Sustainable Sourcing

For companies that want to demonstrate a real commitment to responsible sourcing and obtain market advantage for these achievements, the Rainforest Alliance offers the SmartSource Sustainable Sourcing Program, a more comprehensive program that allows you to position yourself as a leader in sustainable sourcing.

This comprehensive sustainable sourcing program helps companies go beyond legal compliance to fulfill a significant, long-term commitment to responsible sourcing and obtain market recognition for these achievements. This program enables companies to meet legislative requirements for Legality, but also to position themselves as leaders in sustainable sourcing.

By committing to the SmartSource framework and program participants have access to premier tools, service and experts to conduct a comprehensive supply chain risk assessment and assist with the development and implementation of an environmentally and socially responsible procurement plan for the full spectrum of forest products -- such as paper and packaging, lumber and finished wood products.

  • Access to our web-based supplier data platform or support to integrate supplier reporting into an existing supplier system.
  • Training with staff and suppliers on your sustainable sourcing program to include forest issues, policy implications, procurement procedures and certification/verification.
  • Support establishing a baseline of current sources and source category status (known, legal, certified, etc.) as determined by expert knowledge of forest issues and credible certification programs.
  • Use of the Rainforest Alliance Frog in promotion of your products that have FSC Certification -- in ad campaigns, websites and other media.
  • Purchasing Policy development -- offering templates and assistance
  • Information collection support -- using a supplier questionnaire developed by our experts in forest certification and legality to get reliable and credible data from your suppliers.
  • Expert review of baseline data and risk assessment report of wood product sources with specific guidance for addressing any high risk sources and identification of opportunities to obtain more credibly certified supply.
  • Direct connection of suppliers and forest operators to third-party certification and legal verification services by SmartSource where appropriate.
  • Third-party Monitoring and Reporting support on your sourcing efforts.

SmartSource Sustainable Sourcing Program Highlights

Identifying Alternative Suppliers and Products

If the results of our baseline report demonstrate a need for alternative suppliers and products, we can help you identify options and link you with these businesses. Through SmartSource, we can link you to a wide range of FSC-certified companies, while our TREES program can connect you directly to community enterprises that offer a wide variety of alternative certified products.

Training and Education

Training is essential to ensuring that your headquarters and remote staff alike can apply and communicate responsible purchasing policies consistently. Through the design and delivery of a comprehensive training and awareness program for your team (including executive, procurement, sales and marketing staff) and suppliers, we can help them understand and more effectively manage the transition to responsibly sourcing, achieve the maximum benefits of your company's new policy and minimize any anxiety that might accompany these changes. A messaging program can be also developed to help educate your customers.

As part of this process, we can assist you in the development of custom-tailored training materials to achieve specific goals, including hard-copy guides and handouts, live presentation materials and interactive media e-learning tools.

Communications and Marketing Support

Once you have committed to specific annual targets set forth in a SmartSource Action Plan and your progress has been verified, the Rainforest Alliance can help you communicate your achievements -- even before you reach your ultimate goals. Communications and marketing support may include:

  • Use of the appropriate Rainforest Alliance mark on educational and promotional materials
  • Assistance gathering stories from your sourcing community
  • Consultation on messaging about the Rainforest Alliance and any affiliated marketing campaigns
  • Priority review of all publications and promotional materials referencing our work together
  • Complementary media outreach, inclusion in Rainforest Alliance publications and online channels, as appropriate
  • Outreach to stakeholders at trade shows and events to help you disseminate the message of your company's commitment to sustainability

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