The SHDB is a project of New Earth, a not-for-profit organization working to develop the tools and techniques necessary to accelerate the shift to sustainable production and consumption. Our objective is to foster greater collaboration in improving social conditions worldwide by providing transparent information about social risks and opportunities in the global economy. The information provided can help supply chain stakeholders to improve their management of social responsibility issues and create incentives to collaborate and drive progress.
Country-specific sector risk results help to understand the context in which firms operate, on average. This information is not produced to provide incentive to divestment in high risk regions. On the contrary, the data made available should direct attention to social issues that are in need of enhanced engagement.
We draw upon hundreds of data sources from the International Labor Organization, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Labor and State, the World Bank, and more. Quantitative statistics and qualitative information by country and sector is used to develop characterization models. These models assign a risk (or opportunity) level to the data so that users can identify target areas in their supply chains to verify or improve social conditions.
This streamlined hotspot identification technique has been developed with the methods of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in mind. It was recommended as a tool to be developed in the Guidelines for Social Life Cycle Assessment, which was published by UNEP in 2009. While we do offer licenses to use the SHDB in LCA software programs that include supply chain modeling capabilities, the Web Portal is accessible to anyone, with or without knowledge of LCA. Companies, investors and policy makers can gain rapid access to knowledge they need to prioritize action.
The Social Hotspots Database team is dedicated to provide transparent information about the social conditions of production but also to research and make available information about improvement opportunities, root causes of social impacts and current initiatives and standards that contributes to address ethical challenges.