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Recommendation No. 46: Enhancing Transparency and Traceability of Sustainable Value Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector

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Recommendation No. 46: Enhancing Traceability and Transparency of Sustainable Value Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector

Improving traceability and transparency has become a priority for the garment and footwear industry. Consumers, governments, and civil society are demanding responsible business conduct and are calling upon the industry to identify and address actual and potential negative impacts in the areas of human rights, the environment, and human health.
The objective of this recommendation is to establish a mechanism that enables governments, industry partners, consumers, and all other relevant stakeholders to make risk-informed decisions, overcome information asymmetry, communicate, and achieve accountability for sustainability claims (including those for regulatory compliance) and anchor business models to responsible business conduct.
It does so by providing industry actors with a set of internationally agreed practices for the harmonized collection and transmission of data for tracking and tracing materials, products, and processes across an entire value chain, including all involved facilities and intermediaries, and includes related information about the sustainability performance of these value chain participants. While specifically developed for the garment and footwear industry, such internationally agreed practices for advancing traceability and transparency have applications in cross-industry value chains, thus contributing to the achievement of several goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, and particularly Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 on responsible consumption and production.
The recommendation includes implementation guidelines to assist policy and decision makers in better understanding tracking and tracing while also providing a framework for implementation by all stakeholders in garment and footwear value chains. The accompanying Call to Action (ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2020/6/Rev1) provides a mechanism to monitor and keep track of implementation of the recommended measures, and to facilitate the exchange of good practices and lessons learned.
Document ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2021/10 is submitted by the UN/CEFACT Bureau to the twenty-seventh session of the Plenary for approval.