Worth Reading

DyStar releases Sustainability Performance Report 2017 – 2018

The DyStar Group has released its 2017 – 2018 Sustainability Performance Report. Into its eighth edition, the report marks the progress of the global company that aspires to become the world’s most sustainable and responsible supplier of colorants, specialty chemicals, and services in the textile industry, but has also embarked on the business with food dyes and chemicals through its recent acquisition in USA.

The latest DyStar’s Sustainability Performance Report is the first of their reports prepared in accordance with the most trusted and widely used reporting framework – Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards: Core Option.

The 2020 Target

2017 marks the seventh year of DyStar’s journey towards reducing the production footprint by 20% for every ton of production by the year 2020. This goal encompasses the resources used for production including energy, water, and raw materials as well as addresses their corresponding outputs – greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, waste and wastewater. Results across most key performance indicators were positive, with four of the six 2020 targets being successfully met or surpassed.

In terms of the energy consumption and GHG emission, DyStar is farther from its original desired target primarily due to the impacts from three newly acquired production sites. However, intensive efforts are underway to ensure that the company’s less efficient acquisitions are provided the essential support to align with the rest of the company. DyStar is optimistic that all six targets are achievable by 2020.

Creating Responsible Products & Services

As part of DyStar’s long-term goal to imbed sustainability across the industry, they will also be focusing on expanding its sustainability services. This includes the opening of more Texanlab offices, an ISO 17025 certified, specialized testing laboratory across South Asia to provide end-to-end solutions throughout the whole supply chain.

Stepping Up on Cooperation with NGOs

Increasingly, DyStar is strengthening their partnerships with the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). The 2017 report features an in-depth guest interview with the NGO China Water Risk, on how can suppliers like DyStar can be a role model in creating sustainable fashion.

To encourage and facilitate sustainable practices among its suppliers, DyStar also conducts sustainability-related supplier surveys. For instance, DyStar is cooperating with the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), one of the most established Chinese NGO, to expand the framework of their supplier questionnaire. In recognition of its efforts, DyStar received top ranking in the CITI transparency list for industrial chemicals from IPE, placing them well ahead of many other industry peers.

Embracing Diversity, Engaging Communities

Also, to help meet clients’ demand and demonstrate its responsibility and care in the food and beverages industry, DyStar is implementing a supplier diversity program to support businesses in the USA that are at least 51% owned by minority groups, women, veterans and people with disabilities.

Highlighting DyStar’s commitment to the communities they operate in, the company encourages volunteerism among employees, and for the year of 2017, DyStar employees devoted a total of 205 volunteer hours towards community projects, which also served as a meaningful collective experience for employees to form closer bonds.

Working Together Towards Long-Term Solutions

As an industry frontrunner, DyStar and its leaders are committed to driving sustainability across the

industry. However, significant challenges remain, and the stakeholders of this industry need to work together to derive long-term solutions. CEO of DyStar Group, Mr. Eric Hopmann emphasized, “It is imperative for the entire industry to improve collectively, not individually, and our ability to do so may determine the long-term profitability of the industry as a whole. It is my belief that effective partnerships coupled with stronger support and incentivization from leading companies within this industry could be key to creating a new – and much needed – equilibrium.”

To access DyStar’s sustainability reports, please visit http://www.dystar.com/sustainability-reports/



WTO World Trade Report 2018 highlights transformative impact of digital technologies on trade

The cover of the report (Photos: © WTO/Jay Louvion

The 2018 edition of the WTO’s flagship publication, the World Trade Report, finds that digital technologies — namely the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and Blockchain — will have a profound impact on global trade, adding up to 34 percentage points to trade growth by 2030 thanks to lower costs and higher productivity. However, they could also create a challenging environment for those seeking to keep up with the latest innovations. The Report was launched on October 3, 2018 at the WTO Public Forum

The report shows that digital technologies are likely to further reduce trade costs and boost trade significantly, especially in services and for developing countries. Global trade is projected to grow by an additional 2 percentage points annually between 2016 and 2030 as a result of digitalization, falling trade costs and the increased use of services. This corresponds with a 31-34 percentage point higher trade growth over 15 years.

The share of services in global trade is projected to grow from 21 per cent in 2016 to 25 % in 2030. The report also finds that the reduction in trade costs could be especially beneficial for micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) and firms from developing countries, provided they have the ability to keep up with the adoption of digital technologies. In the best scenario, developing and least-developed economies’ share in global trade is predicted to grow to 57 % by 2030, from 46 % in 2015, whereas if they cannot keep up, this share is predicted to rise to 51 %.

The report discusses how digital technologies can unlock savings, such as through better route planning, autonomous driving and smart inventories made possible by artificial intelligence and robotics. Blockchain solutions – a system of decentralized, digital transactions – can reduce time spent on customs compliance and logistics. The Internet of Things, the networking and processing capabilities of everyday objects, can help to improve operational efficiency through better preventative maintenance of machinery and products. These technologies can therefore reduce transportation and storage costs, which represent a major share of overall trade costs.

Digital technologies can also significantly affect what the world trades. For example, remote controlled robotics have led to revolutionary advances in trade in services and the emergence of new services such as telesurgery. Enhanced technological capacities which allow faster and simpler processing of traded products could also foster trade in time-sensitive, certification-intensive and contract-intensive goods.

The official launch of the report (Photos: © WTO/Jay Louvion )

The report argues that new technologies are likely to change the established ways the world trades, with comparative advantages predicted to change across economies. AI, 3D printing and advanced robotics could reduce the role of labour as a source of comparative advantage, while factors such as the quality of digital infrastructure and market size as well as institutional and regulatory determinants of comparative advantage, including intellectual property protection, might become more relevant. 3D printing, furthermore, may to some extent reduce the need for outsourced assembly, the number of production steps and other factors related to global value chains.

The report identifies certain areas which may warrant international cooperation. These include key initiatives being undertaken by multilateral organizations such as facilitating a favourable legal and regulatory framework, competition-related issues, intellectual property rules, supporting MSMEs, promoting digital inclusion, and addressing challenges related to trade facilitation and infrastructure for information communication technology. The report concludes that, overall, the expansion of digital trade holds the potential to generate considerable benefits if it takes place under conditions that adequately address important public policy challenges. Issues concerning inclusiveness, privacy protection and cybersecurity are likely to figure prominently in debates on the future governance of digital trade.

The report can be downloaded from the WTO website and printed copies are available through the WTO Online Bookshop.

An Executive Summary of the Report is available here. The Executive Summary is also available in French and Spanish.

The report also features for the first time opinion pieces from external contributors who provide their own perspectives on the future of world trade.