.
The celebration of Earth Day this month provides the opportunity to reflect on the overlap between labor rights and the environment. Verité has found a strong correlation between labor abuses and environmental damages. Often, activities that violate environmental regulations take place in areas where the government lacks the capacity to adequately enforce the law. Verité’s research into palm oil and illegal gold mining, for example, has found that the absence of the rule of law at remote worksites can result in permanent ecosystem damage, dangerous working conditions, and risk of forced labor.
Mars and Verité have announced a long-term, strategic partnership to advance respect for human rights and improve the lives of the most vulnerable workers in global supply chains relevant for Mars.