Puma and IFC reward suppliers in emerging markets for environmental and social performance
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and sports fashion brand Puma, have entered into a partnership to provide financing to Puma’s suppliers in emerging markets. This will offer financial incentives for suppliers to improve environmental, health and safety and social standards.
In its first phase, the program will be rolled out in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam; it is the first to be signed by IFC with a European brand
IFC will adopt a financing structure with tiered pricing of short-term working capital, offering lower costs for those suppliers that achieve a high score in Puma's supplier rating system. The ratings are assigned based on PUMA’s monitoring of suppliers’ adherence to its social and environmental standards through an auditing process.
Lars Soerensen, Puma's Chief Operating Officer said: “This financing program enables our suppliers to leverage their relationship with us and benefit from Puma's strong reputation and financial position. This is the first program in our company that rewards a supplier’s rating within Puma's environmental and sustainability program through related fees."
Sergio Pimenta, IFC Director of Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services said: “This agreement with PUMA advances IFC’s efforts to encourage small and medium companies such as PUMA’s suppliers to improve environmental and social sustainability while achieving strong financial results.”
Ball Planet, a SME with facilities in China, is the first supplier to join the program. “We are keen to start using this financing facility, since access to affordable financing is always a challenge. This innovative program will not only help us improve our cash flow, but will also provide us with a financial incentive to improve our environmental, health and safety and social standards, which will ultimately reduce our operating costs and enhance our performance”, said Ken Hong, Ball Planet General Manager.
Puma and IFC launched this initiative in partnership with GT Nexus, a cloud-based business network and platform for global trade and supply chain management. The platform enables participants to operate against a core, real-time set of information across multiple supply chain functions. This optimises the flow of goods, funds and trade information.
IFC provides financing to ready-made garment and footwear suppliers through its Global Trade Supplier Finance (GTSF) program, which provides working capital to suppliers backed by receivables from international buyers.
Supplier finance is a scalable way for suppliers in emerging markets to access affordable financing for their receivables over a period defined by the terms of credit. Established in 2010, IFC’s GTSF program is a $500 million multicurrency investment and advisory program that provides short-term finance to emerging-market suppliers and small and midsized exporters.
EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs
The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years.
It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC.
The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn.
In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products.
Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers
- The dispute began in 2004
- Tariffs suspended for 5 years
- $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
- $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date
- 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended
Both sides welcome end to tariffs
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.
“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.
Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”.
The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."
This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.
Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”